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Monday, August 24, 2015

Kevin Hart bringing his standup tour to Gonzaga Sept. 9

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 4:05 PM

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The Kennel should get ready to howl, as one of the hottest standup comics working today is coming to town. 

It's not every standup comedian who can take his act to arenas and have it translate as well as clubs or theaters, but the diminutive Kevin Hart — arguably the biggest comic on the planet right now — is doing just that on his current What Now? Tour. On Sept. 9, he'll bring the tour to Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center. Tickets are on sale now via TicketsWest.com

Those tickets won't come cheap; they're $95.92 a pop, plus a $15 service charge. That's a grand total of $110.92. Yowza. 

You have to be pretty damn popular to ask for that sort of coin for one ticket, but there aren't many comics out there with the kind of hot streak Hart is enjoying. When he's not filling arenas with standup fans, he's starring in feature films like The Wedding Ringer, Get Hard and Ride Along, a $100 million blockbuster that has a sequel coming in 2016. None of them are exactly Oscar bait, but they generally make money, and largely do it on the strength of Hart's presence.  

Here's a bit of Hart doing standup: 
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Friday, August 14, 2015

A brief history of skateboarding in Spokane

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Vince Zimmer in his office at Alpine Haus Marina
  • Vince Zimmer in his office at Alpine Haus Marina

The demolition of the Under the Freeway Skatepark last week leaves Spokane skaters with two options for public skateparks: Hillyard and Joe Albi in the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex. In the winter, local skaters say, they'll probably resort to shredding in parking garages because UTF was the only covered park in town. 

When the city finally decided to flatten the beloved skatepark under I-90, it was but a phantom of its former glory. Scores of skaters of all ages showed up the weekend before its demise to show their support and to skate the poorly designed park one last time. Older skaters also came to show their support. 

Josh Yandell, owner of Pistole Boardshop, says he used to skip a lot of class at nearby Lewis and Clark High School to skate at UTF. That was before the city installed ramps in the late '90s. Instead, Yandell says, they skated on old washers and dryers, cars and ramps they built themselves. (Check out part of the video screened at UTF Skatepark the Saturday before the demolition. Courtesy of Justin Marko).

But skating in Spokane started way before UTF, according to Vince Zimmer, who owns the Alpine Haus. Here is his story: 

Weeks before Zimmer first opened the Alpine Haus at its original location in Lincoln Heights in 1976, two young kids smushed their faces against the store's front window. They were looking at the skateboards on display.

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CAT FRIDAY: More Insta-cats to follow, and the world's oldest living cat

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Cat Friday, now an occasional feature here at the Inlander, is back, and this time we have not one, not two, but three cats on Instagram — Insta-cats, as we call them — to share today. Because we all need more cats in our feed to balance out those obnoxious selfies. 

Lil' Bunny Sue Roux

Roux was born without front legs, making her the cutest little T-rex/kangaroo cat in the history of cats. The New Orleans tabby doesn't let her disability hold her back one bit, as evidenced by her bunny-hopping antics on Instagram. Roux's lack of front legs is due to a congenital birth abnormality. She's still got little nubbins where her legs would be, and a short tail. But powerfully strong back legs and Roux's adapted walking pose — using the flat part of her back feet to balance like a bunny, and by positioning her center of gravity backward — allows her to get around just as well as any four-legged kitty.

Roux gets around with no issue on just two legs. - INSTAGRAM/LILBUNNYSUEROUX
  • Instagram/lilbunnysueroux
  • Roux gets around with no issue on just two legs.

Alien Cat Matilda 

Just when we think we've seen it all, the Internet pulls another one on us, as it did with the introduction of a cat whose eyes are truly otherworldly. Miss Matilda's peepers resemble one of those classically creepy big-eyed, green-skinned aliens but (as far as we know) she's not actually from another galaxy. The reason for her cartoonishly bulbous eyes is due to a rare condition called "spontaneous lens luxation," which was also diagnosed in Matilda's littermates. Since surgery to fix the condition likely wouldn't benefit her, Matilda's owners have opted to let her eyes stay as they are, but remain vigilant in her care to make sure she's healthy and free of pain. 

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Four scenes that will convince you to watch Hot Rod with us next week

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:34 PM


A week from today, Thursday, Aug. 20, we're going to be pulling a big-ass stunt at Kendall Yards and you guys are all invited. You do not need the spirit of a dolphin and/or hawk to attend, but it is suggested.

