Friday, March 31, 2006

...I think there's something PRETTY FISHY about this whole thing!!!

There was a news story this week about a high school kid who spent almost 2 complete DAYS inside a Wal-Mart; napping occasionally in their home furnishings dept, eating at the snack bar, and basically trying to elude clerks, managers, greeters and store detectives all the while. It does sound kinda unbelievable. After spending 20 MINUTES in a Wal-Mart, I have to get out! Too much of everything, everywhere! Screaming kids running around, customers not watching where they're pushing their shopping carts, miles and miles and piles of aisles all with their own pandemonium. And this guy spent 41 HOURS in a Wal-Mart out of his own free will? Wait just a minute here.................

...I KNEW there was a catch!!!

It may be a nice enough place, but...
I don't think I wanna VACATION there!

Every time I see a certain "travel" commercial, I just kinda wonder, "why do you think I'd wanna vacation THERE?" I'm talking about the spot that says "vacation this year in beautiful NEBRASKA!!!" Huh? What? And the commercial says the "possibilities are as endless as your imagination". They've probably got that right, because it would take a lot of imagination for me to have a good time in NEBRASKA, for cryin' out loud. Isn't Nebraska "flat land on the prairie"? What am I supposed to do, park a lawn chair in the middle of a wheat field? And then I saw another commercial that sez, "take a vacation in beautiful MONTANA". Uhhhhh, no thanks...Our family once vacationed in Three Forks, Montana; my biggest memory of that is getting dived-bombed by kamikaze-sized mosquitos! Vacation in Montana? Hell, I'm already in Idaho; ain't that close enough? I can see lakes and trees without GOING anywhere!

Take me back to Chicago dept.: I never buy new CD's. There aren't very many artists these days I can identify with. But I went into the "Long Ear" today, and lo and behold, the group Chicago has released a new album..."Chicago XXX". Their 30th album. I have every one of their numbered albums up through "Chicago Twenty-One". I have their Christmas album, aptly titled "Chicago 25". So what I wanna know is, how did Chicago get from "25" to "XXX"? There is a great UNRELEASED Chicago album, "Stone of Sisyphus" (which would've been "Chicago 22"), and I think they've put out one more Christmas album. Still, that leaves 2 or 3 numbers unaccounted for, between "25" and "XXX". I know there are various "hit repackagings" of Chicago Albums, and I'm not sure if those "count" in the series or not. Me, I always liked Chicago best up through their 11th album, which was their last album with founding guitarist Terry Kath, who later died fooling around with a pistol. That was in about 1978.

For being one of my favorite groups, Chicago released some AWFUL songs, terrible songs like "You're The Inspiration", and especially "Hard Habit To Break", which is pure GARBAGE. "Baby What a Big Surprise" is another candy-assed putrid tune. "Stay The Night" and "If She Would Have Been Faithful" are also pure musical waste-product. But I don't hate all Chicago ballads; I thot "What Kind of Man Would I Be" and "Look Away" were great songs. Trouble is, in order to keep current with changing musical tastes, Chicago's music became all synthesized, polished and overproduced and ended up sounding like all the other crap you hear on MTV. If you play Chicago 18, it sounds like they're banging dinner plates in front of the microphones, because all of the percussion has been abnormally electrified. Also, Chicago used to write all its own music; now they rely partly on "outside" songs. Well, if the songs are good, I don't care. But I remember when Chicago was a free-spirited band in the '70s, when their music was a LOT more fun than it is now. To quote one of their past hits, "Old Days...good times I remember..."

Adventures in bird-feeding dept.: Do seagulls remember things? I mean, most birds are kinda stupid, right? But sometimes I wonder, when I pull up into the parking lot by the lake, if they know it's me when I drive up. Do they recognize me or my car? I do know they get excited when they see a human being carrying a loaf of bread. Do they think, "oh here he comes, he's that guy who was here the other day, and it looks like he's gonna feed us again", or do they just think, "FOOOOOOD!!!!"? I used to hate seagulls, I admit. But when I sit on the bench, and I hear a loud "squawk" behind me, there's a seagull there, imploring me to toss him some bread.

Other seagulls keep vigil on a nearby garbage can, or maybe it's one seagull who does that. I don't know. I can't tell them apart. Other seagulls will fly around in circles, knowing I'll try to toss 'em a crumb of bread in the air. I try not to let them hover "over" me, for obvious reasons. I'm really not in the mood to come down with bird flu anytime soon. There are two seagulls I do remember. One has a club foot; instead of a webbed foot, he has a stump that he hobbles around on. (could be a "She"; I can't tell the difference) Another seagull I saw today only had one leg. I must admit, I favor those two birds when I see them. Life's gotta be hard in the ultra-competitive bird world without having a club foot or missing a leg altogether.

Making a "wake" on Coeur d'Alene Lake dept.: Time to close out this post, and since you've managed to slog your way through all of the above, you can now travel back in time to days of yore long ago; I believe this picture comes from the 1930's or thereabouts:

In the background, you can see some sort of floating boat-house on the surface of Coeur d'Alene lake. Here, we're looking northwest, towards the place where the dike road meets the road that travels in front of North Idaho College. I see a puff of smoke in the trees way back there; it's either fog, or one of the mills at full-steam ahead. Either way, this is a cool old photo.

In the blogging business, this is known as a "dandruff" post. Why? Because it came off the top of my head!

At last...the North and South Buildings together (more or less)...

FIRST OF ALL, I have to thank "Jinx", who is a regular reader of this blog, and who is one of many bloggers who hangs out at "Huckleberries" ( The picture he sent me is an integral part of this post. But first, I have reposted the FOLLOWING picture as a sort of "reminder" was first posted a few posts below this one:

Here is the Coeur d'Alene HIGH SCHOOL building, located on the southeast corner of 7th and Montana Avenue. Its cornerstone gave the date of 1910; that cornerstone is at that corner, the land of which is now called Phippeny Park. I had previously stated that in the 1920's, the Coeur d'Alene JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL building was built immediately to the "south" of this building, at "photo right"...

Pictured immediately BELOW, thanks to Mr. Jinx, is the Coeur d'Alene JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL building; he scanned this photo from his 1970 school "annual". And, wow, does this ever bring back was a magnificent old building, although it felt like a PRISON during the first few days I attended there...quite a menacing structure...

I can remember the first day I attended school there; I was so afraid of the BIG KIDS in the grades above me; I stood at the top of the steps at the front entrance, scared out of my mind. The feeling I had was similar to how I've heard former prison inmates describe "the exercise yard". (Yeah, I watch too many true-crime shows.) This building, as did the one up above, faced 7th Street. This was the "south" building; of course, the "north" building was located just off "photo left". So there you have it...the old High School/Junior High School complex, on 7th Street. Days gone by, for sure. Thanks again, Mr. Jinx...I couldn'ta done it without ya.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

...and I woulda posted the photo if I coulda found it!

Ho-hum, another day, another newspaper, another Prezzidential photo. Prezzident Dubya Bush was shown addressing "whoever cares" from his podium. There he was, arms extended, and his face all contorted in that familiar "smirk" expression of his. And, that photo started my brain a-whirring..."what does this remind me of?", I asked myself...and then all of a sudden, it HIT me!

Remember MAD magazine? I guess it's still being published, although I haven't bought a copy in ages. Mad Magazine's freckle-faced mascot is the toothy character named ALFRED E. NEUMAN! Whilst reading the paper over coffee, I saw that photo; I tried unsuccessfully to find it on the 'net when I got back home. I wanted to post side-by-side fotos of Bush & Neuman, but I ran across THIS, which sorta puts both elements together. I do have an answer to the question, "What, Me Worry?": George, we're all worrying!

He's headed for the "Green Green Grass Of Home" dept.: I just found out today that British singer Tom Jones is 65! Ack! He was "knighted" in England today. Kinda reminds me of a quote: "Oh how good to be alive when the eulogies are read." I suppose now, he'll have to stop shakin' his hips when he sings. He's a royal member of British society, after all. I suppose, at the end of his concerts, he can now wish his audience "Good KNIGHT." (???) When John Lennon, along with the rest of the Beatles, was given the MBE (Member of the British Empire) medallion in the mid-60s, he said, "I thought you got these for driving tanks and fighting wars." Ya say you wanna revolution.....

Shake your rump to the funk on the disco hiway dept.: While having coffee today (while looking at that ugly newspaper foto of the Prezzident), a bunch of '70s DISCO music was spouting forth from the loudspeaker in the coffee shop. Van McCoy's "The Hustle", The Emotions' "Best Of My Love", and many other songs were a-thump-thump-thumpin' away. Although I'd never wear a white suit with gold chains, I always kinda did like disco. Am I a rock and roll traitor? I (sorta) like The Rolling Stones, after all; their 1978 song, "Miss You" was a nod to disco. I have a 12" disco single of the EXTENDED version of "Miss You" in my collection.

Another cool song from that time period was "Sausalito Summernight" by a Dutch Group called 'Diesel'. It was sort of a disco-rock hybrid-type of tune. Another of my favorite bands, Electric Light Orchestra, on their 1977 album, "Discovery", did a disco-flavored thing called "Last Train To London". The critics savagely cut ELO to shreds, saying that record was "Very Disco". And I always did like the Bee Gees' disco material; I thot they were very inventive in that genre. It was their way of "Stayin' Alive", ha ha. Of course, you can't blame bands like Black Sabbath or Grand Funk for runnin' for cover when disco was everywhere. Can't you just hear it now? "I AM"...thump-thump-thump..."IRON MAN!"...thump-thump-thump...(not a pretty picture!)

