Today is Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016

Posts tagged "Off the Wall"
Heavy Memorial Day traffic?  You can count on it

Heavy Memorial Day traffic? You can count on it

By Bob Spiwak Well, today’s car count came within a whisker of tying the old Memorial Day record, as we remember it. The written record is missing but the number was 385 westbound vehicles, as we recall. Today, May 30, it was 379. The eastbound count was 91, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Last year...
Snake oil

Snake oil

By Bob Spiwak Saturday afternoon. I was in my workshop banging away, metal on metal, when in a pause I hear Ms. Gloria calling to me. I could not discern what she was wanting so I opened the door and politely yelled “what?” She responded again and I advised her that I could not make...
Keeping track of traffic when it really counts

Keeping track of traffic when it really counts

By Bob Spiwak April 22, 2016 — a day on which Methow merchants sighed in relief when the North Cascades Highway opened after its annual winter closure. I had forgotten about it that morning and was digging a trench for resurrection of our clothesline pole after its winter burial. As I dug into the rocky...
In like a liar, out like a scam: A caution for grandparents

In like a liar, out like a scam: A caution for grandparents

By Bob Spiwak March 29, 2016. The warmest day of the year so far, a day for outside labor.  The crocuses have emerged from the snow and all morning I have been clearing ice and snow. It’s just after noon, my wife is at the library and I am in a deep-sleep nap. The telephone...
How a snowstorm assured my residence in the Methow Valley

How a snowstorm assured my residence in the Methow Valley

By Bob Spiwak Until sometime in 1968 I had never heard of Winthrop. Then a good friend told me that he and his dad had bought 20 acres west of town and would I like to drive out and look at it. We did, and I fell in love with the area. His acreage was...
My real life, fictionalized, is revisited more than 60 years later

My real life, fictionalized, is revisited more than 60 years later

By Bob Spiwak When I got off the train at Havre, Montana, the thermometer read 54 below zero. This was in February 1953, and I was headed for a U.S. Air Force radar and control station 43 miles north of Havre on the Canadian border. It was ironic that the night of my arrival marked...
Feelings about the Methow winter run hot and cold

Feelings about the Methow winter run hot and cold

By Bob Spiwak It’s the first day of February and we’re surrounded by snow, and the forecast is for colder weather. Yesterday, while looking for old copies of the Goat Wall Street Journal, I came across a calendar from 1982. In those days I did not use a journal, but important things like covering the...
Shades of yesteryear: change is the only constant

Shades of yesteryear: change is the only constant

By Bob Spiwak The snow is still falling and I am stalling when I should be mounting the tractor and pushing the snow around. Ms. Gloria is writing a letter to an old friend, Gretchen Gibford, who lives in Millwood, near Spokane. Both women were active in what was then The Methow Valley Artisans, a...
Getting into outages with the right planning (and attitude)

Getting into outages with the right planning (and attitude)

By Bob Spiwak There were two power outages a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, they were planned, and we were alerted well ahead of time as to their time and duration by the electric utilities (Okanogan County Public Utility District and Okanogan County Electric Cooperative). This was helpful and considerate, for when outages occur suddenly,...
A cautionary tale about getting lost in the Methow

A cautionary tale about getting lost in the Methow

By Bob Spiwak It was sometime in the mid-1980s, during hunting season. Darkness was upon us, along with a heavy rain. There was a knock on the door and I pulled the curtain aside to see a man and a dog. Both were dripping wet.  The man, who we’ll refer to as Victim, asked if...