Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

Off the Wall
On the water: Recollecting my days on the Green River

On the water: Recollecting my days on the Green River

By Bob Spiwak “It’s instant death to run Cataract Canyon in an open boat,” said our van driver as he zoomed past a semi in a whiteout on Interstate 70. He was speaking to Jeff Sandine, Craig Nelson and me, and referring to our three canoes on a trailer behind the van. There were also...
When ‘in the pits’ meant excitement and adventure

When ‘in the pits’ meant excitement and adventure

By Bob Spiwak A few weeks ago in her lower Methow Valley column, Joanna Bastian wrote about Dale Burnison, an exceptional woodworker. What caught my eye and memory was that he was once a hydroplane racer. This was in the old days, which came after my own old days. Harking back to the late 1940s...
Product placement strategy could benefit the Methow

Product placement strategy could benefit the Methow

By Bob Spiwak About 50 years ago Vance Packard published a book titled The Hidden Persuaders. It had to do with messages being sent via visual media like TV and movie theaters, or audible messages by radio. While any kind of message could be delivered, the thrust was on commercials. These messages came and went...
‘Bashful’ snowfall probably won’t make us ‘Happy’

‘Bashful’ snowfall probably won’t make us ‘Happy’

By Bob Spiwak I’m writing this close to midnight Sunday after the Green Bay Packers lost a close game a few hours ago. The announcers shivered in their open booth at Lambeau Field. Days before the game, weather pundits ranging from the Weather Channel to local news predicted the second-coldest game in history at Green...
Big screen entertainment all year long

Big screen entertainment all year long

By Bob Spiwak Our viewing screen is 14 feet wide, 6 feet shy of the width of the house. It is comprised of a couple of 4-foot windows flanking a 6-footer amidships. The viewing area looks out over a small pond and climbs up a rocky flank of Grizzly Mountain to a ridge top about...
Nov. 6, 2013

Nov. 6, 2013

Sandy’s anniversary evokes memories of Sea Bright By Bob Spiwak Oct. 29 marked the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the second-costliest and largest hurricane in size to hit the Atlantic coast. It covered 1,100 miles of ocean and inland area. New Jersey was among the largest states devastated by the storm. New Jersey is considered...
A sand trap that looks like a golf course

A sand trap that looks like a golf course

– or a golf course that looks like a sand trap By Bob Spiwak While what follows is obviously about golf, it could ultimately have an effect on the economies of the Methow Valley and beyond. Eighteen of us of the Northwest Golf Media Association were invited to a “pre-preview” of the new Gamble Sands...
A trail that’s truly for the birds

A trail that’s truly for the birds

Sept. 11, 2013 By Bob Spiwak In the current issue of Audubon magazine there is a feature article titled “Eight Great Fall Birding Trails.” At first glance this might be of little interest to anyone other than bird watchers, but where the birds are, there would be other wildlife in the area – which makes...
Aug. 14, 2013

Aug. 14, 2013

Now that you’re not here I am considering writing an e-book containing humor columns I have written for the Methow Valley News, golf magazines, Grist and The Goat Wall Street Journal.  (Well, I think they are humorous.) As some of the columns go back 30 years or more, I asked Ms. Gloria to ferret out...
July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013

When zucchinis are outlawed, only outlaws will have zucchinis Years ago a job market expert predicted that as more and more regulations are passed, a third of all professionals in the nation will be lawyers by 2020. I suppose the reason for this is that we continue to elect them as legislators – local, state and...