Baseball from a different perspective dept.: There was a baseball item on today's EDITORIAL page, which posed an interesting question: If the United States Team placed so poorly in the recently-completed World Baseball Classic, why then do we call our American-teams-only end-of-season event the "WORLD" series when teams from the rest of the world don't play? Especially if American teams aren't the worlds' best? This whole issue leaves me "off base". Meanwhile, it looks like Barry Bonds can't play 'till the powers that be are done investigating his steroid usage. Barry...maybe you could just retire? And, Jamie Moyer, he of the 50-mile-an-hour fastball is gonna be the Seattle Mariners' opening-day pitcher, and I guess he's as ready as he'll ever be. In his final spring-training tune-up, he only gave up 8 RUNS!!! Gonna be a long season, boys...

Diamonds may be forever, but the "Diamond Cup" sure wasn't dept.: For definitely sure, the memories have outlasted the race itself. The Diamond Cup, Coeur d'Alene's long-departed hydroplane extravaganza...when the race was held, crowds lined the west side of Tubbs Hill, along the trail, to watch the speedboats do their thing. And here is undeniable PROOF that our lake was indeed home of the hydro-races...

The year was 1968. We lost Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy that year. Jimi Hendrix had a big hit with "All Along the Watchtower". I was 14, in 8th grade, attending school at those two old buildings on 7th Street that I wrote about in the post below this one. The Beatles' "Hey Jude" charted, and held the #1 position for 9 weeks, setting a record that stood for a long time. Our local radio station, KVNI, broadcast on the frequency of 1240 Kz back then, and every night from Monday thru Saturday, aired a 2-hour rock and roll show called "Sounds Of The Town", where I first heard a lot of my favorite rock & roll music. And, I think this was the last year of the Diamond Cup. This brochure shows the "Miss Eagle Electric" in the water, with Tubbs Hill at "photo right" and Coeur d'Alene in the background.

Hey, I think I'm making progress here; I actually got this post done before midnight. I suppose I should be glad there's no such thing as a 'bloggers curfew' or I'd never get anything done here!

Up in the mornin' and off to school...
...the teacher is teachin' the golden rule...(old Chuck Berry song)

Down under this post a little ways, there's a post which is titled "The Disappearing High School", in which was pictured the old Coeur d'Alene High School building in 1907. As I stated there, another CHS building was built in 1910; you can see its cornerstone at the southeast corner of 7th and Montana, in Phippeny park.

Well, guess what! I FOUND a picture of the "built in 1910" High School, and there are a whole lotta memories for a whole-lotsa folks, because this building housed students from 1910 until the late '70s or thereabouts. If only those walls could talk...but those walls are gone. The City of CDA allowed this building, along with the Junior High building, to fall into disrepair, and both were torn down in the late '80s. But here it is...Coeur d'Alene High School, at the corner of 7th and Montana Streets...

Coeur d'Alene High School circa 1920; later known as the "North" building when the Junior High School was built (known as the "South") building. I watched this building fall to the wrecking ball while driving cab in the late '80s.

The picture this color card was rendered from was probably taken in the late 1910's or early 1920's. (Because there is no building to the south of it...more on that in a minute) Evidently all the High School Students were in the building pictured here. It was an old beige brick building, and seeing this picture brings back lots of memories. When I went to classes in that building, there were windows on the North side of the building, instead of the blank walls you see at "picture left". Also, a gymnasium was added to the BACK of the building, further extending the building eastward. I'd never thot about it, but the gym was built AFTER this building was built, obviously. We're looking at the side of the building that faced 7th Street.

In the 1920's, a building of virtually equal size, but with a darker brick color, was built immediately to the south of this building ("picture right") and the two buildings were separated by a 10-or 15-foot walkway. That building housed the Junior High Students, and "Junior High School" was carved in stone on that building's front doorway. Evidently, as more students came to the area, that old nemesis, "overcrowding", made its presence known, so the building which is now Lakes Jr. High on 15th Street was built to alleviate the problem.

When I attended school at the buildings on 7th Street, 7th and 8th grades, plus high school freshmen (9th grade) were schooled in those old quarters. The Junior High School building was the "South" building and the building you see here was the "North" building; that's what everyone called them. 10th, 11th and 12th grades went to the "Lakes" building, which was then Coeur d'Alene High School. That was the way it was from "whenever" until the early '70's, anyway.

One of the things I remember most about this old "North" building, is that the gymnasium had an "upstairs track" with banked corners, and while you ran laps, you could watch people playing basketball below on the gym floor. I'm not sure how much later the gym was built than the rest of the building. So, the more I find out, the more I don't know. Ain't that the way it always is? That was the building where I came down with a sudden case of appendicitis (1968); I was sitting in Mr. Williams' first-period Earth Science class, and in 45 minutes, I went from being normal, to ultra-sick, and a couple of kids had to CARRY me to the principal's office. Agh!

Hopefully I'll find a picture of the "south" building someday. That building utilized the same color of brick that you can see on that little square building on 8th Street that the city stores equipment in. When I went to school there, that building was used for gymnastics and tumbling. And it wasn't pretty. Me trying to do a "cartwheel" was sorta like asking a Sumo wrestler to pirouette. CRASH!!! I was gonna wait and post this later (I've been up waaay too long) but I got so excited about finding this picture, I had to post it.

Blogger's note: I went inside each of these buildings shortly before they were torn down. The city of CDA had turned off the heat, and the buildings fell into disrepair. The North building, the older building, was in awful shape by then (late 80's); its gymnasium floor was buckled under; the wood floor looked like "rolling waves" on the sea. Upstairs, the floorboards were so warped that you could see the main floor below! The South Building was in better shape; no floor warpage, and the linoleum still shone. Call me nuts, but it was my way of paying homage to my memories.

I won't say she's ALL WASHED UP...

This is probably the shallowest post I'll ever write. It has no lasting importance, it has nothing like any kind of style or substance; in fact, it's quite shameless in an especially annoying way. Which is how one could describe the subject of this post, BRITNEY SPEARS. I think of her as being "not as good as Madonna", and MADONNA COULDN'T SING, EITHER!

I know Ms. Spears' teenybopper mug has been splattered all over the print and broadcast media. I know she's had hit songs, although I can't remember a single one of the titles. The only time she sounds halfway decent is when there's a lot of background singers to cover her voice. And, worst of all, she's beginning to age. She's having babies. World, WATCH OUT!!!

I think this is probably the most low-down thing I've ever posted. It reminds me of that "Planet of the Apes" movie, where at the end, the little monkey baby screams out, "Ma-Maaaaaaa!"

I hope I'm not tricked into thinking this is...
A GOOD kind of GROWTH!!!

When areas in a city are DEVELOPED, of course, the bottom line is the DOLLAR. How much money is it gonna cost to build stuff? How much are we gonna get when the parcels sell? How much money will these business properties end up generating, et cetera, so forth and so on. Growth, growth, growth. And the growth is inevitable; the "crazy" growth will never be stopped. Still, it's good to know that the welfare of the area's population is being considered. We've got some pretty nice parks scattered around CD of A, and there's a couple more of 'em springing up in the near future.

In today's paper, it was announced that a 1.7 acre park, bordering the Spokane River will be happening somewhere east of the four-block-square town of Huetter. And, there's another park, with a pond, that will be installed, theoretically, at the old Central Pre-Mix pit just west of CDA.
Both parks will be near, or enclosed by, business developments which are being built. So, while I hate to see things disappear (I am a virtual native of this area after all), it's nice to know that parks are being provided. And I don't care if they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, or 'cos the land is unsuitable for anything else EXCEPT parks. Gimme grass, trees and shade anytime.

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On dept.: Prezzident Bush has been under pressure to shake up his cabinet because of all the misfortune regarding the New Orleans situation, the abysmal shape of the economy, the war, and whatever else may be happening. So, there was a shake-up. "Shake it, baby, shake it; shake it, baby, shake it", as Jerry Lee Lewis once warbled forth. It seems that Andy Card, the Prezzident's Chief of Staff, has been bounced in favor of Joshua Bolton. This is a lateral move at best, designed to show that "Dubya" is a man of action. Whoopee. Don Imus, on his daily radio/TV broadcast, ventured that maybe Prezzident Bush and Veep Cheney should also be dispensed with. There's one hitch: those guys are elected officials. We're stuck with 'em.

We'll be right back after this message dept.: It seems that people who want to advertise their goods are trying every avenue available to them. And, TV commercials, even on the crappiest TV program, on the worst day of the week, are excruciatingly expensive. Add to that, more and more people all the time are activating their "mute" buttons when necessary. My mute's almost worn out, in fact. So, how to reach the consumer? Don't be surprised if one day you see TV monitors placed in the aisles at your favorite grocerial establishment. Smart move, probably, since the people who SEE those in-store commercials are already in a grocery-buyin' mood. Me? Nah. I shop in a "get in and get out" style. But if grocery store TV monitors spouting commercials are installed around here, I'll bring my remote into the store to see if the mute button works! Zap that sucker!

