Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

The weather forecast for this morning (April 7) offered a day with sunshine and a high of 62. What we have is overcast and it’s very much on the cool side, 42 degrees. Not too conducive for a comfortable golf outing planned for tomorrow.

Even without golf there is plenty of entertainment by merely looking out the window at the pond. A month ago, the first pair of mallards arrived on St. Patrick’s Day and the next morning the annual wood duck couple showed up.

This led to the larger mallards, (size does matter) chasing the woodies not only away from the cracked corn we provide, but also from anywhere else on the water. Of course, this is a male thing.

Over the month the gaggle has increased to three pairs of mallards and another couple of wood ducks. The mallards, along with being bullies and also sex-starved (this too is a male thing), when they are not fighting among themselves are chasing the poor hens — off the water, up in the weeds on the bank, sometimes into the trees. Then all activity ceases, and some come to eat corn while others just sit around or completely disappear.

We got a call last week from a woman who lives south of Twisp seeking advice and solace as CenturyTel has done it again. In her case she was bemoaning the lack of ability to get or receive emails for weeks, and of staying on hold at one point for over an hour, and then getting the usual telco runaround. As we have written of the woes with what our legally ordained communications provide, her call is not the first. For a while we got several calls from people in Edelweiss with the same complaint.

If one is persistent enough to wait on hold for however long, one will get a sort-of-live person who will listen to the problem and ask your forbearance as the problem is being addressed. When we had this situation, the problem went on for months and the best explanation we got was a reference to “problems east of the Cascades, we’re working on it” — while we were paying for Internet (Internot?) service. I encourage others suffering the same indignity to write a polite letter to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission as well as to the state attorney general. The first department does not handle these complaints but will forward your letter to the A.G.’s office. We ultimately got credit for the days paid for and no service, and things have actually been better since.

At the Mazama Community Club on April 22 at 7 p.m., the final free flick of the winter, 20 Feet From Stardom, will be shown. On

April 26 the club’s Spring Cleanup will take place. And the biggie, the World Famous Pancake Breakfast, will transpire from 8 a.m. to noon on May 24 — $6 for adults; age 4 and under get free chow. For information, visit

An encounter and Brush With Stardom: at SLIME last week I was honored to sit next to and listen to famous local fishing guide Kevin van Bueren, who answered my questions about the magic and mysteries of fly fishing. Kevin appears on television as spokesman for Sun Mountain Lodge. Celebrities are becoming more and more abundant in Mazama.