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by Inlander Staff & r & A Cycling Habitat & r & Starting in late May, Spokane's Jon McClain (St. George's '02, Yale '06) will cycle 4,000 miles (from New Haven to Seattle) to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. On a typical day, he'll pedal 70 miles and then help present an informational slide show at a town meeting. By helping McClain raise $4,000 before his ride, you'll also be helping a low-income working family move into a new Habitat-constructed home. Visit or call (203) 645-7932.

First in Nighttime Fun & r & Long lines and packed venues, despite the rain -- that seemed to be the storyline for Spokane's fifth First Night.

One Binster's favorite moments (your mileage probably varied): Getting hit by the gizmo-propelled paper airplanes and rockets that kids were launching at Mobius, the children's museum. The spontaneity of the Spokane Children's Theatre's improv games. Jim Boyd beginning one of his songs with tribal chant. People standing in the rain for 20 minutes just to hear the Spokane Symphony. (The Prokofiev was the best part). The line for the variety show at CenterStage, in about two minutes, going from reasonable to down-the-stairs-and-out-the-door crazy. The hopeful note (focused on a dropped bottle cap) at the end of "Resolutions," the best of a not very good field of eight finalists in the first-ever First Night Film Festival. Comparing notes with friends about how different the Brothers From Different Mothers were during their 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock shows in the Ridpath's SRO Empire Ballroom. Just as the two Brothers had fun juggling bowling pins, we had fun juggling entertainment options late into the First Night of 2006. (And the fireworks were the best yet!)

Extra Thinnings & r & Back in 1977, Mike and Glenda Carmichael of Alexandria, Ind., had a dream. They took an ordinary baseball out to their garage and did what anyone else would do: They painted it. Twice a day. Every day for 28 years. Now their baseball has more than 19,000 coats of paint. It's almost 10 feet in circumference and weighs 1,700 pounds. (Try throwing a split-finger fastball with that one, Mr. Mariano Rivera.)

Simple, repeated actions leading, over a long period of time, to something that is absolutely worthless: That's American stick-to-itiveness, folks.

Elvis Is 71 & r & Or would have been. Commemorate the King at the Met on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7:30 pm. And your Elvis impersonator (with backup crew)? None other than Ben Preslee Klein and the Rockabillies, soon headed to next week's "Tribute to the King" contest at Milwaukee's Potawatomi Bingo Casino. (Hey, Klein has finished on the podium at Elvis contests across the Midwest. Catch him while you can!)

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MLK Day Weekend Celebration @ Downtown Spokane

Sat., Jan. 19, Sun., Jan. 20 and Mon., Jan. 21

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