Yes, we are showing Hot Rod, perhaps the best movie ever made about the worst stuntman ever to walk to the planet. It marks the first time we've taken our Suds and Cinema series outdoors and, well, we're pretty excited. Also, the movie is totally free and, again, outdoors at Kendall Yard's Nest. This is the plaza next to Central Food. For the more visually inclined, it's this place.

Beer will be provided by River City Brewing and served up by The Tap Mobile, Spokane's only mobile beer bar. Beers are $4, like usual, and we'll get those frosty bronsons served up to you at 6:30 while you set up your politely sized chairs and/or blanket for a movie to start shortly after 8. Again, be polite with your set up, don't do this.

If you've never seen Hot Rod, here are some things that might make you realize the awful truth that every moment you've spent since this movie came out has been wasted.

A reason to never say "cool beans." Not ever.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is coming to Spokane

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Yes, it's really true. George R.R. Martin is coming to the Lilac City later this month.

The murmurs have been quiet unless you've looked for them, but Spokane's own Auntie's Bookstore is leading the charge to get the acclaimed author to come visit the bookstore in person.

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Although there isn't a major mention (we had to dig to find it) of Martin's guest appearance at the World Science Fiction Convention, happening Aug. 19-23 — also known as Worldcon; this year the event is going by the name Sasquan — on the event's website, we can confirm it via info on the author's site, and his personal Live Journal account

This following except from another blog post by Martin also refers to his Spokane visit:

Truth be told, six months ago I was seriously considering skipping Sasquan. Not something I do lightly, given my history, given how much I have loved worldcon over the years. But I've been to Spokane, and while it seemed a pleasant enough town I wasn't dying to see it again... and I do have a lot on my plate right now. But that was before Puppygate. Once that kerfuffle broke, I knew I could not possibly stay away. When your family is being attacked, lied about, and threatened that's not the time you want to skip the family reunion.

Okay, so what the heck is Puppygate? Without going too much into the incredibly complex details and backstory, the controversy concerns the annual Hugo Awards, which recognize the best science fiction and fantasy works of the previous year. Considered to be one of the premier accolades bestowed upon sci-fi/fantasy writers, the honors are presented each year at Worldcon. Winners of various categories are voted upon by paying members who attend the event or who register to support it, but maybe otherwise can't attend in person. 

But, this year, the Hugos were rigged. A voting bloc called "Sad Puppies" led a campaign to get a specific list of "anti-progressive authors, editors and fans" to the top of the ballot. Here are the resulting top nominees in each category.

To sum it up, the Hugo Awards' Puppygate is really similar in its warped ideology to Gamergate

Martin's presentation schedule at Sasquan includes a reading on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 3 pm — the description for the event is "an excerpt from The Winds of Winter," the long-anticipated sixth novel in the GoT series. On Friday, Aug. 21, at 11 am, Martin and author Robert Silverberg host a panel to talk "about whatever they'd like to!" On Saturday, Aug. 22, Martin hosts an autograph session at 2 pm. The last panel featuring the author is on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 1 pm, titled "Colleagues as Family," and is a conversation between Martin and fellow fantasy writers David Gerrold, Connie Wills and Vonda N. McIntyre.

Okay, now how do we, the public and avid fans of Martin's, attend? Worldcon offers one-day membership rates to allow locals to check out this international event that's been touted as a super big deal for Spokane since it was announced over a year ago. The ticket prices are a little steep ($40-$70/day, depending on the day), but until recently, the only way to attend was to purchase an attending Worldcon membership for $240. 

And it should be noted that there is tons more to see, do and learn from at the event beyond the panels and signings featuring the incredibly popular GoT author. Check out the complete schedule for the event here.


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Monday, August 3, 2015

VIDEO: Keith Urban played a Spokane backyard party over the weekend, for a good cause

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 3:20 PM

Keith Urban evokes his inner Steve Miller at a backyard benefit concert in Spokane. - JER MCGREGOR
  • Jer McGregor
  • Keith Urban evokes his inner Steve Miller at a backyard benefit concert in Spokane.

Spokane had one of the biggest stars of the music world drop by over the weekend, but it wasn't for a show at the arena or the Festival at Sandpoint. 

Rather, Keith Urban — country superstar, American Idol judge and husband of Nicole Kidman — stopped by the Lilac City for a concert in the backyard of a local businessman. The mini-concert raised more than $500,000 for the Community Cancer Fund, which is dedicated to battling cancer in the Inland Northwest.

