I LOVE THE SMELL OF SPAGHETTIOS IN THE MORNING

Dawn in Washington, D.C. The government is shut down. Tens of thousands of people here are suddenly laid off and not sure when they’ll work again. The Smithsonian museums are closed. All the bitterness.

But the Earth is still turning.The sun still rises. It’s beautiful here today. Hints of summer and fall. Children are still going to school, and they still need to eat. That includes my child.

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IN DEFENSE OF PETE CENARRUSA

For days I had planned on posting a tribute to long-time Idaho public figure Pete Cenarrusa, who died last week at age 95. Unfortunately, it took a disparaging article by somebody who never knew him to get me to do it.

To begin with, it’s strange to speak of “defending” Pete Cenarrusa from anything. He was a wonderful person, somebody many of us admired and respected. But he he was also a lifelong rancher, a tough man who saw his share of battles, political and otherwise.

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GRAVITY: EXCELLENT

When I first saw the trailers and commercials for Gravity, the new movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron, I had no desire to see it. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney were astronauts. There was something fishy about that.  

GRAVITY: EXCELLENTClooney has played a wide range of roles over his career, and I think he’s almost always solid or better. Still, I had a hard time imagining him as an astronaut. And what about Sandra Bullock? Maybe I just hadn’t seen enough of her movies, but she seems to play a variation of the same character over and over: a funny, self-effacing, likable woman who gets put in a quirky situation but after some adversity catches the bad guy and ends up with the good guy.

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ARE OLDER SKATEBOARDERS A LITTLE ODD?

There’s a cutoff age for skateboarding. It’s hard to pinpoint. Maybe 19? I can’t name it. But everybody knows it when they see it.  

Tony Hawk, age 46, and some other professional skaters can get away with it. Nobody else can, and I can’t figure out why that is.

You can bike, ski, snowboard, rollerblade, marathon, kayak, surf, bungee jump, and practically anything else through your 90s or your 100s. You can do it until the day you die, and nobody gives a second glance. In fact, with most activities, the older you are the more admirable it is. If you skydive on your 100th birthday, your local newspaper does a story about you.

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OBSERVATIONS FROM A LUNCH LADY

Not many dads serve hot lunch. At least that’s what I was told when I volunteered to do it at my daughter’s school. And yet when I arrived for my first shift, the only other lunch lady was also a dad. The cook was a guy, the clean-up guys were guys. So at least for today, all the lunch ladies were guys.

They didn’t give me a hair net. Didn’t even get an apron. Just a couple of suffocating plastic gloves, which never really fit right.

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SPOT THE AUTHENTIC GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN QUOTES

I think you’ll agree that the government shutdown was a miserable experience for everyone, and there isn’t much to miss about it. Still, now that a couple weeks have gone by, it’s fun to reminisce about some of the inflammatory statements that came out of it. See if you can spot which of the shutdown quotes below are real, and which ones are fake (answers below):

A.  “This is my idea of fun.” U.S. Rep. David Schweikert.

B.  “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.” Senator Ted Cruz.

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BREAKING BAD: I MADE IT!

For weeks I’ve been going through life on pins and needles, trying to sprint through the entire Breaking Bad series before somebody or something gave away the end. 

BREAKING BAD: I MADE IT!It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I had to be careful what I read, and on the rare occasion when I watched anything else on TV, I had to have the clicker on standby in case the conversation strayed toward Breaking Bad‘s finale (which happened surprisingly often).

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THE ALL-TIME WORST HALLOWEEN CANDY

These are the worst Halloween candies of all time. No matter how many others I consider, I still think that Bit-O-Honey is the foulest candy ever invented, although I heard from a surprising amount of people that it was their favorite.

THE ALL-TIME WORST HALLOWEEN CANDYSome readers had good additions. One thought Big Hunk bars belonged on this list, because while “the wrapper makes it look like a Hershey bar, inside it looks like an oxidized dog poo.”

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