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by Michael Bowen & r & & r & Days of Vine and Insects

Wilbur-area yellowjackets called in reinforcements for Whitestone Winery's first-ever wine dinner, served alfresco between the cab franc and merlot vines at the family's vineyard on Saturday night. The wasps weren't the only happy ones, though -- Whitestone's Pieces of Red and the cabernet complemented the fine steak dinner served up by Beacon Hill Catering. Winemaker Michael Haig intends a repeat performance next year.

The Alaska Experiment

Nothing else to do this Saturday but chase your 15 minutes of (wind-blown, grass-gnawing) fame? Then drive to Seattle's REI store and audition for a cable-TV show in which several "everyday people" will leave their lives behind and learn how to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness.

Better yet, go with confidence. Start living off the land right now. Load up a backpack, stick out your thumb on I-90, root around in rest-stop garbage cans, and go forth to the Emerald City and beyond. Say hi to the caribou for us.

Let's Get to the 'point

Check out the new Sandpoint promotional video at While the footage of the Wooden Boat Festival is matched by the wooden narration, and while six minutes of smooth-jazz elevator music isn't exactly a selling point, the shots of nighttime ski-boarding at Schweitzer (with fireworks!) were pretty spectacular, and we learned that Lake Pend Oreille is, in some sections, 1,150 feet deep. Sandpoint -- it's what Steamboat Springs was 20 years ago!

Left Jab to the Quatrain

Two graduates of EWU's MFA program, Brett Ortler and Jeremy Halinen, are starting an ambitious new literary publication, out next month. Called Knockout Magazine, it'll feature poems by Billy Collins and Robert Bly in next month's premiere issue -- 120 pages of poetry by more than 35 poets in all -- with fiction slated for the next couple of issues. Look for upcoming readings at Empyrean. Write [email protected]

Fire Extinguishers Needed

The 12-4 Shock take on the 9-7 Louisville Fire in a first-round af2 playoff game on Saturday at 5 pm. Tickets: $7-$51. The Fire's biggest player is 6-foot-5 and 360 pounds, so, OK, pass-rushing won't be easy. But we will snuff out their blaze.

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