The Buchwald stops here dept.: Life isn't fair. Bad things happen to good people. Nice guys finish last. And so on, and so forth. I read Cheryl Anne Milsap's column in today's Spokesman-Review, and she wrote about nationally-known political humorist Art Buchwald, who's checked himself into a hospice, rather than undergo the strenuous rigors of kidney dialysis, which his body now needs, which would prolong his life. He's writing what he wants, talking with whom he wants, and enjoying his last days as much as possible. What a brave thing that is to do, just face death with as positive an attitude as possible. Best wishes, Mr. Buchwald. My take on this? If I was feeling relatively well, I'd do the dialysis thing. When I drove cab, I used to take sweet little senior citizens to the Dialysis unit and then back home. Some of the dialysis patients used their appointments as a social occasion, or to watch TV or catch up on reading. Yeah, I'd do that.

A program without channels dept.: Remember last week I was posting the front pages of hydroplane race brochures promoting Coeur d'Alene's very own "Diamond Cup"? For some reason I haven't done that for a while. So I'm doing it again, but not by popular demand, since no one really seems to care, one way or the other. The hydro-race was held in the late '50s and throughout the 60s right here on byootiful lake Coeur d'Alene...

The year was 1963. The Beatles had their first #1 hit in England, "Please Please Me". It would be a year before they were popular here in the states. On November 22nd of that year, President Kennedy was assassinated, and a coupla days later, so was Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin. I came home for lunch one day while in 4th grade, and saw Jack Ruby shoot Oswald live on TV. (And people worry about TV violence today! Hah!) And, Coeur d'Alene was having a great summer as always, with all kinds of summer events, including the Diamond Cup. I've got several more of these I'll post in the future.

Again, I don't seem to be retaining much from the newspapers. Must have something to do with it being so nice outside the last few days. But, I don't have to have eyes to know spring's here? How can I tell? By the roar of motorcycle engines on Sherman Avenue. BRRRRRRRRRRAP!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Now, here's a movie I think I'd wanna see...
...after all, I was a big fan of the old "Mr. Ed" TV series!

This photo was hijacked and misaligned after being pilfered from
The contents of this post have been measured by weight, not by volume.
Some settling of contents may have occurred due to shipping and handling.

Quite a nice day for a STROLL...
...Although, strolling ain't quite as easy as it used to be.

If you scroll down thru this blogsite, a few posts below this one, I put in a faux picture of a tombstone announcing the demise of Old Man Winter on March 15th, and that date might be more accurate than I realize; the last couple of days have been fairly warm and dry; it's almost "guitar-playing-in-the-park" weather. That's saying a lot, because it's no fun to play guitar on a cold day. The fingers freeze!

A nice little improvement in City Park involves the installation of a walkway/roadway between the Museum parking lot and the east side of the park. I have trouble with just about any kind of hill when I try to walk (doggone back problems), so this walkway makes things a lot easier. Also, at the north end of the Museum parking lot, on the "high stump" of a tree that was cut down, someone installed a "mobile"-type thing that features artificial black crows being blown around in circles by the wind. And I'll bet that was LOTS cheaper than the oversize seagull feathers up on N.W. Blvd!

Just for the "record" dept.: A new little record shop that I've mentioned a few times in this blog has basically had to fold up operations; the overhead became too much for the owner to handle, and the location of the building wasn't the best either. Mt. Olympus records, located in the mall across North 4th Street, across from Taco John's, is no longer a going concern; the owner is moving his operation to Spokane, where he'll combine forces with a friend of his who sells records over there.

It's a shame, really, for Mt. Olympus records specialized in out-of-the-way, hard-to-find music that neither The Long Ear or Hastings Music carries. And, a lot of the obscure stuff I bought at Mt. Olympus records couldn't even be special-ordered. I'd say about half of my record collection consists of music that no one around here is familiar with, and a lot of that music is as good or better than some of the more well-known stuff.

Stepping back in time, only not so far back dept.: In the post below this one, I went all the way back to 1907 when I posted an old photo of Coeur d'Alene High School. Well, that's all fine and dandy, and I wish I knew more about the old days. But here, we'll move up a few decades, and go back to "somewhere in the 1940's", or possibly "early 50's".

I've previously posted similar photos of the old Templins' restaurant, located at 1st and Sherman, near where Independence Point is now, only this photo has some writing at the bottom, which sorta 'validates' it, and, get a load of those old auto's!

That's all I've got this time around. I stayed up waaaay too late last night/this morning (check out the posting times on the previous two postings), and my normally overflowing-with-goofiness consciousness is stuck in neutral. The way I look at is, ANYONE can do stuff when they feel like doing it. The true PRO does the stuff when it's next to impossible to do it! This post is a good example. Grind, Grind, GRIND.

...maybe she took this song a little too seriously?
(Old Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song from 1970)

Deb Lafave, a reading teacher, really went out of her way to supply a memorable education to at least one 14-year-old male student. Well, not being an English teacher, she wasn't required to inform her students that there really IS a difference between "lie" and "lay"...a distinction she may have not known herself. She slipped through the loose noose of justice; she's only doing probation, and people are outraged. She said she was bi-polar and that caused her to indulge in extra-curricular activities. I guess I never had any bi-polar teachers. Anyway, when all is said and done, she has big plans for her future...

...and, if "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic are indeed the three "R's", there is a young man out there who will never forget at least one of those "R's". Sometimes life's most memorable lessons are indeed learned the hard way...

Blogger's Note: There is absolutely no excuse for this post.

It's the stuff that intriguing mystery novels are made of. Or not...
(This post has been UPDATED...see below, under the photo...)

UPDATED AGAIN: I brought forth, from the 'comments' section, some details I was unaware of, so be sure to scroll down even further; look for the italicized print, and go from there.

Okay, okay, I'm getting carried away here. Occasionally the side of me that wrote advertising copy long ago gets loose and I've gotta go out and chase it down. Consider me "corraled." I found a picture that intrigues me. First, I'll supply some "preamble" copy...I guess if I'm gonna "amble", it might as well be "pre-amble", huh?

Some historical (hysterical?) background: Coeur d'Alene High School, located in Dalton Gardens, was built in 1970-71. Lakes Middle School, located at 15th and Hastings, which formerly housed Coeur d'Alene High School, was built sometime in the '50s (I'm guessing). Before that, Coeur d'Alene High School had been located at the southeastern corner of 7th and Montana Avenue. It was a beige brick building, occupying the north half of what is now Phippeny Park, and it was ready in time for the 1910 school year, according to its cornerstone.

Right next door to it, occupying the south half of that park, was the old Coeur d'Alene JUNIOR high school, built in the 1920's. The name of the school was actually carved in stone at the building's front entrance, by the way. A small annex to the Junior High School building still stands, just south of the basketball court in that park, and it features the same dark color of brick that was used for the Junior High building. The city stores various equipment items in there. (I guess.) When I attended school, the two buildings (where Phippeny Park is now) comprised 7th, 8th and 9th grades. I attended those grades from 1967-1969. And, those were huge buildings, each had 3 floors of high-ceiling'd classrooms.

Okay, now that I've got you all confused, I'm gonna confuse you some more. Remember, I said up above, that the old CDA High School's cornerstone says "1910"? Well, there was ANOTHER high school building here, before THAT, and I've never SEEN that building before. But, I came across a picture of it, and it's posted here. I really don't know where THIS old building was located, but I have a couple of guesses:

Here is the old, old, old, OLD Coeur d'Alene High School building, pictured on a 1907 postcard! I have two guesses as to where this building was located. My first guess is where the old former Roosevelt School building, located on Wallace Ave. between 1st and 2nd Streets, still stands; it's NOW a bed and breakfast place. It's located in one of the town's oldest neighborhoods; it's not far from the lake, and of course, the older neighborhoods are nearest the lake, with people living farther and farther from the lake in newer 'hoods as the city grew.

My SECOND guess involves another semi-confusing scenario. (!!!) In grades 2,3, and 4, I went to Central School, which is now a day-care facility on the corner of 6th and Wallace, a large red brick building, smack dab in the middle of the older part of town. Only, I've read that the ORIGINAL Central School building, at that same location, burned down long, LONG ago, and the old building you see there now (the day care facility, remember?) is actually the NEW "former Central School building".

I saw a picture of that "first" Central School building a while back, and it resembled the above photo. Of course, the building that's there now looks NOTHING like the above photo. Maybe the "old" Central School building burned down after it housed Coeur d'Alene High School students until the High School Students moved to the 7th and Montana building in 1910? That's a possibility. All depends on what year the "first" Central School burned down, and that's something I don't know.

Blog Update department: I drove past the old Roosevelt School, at 1st and Wallace, now a bed and breakfast, the day after I wrote this post, and it turns out that building DOES look like the photo in this post, with a taller "center" section and "wings" on either side. The picture of the "first" Central School building, at 6th and Wallace (the one that burned down), also looked like the photo here. Either building could have house the "first" Coeur d'Alene High School.