We have a little video of Urban performing a little Steve Miller tune. Enjoy: 

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VIDEO: Scenes from Spokane's KuroNekoCon 2015

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 10:04 AM


The KuroNekoCon took over a large part of the Spokane Convention Center over the weekend to host fans of Japanese anime in a family-friendly environment. Among the programming were costume contests, speed-dating rounds, dance lessons, foam-sword battles and all manner of arts and crafts opportunities for cosplayers to learn some new tricks. 

Inlander intern Erin Robinson checked out the scene, and came back with this video: 

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Driving Mr. Jackson: Behind the scenes look at chauffeuring Samuel L. Jackson in Spokane

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 10:36 AM

Officer Gordon Grant in "baby blue," his unmarked patrol car. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Officer Gordon Grant in "baby blue," his unmarked patrol car.

Gordon Grant, the almost-30-year Spokane police officer, is somewhat of a local celebrity. Grant grew up in Spokane (he went to Ferris High School), and despite his youthful ambitions to find a law enforcement job elsewhere, he landed back in Spokane after a year playing football in Canada. Ask a long-time Spokanite about Officer Grant, and they might tell you about having him as a D.A.R.E officer or talking with him at Cops 'n Kids, the community event he's organized for the past 22 years. But one story you might not know about Grant starts with the desktop image on his computer.

It's of Grant with his arm around Samuel L Jackson. 

"Just chillin' with my homeboy," Grant says, showing off the picture one June morning. 

When Jackson was in Spokane filming 2006 flick Home of the Brave, he needed someone to drive him and his crew around town. He specifically asked for someone who was intimately familiar with the city. He wanted someone who knew where to go and, more importantly, where not to go. 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Play with cats online at the Spokane Humane Society

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Users can control the Petcube laser pointer to interact with shelter cats like these little tabbies. - PETCUBE
  • Petcube
  • Users can control the Petcube laser pointer to interact with shelter cats like these little tabbies.

I've always dreamed of having a way to see what my cat, Alice, is up to during the day while at work, or during the rare times I'm out of town.

Sure, you could set up a webcam or use a home security system to check on furry loved ones holding down the fort, but a new product recently hit the market that's made for this specific purpose.

Petcube is a gadget that lets you see and interact with your pets from an iOS or Android smartphone. The device was in part made possible thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, and it's recently rolled out for purchase by non-backers of the campaign, which raised more than $250,000 back in fall 2013. It retails for $199 and can be purchased online from the company's site, and through Amazon, BestBuy and a few other retailers.

To promote the product and the noble cause of adopting a pet from a shelter, Petcubes have been distributed to several shelters and rescues across the U.S., including our own Spokane Humane Society. The cube there went online early this week, and lets users who download the Petcube app (find the Android version here; and the iOS version here) watch and interact with cats in the communal cat adoption room "Catlantis" at the shelter, says SHS outreach and volunteer coordinator Jenna Carroll. 

While the Petcube is programmed to allow users to talk to their feline and canine friends through a microphone, and to control a laser pointer for playtime, the SHS cube doesn't let you talk to its cats (because, well: trolls. It would be weird for visitors and staff, too.), however you can play with them. The 4-inch cube sits up on a shelf high above the room offering a wide-angled view of the space. 

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

VIDEO: Battle of the Cheap Eats Inlander food experts

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:05 PM


One sunny afternoon, two interns went to three Spokane eateries in search of items to stump the best Inlander foodies. They brought back three deliciously cheap meals to the second floor of the Inlander building in Kendall Yards, and challenged Mike Bookey and Laura Regester's knowledge of this local fare.

They sat them down in a meeting room, blindfolded them, and pressed record. Who will be the best at determining the restaurant of origin and price of these foods? Will they miss their mouths when they eat? Is that chicken or beef? Watch and find out, and check out links to all the Cheap Eats 2015 stories below: 

THIS YEAR'S CHEAP EATS ISSUE INCLUDES:

New and Cheap, a roundup of great, new cheap grub options in Spokane. 
Rolling Goodies, a look at the latest food truck sweet deals
Burger Brawl, in which Inlander staffers eat every burger from Zip's at once. Every. Burger. 
Just Desserts helps you find sweet treats on the cheap. 
The Nicest Price is free, and here's where you can find free food. 
Hot and Cold, where to find great deli deals. 
Keeping It Classic. Or Not, a showdown between old-school favorites and cheap rising stars on the scene. 
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