Random Thoughts 2/27/04:

This'll have to hold you until I begin blogging again Monday. Meanwhile, check out Sunday's Hot Potatoes and Monday's Huckleberries in the paper. (You can get to my latest print columns by clicking on D.F. (Dave) Oliveria in the bio box at the right):

NOTE TO SELF: Aren't you amazed how you become every politician's best friend when the campaign season kicks off? Folks who can't stand you all of a sudden are pressing you to have coffee. And once the endorsements run and the votes are counted? They go back to despising you again.

BILL AT 56: Has it been almost 16 years since Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas was sworn into office? He was a Democrat back then. His mother came over from Hawaii to see Bill sworn in, along with Pierce Clegg, who, also as a Democrat, had knocked off sheriff Merf Stalder, a few months earlier. Bill and Pierce won in campaigns that were overshadowed by a sheriff's scandal. Going back further, I recall Bill's first day on the job in 1984 as a deputy prosecutor for Glen Walker. Indeed, time flies.

CHIP CHECKS IN: Got this from ex-Bonner County sheriff Chip Roos, who now lives on the coast in -- don't laugh -- Tokeland, Wash., which is 25 miles from the nearest McDonalds: "The daffodils are blooming here, tulips are coming, I mow the lawn at least once a month, Robins and blackbirds are singing and tree buds are green. Top that. I read everything you write and enjoy it. If you tried to be that open in the journalistic enviroment around here you would be wearing tar and feathers."

DFO: I'm thankful for the freedom I have at The Spokesman-Review to call them as I see them.

THE BARD: After I complained about Street Department crews plowing in my driveway earlier this winter, The Bard of Sherman Avenue penned a wonderful rhyme, entitled "Snow Plows." I didn't publish it in my print columns because the city plowers used their snow gates afterward when they plowed my street. So, with spring around the corner -- and apologies to the hard-working city worker bees -- here's that rhyme:

When snow plows come to clear his street,
They leave the pavement clean and neat,
Except for just one lonesome heap
Across his driveway three feet deep.

DFO: I'm amazed you folks haven't figured out the identity of The Bard, yet.

FULL HOUSE: Both Idaho political parties have been packing them out for special events, like Frank Church and Lincoln Day dinners. You've read about the Democrats' full houses for their caucuses. On Monday, state GOP Chair John Sandy told me about waiting for half an hour for tables to be set up for an overflow crowd of 700 at a Lincoln Day Dinner in Idaho Falls. And then running into a packed house of 100 at a truck stop at Montpelier. The R's had to push a handful of Lincoln Day dinners into March because they had so many in February. In Idaho, the D's are like the Red Sox; until they win the big one, they always seem to be an Alex Rodriguez or two short.

GOTTA BRAG: When she entered her freshman year at Coeur d'Alene High, my daughter Amy told my wife and me that she was going to duplicate her brother Seth's feat of being a valedictorian. She did, after transferring to Lake City High her senior year to participate in Director Sandra Seaton's amazing drama department. I'm humbled by their success. (Seth's now in his second year at the University of Colorado medical school.) Yeah, I know I'm bragging. Occasionally, a father's gotta pop his bottoms. And I'll save you the comments that're sure to be coming. Yeah, they got their looks and smarts from their mother.

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