So...WHERE was the building in this photo LOCATED? That's the question. Normally, I'm never confused about these things, but heck, I've gone back almost 100 years here. So you armchair sleuths, get going and help me out here! Because, I've (almost) got a case of burnout, while typing this cumbersome post at nearly 4 in the &%$#!!! morning. In closing, what I've been looking for, for AGES, is an old picture of the two large school buildings on 7th and Montana Avenue that I referred to above. I'd love to put those buildings in this blog.


I brought the following forward from the "comments" section because it was so informative, and provides a perspective that I don't have, and it contains a lot of interesting detail that I didn't know...

The original Central School was located at 7th and Wallace--where GTE built the present building across the street from the old Methodist church. An annex was built in 1908 (probably due to overcrowding--no portables back then!--but maybe to house elementary students so that the building could be used as the high school only). I believe the original Central morphed into the high school before it burned down. Also, the levy for the present CHS was passed in the spring of 1969. Ground was broken in August of that year and the new school opened in the fall of 1970.I think our high school on Hastings (now Lakes) opened in that building is almost as old now as the North building was when we went there in the mid- to late-sixties.

Before I close this thing down, I'd like to memorialize one of my favorite country-music artists, Buck Owens, who passed away over this last weekend. Long before he starred on the "Hee-Haw" show, I remember hearing his records on the radio; "Act Naturally", "Tiger By The Tail", "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass", "Big In Vegas" and many others. I thought he brought a sort of "pop sensibility" to country music. Plus, he had a great voice. Geeze, Johnny Cash, and now Buck Owens? Who's the "third" gonna be?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Can it be half a decade already?
I don't quite know how to approach this subject, but I'll try...

At about 9pm tonight, March 27th, it will be exactly five years since my Mom passed away. And I can't believe it's been that long; the time has just flown by in a blur. Then, some 57 days later, Dad left this earth, too. 2001 was a really dark year for our family. My sister, who's been a CNA, took care of Mom during her last painful months, and then she tried as hard as she could to console my Dad after Mom's passing. What was I doing? Driving cab at the time, trying to keep the rent paid, trying to survive. During the final months in the lives of both parents, my sister gave everything she had, caring for the both of them. She mentally exhausted herself and is still recovering from everything she went through back then. I had periodically seen Mom and Dad during the last few years, touching base every now and then, but my sister was an absolute angel, there day in and day out for both of them.

I've kept my identity "anonymous", which is good, because no one knows who I am or who my sister is, but I want to give her all of the credit in the world for doing so very much during those exceptionally difficult times. I wish I'd had the strength to be there more, and I know I could have, but I didn't. To this day I don't have a good opinion of my actions (or lack of actions) during that time. I remember a couple of months after they'd both passed away, and I was sitting at the sea wall in CDA City Park; it was a warm day, and as I watched the waves come ashore, all of a sudden it hit me, "they're gone; they're really gone, aren't they?" And I remember all the stupid things I did growing up, and all of the disappointments I caused my folks, and sometimes it really hits me hard. It's a burden I will always carry.

Maybe the point of all this is that I'm trying to deal with the feelings that arise every year about this time. If I sit silently somewhere, I can still hear Mom calling me home for dinner; I could hear her familiar Texas accent several houses away. Maybe I became conditioned to hear that, I don't know. When I would go to see them in the last decade, oftentimes Mom asked me "what I wanted" when she passed away, and I'd always say, "I'm not waiting for you to pass away"; I wanted her to live. Finally, to give her some kind of answer, I told her, "I'll take musical things, I guess." I now have her two baritone ukeleles. Sometimes late at nite I'll play some of the old hymns she played. I remember sitting in my living room shortly after Mom and Dad both passed away, and I took one of those ukeleles and sat there for a long time, just embracing that little instrument, giving it a hug. At the time, doing that filled a hole in my soul.

My Dad and I had a rough relationship. I know I disappointed him a lot. He was an intelligent man, very 'driven', but he could be very moody, and things between he and I over the last 20 years weren't good at all. I was determined to do things my way, and we had many disagreements. I honestly don't know if I miss him, but I remember times when he made us laugh, as well as times when he blew up at us all. So am I ungrateful? Possibly. Many times, my Mom would get in-between Dad and me when things got too bad; I remember Mom crying out in desperation, trying to keep Dad and me from (mentally) going at each other. And, I was physically and emotionally afraid of my Dad until the day he passed away.

I can remember the date of my last training run, when it became too painful to run any more. I can remember the dates that other relationships I've been in began and ended (and they've ALL ended). I can remember my very last day working at a local radio station, depressed out of my mind because I didn't feel I was wanted there any more. And now I also have the dates of both my parents' passings-away indelibly burned into my mind. Sometimes I wish I didn't remember things so well. I remember one warm summer afternoon, when I went out to the cemetery to visit Mom and Dad. I was sitting there on the grass, just looking around, thinking to myself, "this is how it's going to be forever"...I may change, things may change, but at their graves, it's the same and will always be. I sat there for a couple of hours, searching for some kind of grand realization which never came. Finally, I thought, "I need to go to City Park; I want to be where people are ALIVE!" So I did, and I felt better.

I don't need a cemetery to remember Mom and Dad, though. Sometimes something I say in conversation reminds me of Mom. Sometimes the way I rant and rave in this blogsite reminds me of Dad, and I have both of their personalities within me. I can only hope that I let the best parts of them come out through me. Dad had a fascinating grasp of intellectual detail; Mom was sentimental and spoke from the heart. Both of them are always with me, and their memory pops up every day, and always will. I have fallen far short many, many times, and I realize that especially at this time of year. I felt incapable of accomplishing everything I felt my parents wanted me to do. I had mood swings and depression as early as my sophomore year in High School, and maybe I didn't fulfill my capabilities, but at the time I just did what I could do. It's no use wishing things were different, because the past is just that, the 'past'. It's gone, except in my memory.

Love? Huh? Did I love them? I don't know. I guess I did. That's a word that takes on so many meanings, definitions and implications. Love isn't a simple thing. Not for me, anyway. So I don't know. I do feel like a part of me went missing when my parents passed away. I wish that things could've been better between us all, and I wish I had been a better son. But I'm who I am, and I have to live with that. For me, the word "Love" has become so twisted and convoluted, and within my own mind, I feel extreme pressure when I'm "obligated" to someone. So I stay alone. I just can't handle that. In that sense, I do feel like I have a piece missing. But there's hope, I guess...for some reason, I feed the birds. So I'm not (totally) self-absorbed...I hope not. Anyway, this is a confusing time of the year, and today, I'll be taking it easy, trying to just let this day pass.

I don't know if I'll go to the cemetery today. It seems to get harder to go out there as time goes on, and I don't understand that at all; I thought it was the other way around, that things get 'easier' with time. But wherever I end up today, I'll remember. And I wanted to try to mark this day somehow, and so I put this little thing together...

An old spiritual my Mom used to sing, while playing the ukelele...

"This world is not my home, I'm just a-passing through
If heaven is not my home, then Lord, what will I do?
The angels beckon me, from Heaven's open door,
And I can't...feel at this world...anymore."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

...and, tragically (or not), we hardly knew ye!!!

No, it's not sunshine, lollipops and rainbows out there yet, and we're getting our share of drizzle and rain, but I can now safely declare that weatherwise, we've turned the corner! YAAY!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another GRAY DAY in CDA...
It's days like this that just make me wanna hibernate!

I think the proper term is "cocooning". It's where you don't want to leave your safe place, because once you close the front door and head out into the world, adversity awaits. Today's adversity is RAIN. Blahhhhh. It's amazing how a rainy day can turn an otherwise colorful area into something resembling an old black-and-white photograph. Blahhhhh. Everything is gray. This is the kind of day that DUCKS hide from. Quaaaaack!

"I can show you, that when it starts to rain...everythings the same...I can show you", sang John Lennon in the song "Rain" (which was the 'b-side' of 'Paperback Writer'), and I think he pretty well nailed it. Anyway, on daze like this, I'm sure glad there's such a thing as color TV. Let's see, I've got my vanilla wafers, green grapes, a quart of milk and a blank videotape so I can record a James Bond movie tonite. So I'm set. Yep, that's me, "Mr. Excitement"!

Anyway, I found a great old black and white photograph, and it's DATED on the PHOTO, and I think it's a real treasure...

Here we are, high on a Tubbs Hill bluff with John and Frank, a couple of good 'ol boys out for a nature hike. I've been at this spot, and it's amazing how far you can see from there. If you look northward, you can see almost all the way out to Athol. At upper right, you can see the old Coeur d'Alene Hotel, which later became the Desert Hotel. Long, long ago, for sure.

I 'spose you could call this a DEFAULT POST...
...and, I thot long and hard before posting this. Actually, no I didn't.

The weekend is here, and as you can see, I've posted this rather late (3 in the morning, for crying out loud!). I think the main objective here is to post something. Anything at all. Something that actually makes sense. Or not. See what I mean? I could ramble on like this forever, as I've done many of times. But that wouldn't accomplish anything other than taking up space. So I'm successful in one regard, anyway. Basically I'm posting something NOW, so I have at least one "Saturday" post. Okay, how much have I written now?

