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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Keep the Motor Running & r & July 24 is National Drive-Thru Day. We're thinking you're going to feel deprived because you lack immediate access to such wonders of convenience as the drive-thru pawn shop in Oklahoma City; the drive-thru mini-mart in Duquesne, Mo.; the drive-thru nail salon in Sarasota, Fla.; the drive-thru check-in service at Honolulu International Airport; and the drive-thru prayer booth at the Main Place Christian Fellowship in Tustin, Calif.

On the other hand, a study of a single McDonalds drive-thru in Toronto revealed that, over the course of a year, drivers idling their engines at the menu sign, at Window 1, at Window 2 and while pulling over "just for a second" to unwrap their Big Macs collectively spritzed the atmosphere -- at just that one drive-thru in Toronto -- with nearly four and a half tons of carbon monoxide and other noxious emissions. Want any fries with that?

Down on the Farm & r & Shopping at a farmers' market is a good first step toward learning where your food comes from. Now Eli Penberthy is organizing the next step -- a tour of three organic food producers near Kettle Falls, Wash., that's happening on Monday, July 24. The tour departs Spokane at 7:30 am, with visits to Quillisascut Cheese, Cliffside Orchards and Crandall Coffee and Orchard before returning to Spokane by 5 pm. Cost: $20. E-mail or call Eli at 951-4361.

Khartoum Kids & r & First Peter and Santino survived Sudan's civil war. Then they had to sprint past prowling lions and machine gun-toting militia on their way to a refugee camp. But the biggest minefield of all for them? Negotiating "the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia." The Emmy-nominated PBS film detailing their journey, The Lost Boys of Sudan, will be shown on Wednesday, July 26, at 6 pm at the Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar St. in Sandpoint, Idaho -- and it's free. Call (208) 255-4410.

Drag-Racin' Dragons & r & It'll happen during drive-time next Wednesday afternoon (4:30-6:30 pm). Or maybe you'll be commuting across the Division Street bridge next Thursday or Friday (7-9 am, or 3:30-8 pm). Don't crash the minivan while craning your neck to catch a glimpse of those 46-foot Chinese boats paddling underneath your feet. The dragon boats are coming, baby. We'll have more information in next week's issue -- for now, just be aware that eight Chinese dragon boats (each piloted by four different teams at various times) will practicing in two-hour sessions over the four days leading up to all-day racing on Sunday, July 30, right there on the Spokane River across from the Red Lion River Inn. Call 270-2603.

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