I did watch the DVD of the movie "Capote" tonight, and it's fascinating in a really morbid way. In the movie, "Capote" (the actor who plays him is dead-on!), is doing research for his final novel, "In Cold Blood", and part of that research involves "Capote" talking with one of the "murderers" he later wrote about in his book. Don't think I'd wanna live in Kansas! It's flatter than me when I try to sing! Ever seen a road map of Western Kansas? Virtually all the highways are represented by STRAIGHT LINES! Sorta like driving to Moses Lake!

Anyway, that's all I have this time around, other than posting the really idiotic photo satire I've included below. Although, in times like these, maybe it's closer to the truth than I know!

You can blame for supplying me with this photo. We've been talking a lot about "traffic stings" this year, which raise ooodles and gobs of money. Protect and serve! Oh...and rake in the bucks, too. Yaaaay. Blahhhh....

Friday, March 24, 2006

...time to take a break, enjoy things, and be entertained!

The weekend is always a special time. The work week is over, and you get a chance to break the routine for the next couple of days. Maybe take a long drive, or a walk through the park. Maybe you can either sleep in, or take a leisurely afternoon nap, or both. Maybe you'll go out and hear some live music this weekend, or perhaps you'll go out to dinner at that new restaurant you've heard so much about, but haven't found the time to try yet.

Everything just kinda seems to be centered around entertainment during the weekend. If you're a sports fan, there's basketball, baseball, or NASCAR racing, which has become really popular during the last few years. Still others tire of viewing things on TV, since that's what they probably do every other night, anyway. So instead, perhaps you might want to go to the MOVIES. Or not...

Hey, when photos like this come my way, I can't seem to help myself. But if there's movies like "this" out there...I think I'll stay in, curl up with a box of vanilla wafers and watch DVD's.

Photo source: (attribution department) is the unknowing culprit in my rampant desecration of photographic elements. Wheeeeee!

...or, how a Rottweiler caused my life to flash before my eyes...

I haven't been able to run for the last 6 years, but I've got a lot of memories. Thousands of training miles, hundreds of races, running-based friendships, and tons of fresh air. Once, a little doe deer followed me as I was running down Lakeshore Drive. Another time, a little puppy joined me on one of my runs, and ran with me the entire way; I thot that was cool.

Encounters with DOGS are a hazard to any runner; a canine has a natural "chase reaction", and of course, the dog can run faster than the runner! Were it not for fences, I am sure I'd have been eaten alive several times over. Once, I was stopped in the middle of the street by a salivating Rottweiler; I froze, and yelled at the owner to call off his dog. My definition of "Rottweiler"? That's easy..."A Pit Bull on Stilts."

With that in mind, I present the following photo, stolen from

If it can't be built, they won't come dept.: I read today that the city of CDA doesn't want to extend any more sewer service to Fernan Village, which could put the plans to build the proposed "Fernan Tower" condominium into jeopardy. (It was set to be built where the Monte Vista motel is now). How many ways are there to say, "YAAAAAY!!!"? But yet, building continues on the Haggacorp Golf Course condo, which is just down CDA Lake Drive a little ways, albeit on the Coeur d'Alene side of the street. The Fernan Towers were NOT going to be built by Haggacorp. I'm not saying one has something to do with the other, but it is something to WONDER about!

What is the real reason the city of CDA doesn't wanna extend sewer service for the Fernan condo? Did someone "lean" on the powers that be? How big of an interest does Mr. H have in the CDA condo located at 7th and Front? Or any other condos to be constructed within the CDA city limits? Enquiring minds want to know. And is that a prerequisite for Condo's in this area? In short, "outsiders" can't have condos? Maybe there's nothing to this at all, but it makes me wonder. And if I'm wondering about this, how many others are wondering the same thing? Hmmm......I'm the last one to want any condos AT ALL in this area, but at the same time, I don't endorse instances of "shady influence" either. How influential IS "Haggacorp Hostility"?

He didn't get that way from eating his Wheaties dept.: There's a book which came out today, detailing to the "nth" degree the (alleged) steroid usage by one Barry Bonds, of whom it could be said, "yeah, his appearance HAS changed slightly over the years." One story is that Bonds got sick of all the attention Mark McGwire got when he, McGwire, hit all o'them home runs, so Bonds wanted to get bigger and stronger and do the same thing. On the "Imus" show this morning, the sports guy, Chris Carlin, said that Bonds even paid his steroid supplier NOT to supply steroids to another baseball player that he, Bonds, was having disagreements with. I suppose it won't be long 'till we see Bonds' countenance plastered all over the National Enquirer, even though it would be a better fit if he were on the cover of the "Weekly World News", the most screaming-yellow-subjournalism tabloid that's ever existed.

'Zigging with the 'Zags dept.: I am not one to jump on bandwagons, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs, from nearby Spokane, had a pretty good run at this years' NCAA basketball tournament, but came up short to UCLA last night, 73-71. I've seen a few NCAA games on TV, and they are exciting; it takes me back to the days when Dad used to take me to CHS Viking and NIJC Cardinals basketball games. I must admit I became a fan of Gonzaga's shaggy-haired Adam Morrison; all gangly, he of the "almost" mustache, and he plays in spite of having diabetes; you've just gotta admire someone like that. Well, the Washington Huskies are playing tonite, and they're ahead at the half, so I'll be paying attention to that. The 'Zags did play their hearts out all season. Tough loss last night. It's a shame anyone has to lose, but as Walter Cronkite used to say, "...and that's the way it is."

Well, I've been hitting the blogs pretty hard this week; I read the news today, oh boy, and nothing much seemed to "stick". So I'll end things here, for the time being. Hope y'all have a groooovy weekend.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Soon, it'll be POLITICAL season once again...
...and, this is why you wouldn't want me to be your campaign manager!

Actually, I sort of took this posting under advisement. Originally, the kind judge said, "Shut up, or I'll turn you into FISH CAKES." Now, is there such a thing as fish cakes? I was thinking of those breaded fish patties you can find in the frozen foods section. Is this what they're called, or did I just make that up? Well, if one reader called this into question, I figured a lot of other readers would too. So I changed it. "Jbelle", if you see this, does it make more sense now? I think I've just proven that while I'm bullheaded, I'm not TOTALLY bullheaded.

This photo shamelessly pilfered from
See what you learn from reading the fine print?

I realize I appear hopelessly out-of-touch and highly juvenile here. Oh well. While you're contemplating the stupidity of this post, another newer post awaits your perusal, so keep reading. The madness continues...

I've got 'C-D'. Computerile Dysfunction. A really bad case of

I think all of the employees at "" are a bunch of functional IDIOTS. I have already TYPED this posting ONCE. And, when I got done, a little line popped up at the bottom of the screen saying, "connection lost. Saving and Publishing may fail." In short, I spent the better part of an hour typing, only to have THE WHOLE DAMN BLOGPOST LOST!!! C'mon, guys, get it together!!! So I'm doing it over (muttering intelligible profanities all the while).

Diamonds in the snow are forever dept.: I saw a curious ad in the Coeur d'Alene De-Press today. In it was pictured the owner of Clark's Jewelry, with his hands in a praying position, hoping that the insurance company cuts him a check pretty soon. Every year, that jewelry store advertises it will refund all purchases in a given time period, if it snows "so much" on a "selected winter's day" at one of our local ski resorts. Well, this year, Mother Nature socked it to him, and the Jewelry Store became "Refund City". And evidently, if this happens, insurance will cover his losses. Assuming this guy is really sweating it out, as portrayed in the ad, I'm wondering, "why set yourself up for that?" Why not just give everyone a percentage-off during the Christmas buying season?

Anyway, after the owner says he hopes the insurance company pays up soon, then the ad says, "let's have more fun", assuming the jewelry store is gonna do that again. Huh? What? Well, okaay...maybe I'm the one getting snowed here; maybe all is actually well; maybe this was just good copy for an ad. Whatever the case, he doesn't look like he's having much fun in the photo. Still, the ad got noticed by me, which means his ad did work. I once knew of a restaurant that was part of one of these "coupon book" things; the owner paid for a coupon that gave a really good "2 for 1" deal on steak dinners, and in fulfilling that offer to everyone, he went out of BUSINESS! He was losing money on ALL of those coupons! My advice to this jewelry store? It's nice to have Christmas Spirit and all that, but don't give the store away, for cryin' out loud!

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in dept.: North Idaho may not be the most affluent place on planet Earth, but I know of two places here in Kootenai County that won't be "in the hole" much longer. One is the old pit that used to belong to Central Pre-mix; the other is the pit up on Ramsey Road which supplied road building materials to the Highway district. The proposed "Kroc" center would be located where the Ramsey Pit is now, and a park with a pond will occupy the Central Pre-mix pit. Putting a pond in a pit? We could re-write the song thusly: "I'm fixing a hole...with a smaller keep water from wandering...there I will...go!!!!!!" (Many apologies there to the Sgt. Pepper era Beatles!)

All we hear is...Radio Ga-Ga...Radio goo-goo...Radio Blah-Blah dept.: (from the 1986 Queen song, "Radio Ga-Ga"). The communications giant, Citadel Communications, is set to take over a whole bunch of nearby Spokane, Wash. radio stations, among them "oldies 101" and KEZE-AM, two of my favorite stations. The official line is that there are no format changes pending, should Citadel accomplish their megalomaniacal acquisition goals. Yeah, right. If there's a way to make more money, ALL of those formats will change faster than you can put on a new pair of socks.

We don't just play old songs, we play the songs you love dept.: Our CDA radio station, KVNI, needs a format overhaul. The station tells you over and over that it plays "the oldies you love", specializing in doo-wop and other forms of 50's music. So, why do I keep hearing Motown groups on KVNI? That's all '60s stuff. Why do I hear "Liar Liar" by the Castaways, which is mid-60s garage band rock and roll? Why do I hear "The Pied Piper" by Crispian St. Peters, a 1966 pop song that has no doo-wop elements in it? And, they also play "You're My World" by Cilla Black; so much for the all-American ingredient of their format. For, you see, ENGLISH. I don't hate KVNI's music; on that station, I've heard a lot of old obscure 50's songs I'd never hear anywhere else. But...there are "holes" in the format that need to be..."fixed".

We'll get there sooner or later dept.: Imagine a time when CDA Lake was actually PEACEFUL in the summer. No annoying personal watercraft zigzagging all over the place with motors that are more annoying than lawnmowers at 7am. Imagine no hot-rod powerboats zooming along the surface at Mach 10. In short, it's just you and the wind and the waves lapping against your boat...I shall take you back to such a time...

...the year was 1930; the location, Loff Bay, 'somewhere' on CDA Lake. I've only lived around here all my life, yet I don't know one bay from the other. I think there's a lot of us CDA residents who never get on the lake. We're too BROKE to buy boats, and I'm not ABOUT to pay $400 an hour, or whatever it is, to rent a boat from Haggadone Hostility Corporation! Also imagine a time when no one was in a HURRY. The ladies here sure aren't.

BLOG UPDATE dept.: A reader commented that Loff Bay is actually on the west side of CDA Lake, just north of Rockford Bay. So now I know. Also, a while back, someone sarcastically commented that "red print was used in the Bible to indicate what JESUS said", indicating I was being presumptious. To that individual I can only say, "while I may not be able to walk on water, I reserve the right to use RED TYPE any damn time I want!" Quote unquote.

I'm sure glad they invented Rock and Roll dept.: I do not pretend to be any kind of effete cultural snob who drinks champagne with my pinkie extended. I don't do socials, plays, exhibitions or any kind of event where "appearances" are required. And, I don't listen to classical music; it drives me NUTS. I was having coffee today, and over the speakers came classical stuff. Tricky violin parts. Intricate playing. Notes zipping up and down, all over the place. After listening to this stuff for about 45 minutes, I kept conjuring up a mental picture of mosquitoes hovering over me with that high little "whine" they make, and I had to ask the coffee guy to change the channel. I am sure classical musicians are highly skilled and well-trained. But, the music doesn't GROOVE. The music has no BOTTOM. No solidity, no weight, it's just "there". I like the occasional Strauss Waltz, and I love the "Nutcracker", but most of this stuff just doesn't inspire me AT ALL. Musical Ga-Ga. Musical Blah-Blah.

Who put the "dit" in the "dit-dit-dit" dept.: The year was 1961. Songwriter Barry Mann, made a record, and it was the only time he ever hit the Top-40; his "Who Put The Bomp" went all the way up to #7!!! It's a fun song, and I mean it from the depths of my "boogity-boogity-shoop".

1961 also brought about the 3rd annual Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup, that long-gone but not-forgotten crazy time the Lake City experienced each summer. The closest thing we have to hydros now are those annoying personal watercraft. Sheesh. In 1961, President Kennedy was headed for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and The Beatles were playing 8 hours a night, 6 days a week in Hamburg, Germany, while their manager Brian Epstein was trying to get them signed to a record company. Fame was not far away. I was in first grade by then. I attended St. Thomas School, but that was my only year in the parochial system; we were not a Catholic family, so subsequently I became a slave to good ol' district 271 here in CDA; superintendent of schools back then was S. Clay Coy. And Chubby Checker hit #1 with a tuneful little ditty called "The Twist".


I wanted to get this post done in time so I could watch the Gonzaga game. But, "rejected" me. So I had to do it over, with the game on. Maybe, tho, it's better this way...otherwise, I'd be agonizing over what's happening in the game. As it is, the game is gliding by, I'm mildly aware of it, and the suspense isn't killing me. I'm no big basketball devotee, but "go Zags!"

I'll bet that EINSTEIN never thought about this!
...and yet, it's an age-old dilemma that still rages on today!

There was a book that hypothesizes that "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Well, from what I've learned from my study of astronomy, the solar system and the like (and I have read pretty seriously about it), I'd say us guys got the better end of the deal. Let me tell you a little bit about Venus. It's about the size of Earth, but since it is closer to the sun, all of the carbon dioxide in the planet's material structure rose up to become a permanent part of the atmosphere, causing a massive "greenhouse effect" over the whole planet. So the sun's rays come through Venus' massive cloud cover, but all of the heat STAYS.

That means the surface of Venus is approximately 750 degrees above zero Fahrenheit on the COOLEST day, even on the planet's dark side. The atmosphere on Venus is so dense, that if you could stand on the planet's surface, you would feel like you were a couple of miles UNDERWATER. If you bent down to pick up a flat rock, and then you dropped it, the rock wouldn't fall straight to the ground. It would wobble from side to side, much as if you dropped it into a lake and watched it sink into the bottom. But possibly the biggest reason that Venus will never be a popular tourist destination is that it rains pure, unadulterated SULFURIC ACID. A Russian space probe was sent to Venus some time ago, and it DISINTEGRATED within 4 hours of landing, due to all the chemicals in the atmosphere.

Mars, on the other hand, may be a bit on the "cool" side, but...given a space suit, or a pressurized space condo or whatever, one could probably survive there. You'd need to bring oxygen, definitely, since Mars isn't quite large enough to have the gravity to hold an atmosphere in place. There is ICE on Mars. Large rivers once ran through the planet. A Martian Canyon, the "Valles Marineris" is easily 4 or 5 times the size of our Grand Canyon. It may be tough to survive on Mars, but at least you'd have a fighting chance as long as you stayed on the planet's dark side. (Bringing along a heater might be advised) If you're caught on Mars' sun side, it's best if you had an air conditioner. Still, I'd take my chances on Mars ANY DAY over Venus. For, Venus doesn't give you ANY KIND OF CHANCE at all.

Therefore, VENUS would cause you PROBLEMS. In short, if women are from VENUS, they have the potential to cause us guys problems, too. In fact, I have MATHEMATICAL PROOF that women are problems, documented here, taken from an e-mail that someone sent to me. I may get in BIG trouble for posting this, but it had to be done:

There you have it. "Women are the root of all problems." Surprisingly, Einstein never thought of this. Or he, being more intelligent than I, just kept his yap shut when he came to this conclusion. I am basically a mathematical idiot, so looking at this hurts what's left of my brain. Still, there seems to be some logic in there.

I've come to the conclusion, after reading the above, that I must have some kind of pathological death wish. A couple of newer, less flagrant (but equally idiotic) posts lurk below.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I guess I'd better be REALLY careful when driving in Washington State!

Original photo stolen from (I fully recognize I may not be doing the "huckleberries host" any favors by admitting that!)

These do seem to be CRAZY TIMES indeed...'s amazing how much differently we think about things nowadays...

We're ALL in trouble dept.: The war in Iraq drags on. That much we know. Prezzident Bush's approval rating is down. That's only logical. The President is beginning to realize how desperate his case is. I come to that conclusion because now he's stumping around the country, trying to promote the war in Iraq; he himself is doing this, rather than hiding in the White House behind the advisors who've been ill-advising him. How do I know we're all in trouble? Because Bush said today, "I'm your EDUCATOR-IN-CHIEF." I'm sorry, but Prezzident Bush 'educating' someone is similar to an Appalachian hillbilly trying to teach a physics class. Someone throw him a life raft; he's in over his head!

Maybe we're just a bunch of (oxy)morons dept.: I read today that some consultant somewhere thinks that somewhere within the CDA area, there's 5 million dollars laying around, in order to get the building of our proposed "Kroc" center underway. Hmmm...okay. Now all we gotta do is actually raise that money! Plans are one thing; reality is another. Will the "Kroc" center happen? I hope it does. What do I think about $5 million being raised locally? Dubious. (Maybe that's what the "dubya" in George W. Bush's name stands for..."dubious"?)

But I was thinking...if the "Kroc" center is being funded partially by McDonald's, is there something wrong with this picture? McDonald's features greasy food laden with cholesterol, and yet they promote athletic facilities? That's kinda like Philip-Morris corporation airing TV spots which tell you smoking is bad for you. I firmly believe PM corp. airs those ads so when anyone tries to "class-action-sue" them because their cigarettes caused them cancer, PM can rebut by saying, "hey, we told you how bad smoking was! Now, go away!" Philip Morris can tell the courts, "We advised smokers that cigarettes are dangerous. The smoker has lung cancer? It's HIS fault!"

Of course, I'm a hypocrite too dept.: I went out today, bought a coupla cheap loaves of bread and then went down to the lake to feed the flock. Those big geese that swim in the lake, they come right up and take the food right out of your hand. And, the seagulls squawk and battle over a crust of bread, yet they fly so gracefully. (Is there a parallel there between the seagulls and us human beings, I wonder?)

After that, I got dinner from the deli and went home. As I prepared to munch away, all of a sudden, I realized I was a hypocrite. Here I am, feeding the birds, nurturing life, and for dinner I'm eating FRIED CHICKEN? Why do I run into dilemmas everywhere I go?

Bringing home the "bacon" dept.: Evidently there are breeders out there who are trying to breed miniature pigs. And, the pigs are going to get smaller and smaller, so instead of weighing half a ton and sloshing around in the mud, perhaps one day there will be "pocket pigs" which you can actually have for pets. And, you'll be able to take your "pocket pig" with you, virtually everywhere you go. There was actually a story about this on CNN, which featured reporting by a lady correspondent. After hearing the report, host Anderson Cooper remarked that, sooner or later, PARIS HILTON will latch on to a pocket pig. And you know what the lady correspondent said? "Poor PIG!!!" Now, THAT absolutely made my night! HILARIOUS!!! SNORT!!!

Git along little dogies, git along dept.: (or, "it's your misfortune and none of my own") Both of those lyrical quotes come from an old cowboy tune, "The Last Roundup", one of them sing-around-the-campfire tunes. What reminded me of this? I read in the paper today that Silverwood, the amusement park 15 miles north of here, is having a JOB FAIR. Basically, a job fair is nothing more than a glorified "cattle call". Thousands of people show up for maybe 100 jobs; they fill out a bunch of papers, they're all interviewed, and 95% of them are then shuffled out the door, never to be heard from again. I remember when the CDA Target store was hiring its initial crew back in the '80s; I was one of hundreds of people who got rejected. And what I thought was weird, was that the guy who interviewed me walked me out to the exit door. I thot that was downright creepy. Maybe he thot I'd "go postal" or something. I suppose when I left, he thot, "I'm sure glad THAT guy (me) is gone!"

I don't wanna play with you and you can't make me dept.: Doesn't that sound like something you might have said in the schoolyard during recess? Well, Alfonso Soriano of the Washington Nationals baseball team is saying the same thing. He was traded this year to Washington, where he was assigned a position in the outfield. But, Soriano was a second baseman with his previous team. And, rather than play outfield, he decided NOT to show up to play during Spring Training, unless he can play the position he wants to play. So he stamped his feet, threw a tantrum, and stayed home instead. I guess his $10 MILLION DOLLAR SALARY isn't enough to make him want to play a different position. So, I'd like to dedicate a "Dion" song to Mr. Soriano: "DONNA THE PRIMA DONNA." Soriano has been threatened with 'disqualification' if he doesn't come around. He could lose that $10 million dollar salary. Maybe Mr. Soriano should take up tennis; after all, the ball is now in HIS court. My one-word feedback to this mess? "SHEEEEEESH"!!!

Time out now for a "little" humor dept.: Two peanuts were walking in the park after sunset, and obviously some sort of underhanded activity took place. One was "a salted", and the other was "a roasted." And there you have it..."little" humor. Very little. Oh, by the way...according to Ripley's "Believe it or not", a peanut is NOT a nut. It's a bean. Believe it or..."nut".

I guess there are elections happening somewhere dept.: A relatively new trend in political advertising is the fast-annoying phrase, "I'm Seymour Graft and I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE". Obviously, with a statement like this, the "dumbing-down" of America continues. I mean, is a politician going to appear on an ad promoting his campaign that he DOESN'T approve? Huh? What? My version of this? "The President is an IDIOT and I approve this message!"

I think I'll quit while I'm ahead dept.: Well, it might just be too late for that, but I've got another in a series of Coeur d'Alene "Diamond Cup" hydroplane race brochures from years past, when things were a helluva lot more fun around here...

The year was 1960. Rocker Eddie Cochran, of "Summertime Blues" fame, died in a car accident in England. This is the year that "Camelot" started, as John F. Kennedy took over the Presidency. (He's probably looking down at Dubya and shaking his head these days.) I was 6 years old by this time.
During this year, our family moved into a big house on Front Avenue in CDA, which is still standing today. This was also the year I started 1st grade.During, or about this time, sometimes Mom would send me to the store for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk or some such thing. So, I'd walk three blocks over to Redmond's Thrift Store, which was located in the same building where Ace Hardware is today, there on Sherman Avenue. And sometimes, I'd visit the great toy department at Sprouse-Reitz Variety, located where Burts' Music is located now.

When a post turns out like this one, all I can say is, I'm having "too much fun". Some weeks, I can barely put a thought together. Other times, I have thoughts, but can't express them. So I suppose this week, I must be "foaming at the BRAIN". Lots of thoughts, however illogical. I resemble that!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

For all of you with cabin fever, this just about sums it up!

--another photo stolen from!

Another posting of dubious integrity lurks below. (as always)

Someone ELSE can clean up the mess!
...or, I suppose we shoulda expected this all along...

Prezzident Bush is trying to build up enthusiasm over the war in Iraq. And, for the first time today, he hinted at a press conference, that some other President may end up determining when our troops come home. Isn't that kinda like if you took your full garbage can outside, and dumped it on your neighbor's lawn? "Oh, he'll clean it up, life goes on". So here we have another parallel between Iraq and Vietnam; in that we went to war under one President and got out of "said" war under another President. Oh, and of course, Bush has said all along that "Iraq is not another Vietnam". Rrrrrright....personally speaking, I think things are so fragmented in Iraq, that the killing will continue no matter what we do. My advice for President Bush: "TAKE A HIKE"!!!

Am I going nuts or did I actually enjoy the rain? dept.: Perhaps the rainfall is God's way of clearing the air? I love the sun; indeed, I think I operate on Solar Batteries, which is probably why I always feel like "uuuuuuuh" in the winter. Blah. I was in ye old coffee shoppe today when a rainstorm broke out; again, I thot, "uuuuuuuh"...when I left to walk back to my car, I noticed how fragrant the air was after the storm. It had the aroma of a fresh sea breeze. Maybe I'm going slowly senile, but I seem to notice little things like this more and more as the years go by.

Maybe this wasn't a good day to drive dept.: In my travels around town today, traffic was slowed at the I-90 offramp near Denny' looked like a minor accident had occurred there, but that's the exact WRONG place for an weaving in and out of traffic lanes because one lane was blocked by police vehicles, sirens a-blazing. Then, on my way back home, a Jeep-type vehicle was stalled out at the intersection of Government Way and Appleway, in the left-turn lane. That made things tricky for those behind him, like me, who needed to turn left. Yeeks! And within sight of my house last night, two CDA fuzz were making traffic stops in two different locations; one at the corner of 15th and Mullan, the other, down the road near the Sherman Avenue off-ramp. So it looks like the CDA Cops have been really earning their "donut dollars" lately.

Just when we'd managed to forget about this jerk dept.: Kevin Coe, Spokane's south hill rapist from years gone by, has a release date coming up in September; he's spent the last 25 years counting the number of bars in his prison cell. There's always a chance he could be sent to another correctional facility in another part of Washington State if the powers that be think he's still a danger to society, for an indefinite period of time. I personally think he would have eventually killed someone in the course of his rapes if he hadn't been caught and he should never get out. Yet, if someone's served their time and they're released, they've allegedly "paid their debt to society". So, how does the legal system handle this? It will be an interesting case to watch over the next few months.

Where old rock bands go when they die dept.: I'm not sure if there's a "Rock and Roll" heaven, but you can tell that a band is in the very twilight of their career when they appear at bars in run-down cities or at Indian Casinos. That's what I thought, 20 years ago, when I saw an ad saying that Black Oak Arkansas (of "Jim Dandy" fame) was playing in BUTTE, MONTANA! If I had to live there, I'd try to OVERDOSE on something. Ackthptf!!! And, tonight, I see where Eddie Money ("Two Tickets to Paradise") and Loverboy, that Canadian aggregation of alleged bad boys, are playing at the Indian Casino near WORLEY! So, maybe in one way, I've done better than I thot. I, too, have been in bands that played in Worley. No, not the casino...downtown Worley...almost as depressing a place as Butte.

Safe and restful sleep, sleep...sleep dept.: There was an article in the paper today about how we are becoming more dependent on various medications in order to get 8-hours worth of ZZZZ's...(snore). In this regard, I am totally unique, for I am the world's touchiest sleeper. The rest of my body is going to hell, but my ears are PERFECT; I can hear a woodpecker across the street, when my windows are closed; I have to "trick" myself into going to sleep. I need to read at least an hour, and have extremely soft music playing before even considering sleep; I can't go to sleep in a totally quiet room. I also have never been able to sleep with anyone; I just can't do it. So that kinda tends to complicate the whole "relationship" thing; something I don't even think about trying anymore. I also take sleep meds; sometimes they work, sometimes not, and I can't eat anything after 7 or 8 at night, or sleep just ain't gonna happen. Maybe I should just whack myself on the head with an aluminum bat and knock myself out...that'd be easier!

Helter Skelter Revisited dept.: Gleaned from an evening newscast: Two kids have been accused of strangling a Spokane Man over a BEATLES poster? Yikes! I have a copy of the "Yesterday and Today" 'BUTCHER' cover album...I guess I'd better not TELL anyone, huh? Don't people know they'll get in a heck of a lot of trouble and go to jail if they kill someone? I don't want to kill anyone, but even if I did, the threat of a long prison sentence would deter me. I just don't get it. But, murders just keep happening. As far as I know, the only Beatles album which came with a poster was, ironically, the "White Album", which ol' Charlie Manson took just a bit too seriously. "Helter-Skelter!!! Comin' down fast!"

Enough to "drive" you nuts dept.: If you see little "white lines" on the highways near Spokane, the purpose of those "lines" (on the shoulder of the road) is so that you can be spotted speeding from the AIR. If you go from line-to-line too quickly, YER BUSTED! Of course, maybe it's a good idea not to speed anyway. Spokane police today were conducting another "revenue drive" (oops, 'traffic sting'), using a copter in the air in tandem with ground-based patrolmen. Well, at least that's more honest than using a Sergeant dressed as a homeless man, posing on a freeway off-ramp; when motorists slowed down, he'd look into the car, and if the driver wasn't wearing a seat belt, he'd radio ahead to a cop up the road. The lesson to be learned from all of this? If you think you're being watched, you probably ARE. That goes for everywhere you might happen to be, whether in a car or not.

Might as well face it, you're addicted to food dept.: There's a story on the evening news tonight about food addiction. More than 2/3's of us Amerikans are overweight. I stand (or sit) accused. So am I addicted to food? Gosh, it's not like you can QUIT. We need food, right? If I bring home something "not good for me" (like a carton of Malted Milk Balls or a bag of M&M's), I'll "snarf it" in nothing flat. If it's not there, I can't eat it. I overdid it this weekend. So, it's back to yogurt, cottage, juice and milk for me. I love all that stuff anyway. You know what I REALLY like? Fresh, hot egg rolls. MMMMMmmmmm!

Guns don't kill people, idiots with guns kill people: I think it was somewhere in Texas...a young boy was shot and killed by an irate neighbor after the kid walked on the guy's lawn. Again, I'll state my case: I don't want anyone to have their guns taken away. Yet, with guns so easily available in our nation, any stupid, maniacal jerk without a criminal record can get one fairly easily. This is a debate for the ages; I'm not about to try and resolve it here. I just hope I don't lose MY life to some stupid, maniacal jerk with a gun.

Another in a continuing series of old stuff dept.: The year was 1959. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) met their fate on the day the music died. I was 5. My little sister was born that year. At that time, we were living in a house on Hattie Ave. in Coeur d'Alene, which is still standing, and it's even still the same color, which I find comforting somehow. Meantime, two truant English schoolboys, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, were getting together to jam once in a while, dreaming all the while of elusive fame. (I'd say they ended up doing all right.) And, it was the second edition of Coeur d'Alene's very own hydroplane race, the Diamond Cup:

This brochure is obviously for the hardcore fan, who wants to write down the results, and maybe even take a bet or two on which hydro's would place in each race...sort of a water-bound version of horse racing, or "Nascar" with boats instead of cars. Truly an exciting event. During the time the hydroplanes occupied Coeur d'Alene, the "Pit" area (which occupied a tract of land just north of Tubbs Hill, in the area where the 3rd Street Boat Ramp is now), was almost an otherworldly place. But of course we can't have hydroplane races now! The loud engines would violate CDA's noise ordinance! Oh well...

On the homefront, I'm looking forward to an upcoming doctor's appointment; I'm going to consult with a neurosurgeon regarding how "quirky" my lower back has become during the last half-year, and I also have an appointment with a rheumatologist for the ol' arthritis. Could it be that I actually have a sense of direction here? Stranger things have happened...

Monday, March 20, 2006

We have a desperate, rabid, pathological, salivating criminal in our midst!

When I saw the picture of the rather rotund, obviously pregnant woman who (allegedly) robbed the Bank of America in downtown Coeur d'Alene today, I was expecting an image that was more "sinister" than what the bank camera captured. Frankly, I'm amazed. This happened in mid-afternoon. However, in retrospect, I can see how that happened...

I used to work at a business that banks there, so that's where I'd cash my paychecks. I'd go into that bank in the middle of the afternoon, and you'd have to wait FOREVER to get waited on. There'd be 2 or 3 people in line, with one teller in that big hyoooge bank; I even saw the bank manager, who was at his desk with a customer, leave that customer to go to a teller window and help other customers. So there were probably no other employees around to observe her acting suspiciously.

I can just see it now...this lady bank-robber probably thinking to herself, "will someone EVER step up to the teller window so I can rob them?" I really can't believe she got away in the middle of the day, in our DOWNTOWN area, but I guess she did. She doesn't exactly capable of doing a 100-yard dash in an HOUR! Police cars were parked all over the place, to no avail. I wonder how much "crack" she'll get with the moolah she stole...these indeed are desperate times...

Here she is...Coeur d'Alene's latest master criminal. There's no truth to the rumor that her next big thievery attempt will be the Hope Diamond. At least, I don't think so!

...If so, you probably felt like this...

Here's another ultra-weird photo, that I thot deserved some comment. The original posting is at "Huckleberries Online", Credit where credit is due.

Things certainly could have been WORSE! least that's the way I felt about 2 recent public-TV specials...

Just a bunch of "aging queens" dept.: That's a line the late Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, told the audience in one of their 1986 concerts, which I have on DVD. Kinda humorous. Say what you want about his lifestyle, he was a great front man and an even better singer. When Freddie died of AIDS in 1991, that was pretty-much "it" for the group. Until fairly recently, that is, when 2 original members of Queen got a new singer, and initially, I thot, "this is gonna be a DISASTER!" The singer the new Queen chose? None other than macho-rock vocalist Paul Rodgers, who sang for Bad Company, and before that "Free" (All right now, baby, its-a all right now.....) There's a DVD out featuring Paul Rodgers and Queen, and public-TV showed it over the last weekend, and you know, it's not bad at all! Paul Rodgers is in surprisingly strong voice, tho he doesn't quite have the vocal range Freddie had. That's okay, because Queen's drummer, Roger Taylor, has a really good high voice, and Brian May, the group's original guitarist, has a sweet tenor voice of his own. And the concert included material originally done by both Queen and Bad Company, so it was a pretty cool show, and not the disaster I thought it would be.

It had been a long time since Queen had any hits in the U.S.A., but it seems that all along, they were insanely popular in England and Europe. I have a few of their later CD's that didn't sell well over here, "A Kind Of Magic", and the really great "Innuendo", which has some immortal Freddie Mercury performances; by the time that CD was being recorded, Freddie was so sick with AIDS he could barely stand up, but yet he delivers powerful vocals. Two songs on that CD that'll bring tears to your eyes are "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" and "The Show Must Go On". This is material which went largely ignored in the U.S., but this 1991 CD is required "tough" listening for anyone who likes rock music. I think these "later, relatively unheard" Queen CD's rank right up there with "Bohemian Rhapsody" or any of their other popular tunes.

Another Queen CD came out in 1993, 2 years after Freddie passed away. It consisted of tracks the group didn't finish before Freddie's death. At the end, Freddie wanted to record as much stuff as possible while he was still alive. Then, after he died, the group couldn't face hearing that material again. But in honor of Freddie, the group did get together and finish the album, and titled it "Made In Heaven". And it's got some good stuff on it, too, including one of the most haunting songs I've ever heard, "Mother Love". The song is about seeking safety, warmth and security while under great duress, as Freddie was. There were times when Freddie was so weak, he could only come down to the studio for 20 minutes, sing a bit, then head back to bed. What a story; it's tragic, really. What an incredible talent he was. I only found out about Queen's later material last year, almost 15 years after Freddie's death. The last I'd heard anything by Queen was in the early '80's. I researched all of this extensively on the internet; what a fascinating and compelling story the Queen saga really was.

Irish Tenors can actually rock and roll? dept.: I also saw a "rock and roll" show, performed in front of a live audience, featuring Irish Tenor and PBS-TV darling Daniel O'Donnell, he of the Irish Brogue accent and sweet heavenly high tenor voice. And he was singing rock and roll, of the type of "I Don't Know Why I Love You, But I Do"...he even attempted the old Monkees' tune, "Daydream Believer" and several other '50s and '60s songs, and I sat there speechless! And you know what, I had to toss my preconceived notions about Irish Tenors out the window, because he was doing an absolutely great job on all of those old songs. It must be nice to be brimming with so much raw talent that everything you touch just turns to gold. I try to sing, and it's all I can do not to go flat. Flat as a pancake! So what did I do after watching that old show? I got out my old Monkees' Albums and found the one with "Daydream Believer" on it...and it sounded good. Maybe I'm old and corny, but it sounded goooood.

How about that, I actually had something to write about dept.: I read the newspaper today, but nothing stuck. Oh, there was a bank robbery downtown today, while I was at the nearby coffee shop. Police parked all over the place in the downtown of our humble little town. I guess that meant the donut shops had a slow business day, ha ha. Anyway, I have another in my little perverse series of Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup Hydroplane Race brochures:

Welcome to the year 1958. Elvis was the king, and Jerry Lewis was poundin' that "pumpin' piano" of his. Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens were all having big hits; at this time, they all had just over half a year left in their lives. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, and Richard Nixon was Vice President. I was all of 4 years old, but by this time, our family had been in CDA for just over a year and a half. Long, long ago! More such brochures will be featured in future posts, so y'all come back and put yer feet up, y'hear?