Category Archives: Blog

Weekend Walkabout – Cannon’s Addition

Summer is the perfect time to get out of doors and see what your neighborhood and other local areas have to offer. Whether you are just walking a few blocks around home, or heading out to the park for the day, I guarantee there will be something interesting to see and experience while you’re out there.

Last weekend I walked up to the Rosauer’s on 14th and Lincoln from my apartment on 8th. Not a long walk, but definitely some beautiful and fun stuff to see along the way.


  Apparently I live in Cannon’s Addition. Who knew? I’ve never heard the name used but it’s still cool.


One of the prettiest collections of flowers in the area. A lot of love and care went into this garden.


Flowers from the same house, front yard this time.


Our own little Rocket Bakery, nestled amongst the trees.

Great use of a broken sidewalk!

Great use of a broken sidewalk!

– Mia V.


*Do you have a great neighborhood for a Weekend Walkabout? Share with us in the comments! Or better yet, go for your own walkabout and share pics with us!

It’s Almost Time for Summer Programming on Fox28!

Summer is coming and you know what that means – time for new shows during primetime on Fox 28! As May comes around we’ve got a bunch of our evening programs ending for the season, but what will be taking their places? We’ve got some new and returning shows to pick up the slack this summer and hopefully keep us all entertained over the next few months!

In With the New

So what new programs do we have to look forward to? First up is Gang Related, a new hour-long scripted drama starring Ramon Rodriguez, Cassius Green, Terry O’Quinn, and Tae Kim . It centers around a young LA cop with ties to a powerful city gang. Created and written by Chris Morgan, Gang Related starts May 22nd at 9pm and will air on Thursday nights.

Summer is a time for less serious programming, so we’re bringing you two new unscripted series this year. Riot, based on a show called Anything Goes from French production company Satisfaction, is a comedy game show that includes singing, dancing, and navigating a set tilted at a 22 degree angle. It is produced for American television by Shine America and Steve Carrell’s Carousel Television, and will include guest comics such as Steve Carrell, Tom Green, Chris Kattan, and Mayim Bialik. It begins on May 13th at 9pm and airs Tuesday nights. I Wanna Marry “Harry” is the latest reality dating show from Fox. It includes a dozen American women who travel to England for a chance to win the heart of a young man they think is the prince of England. It begins May 27th at 8pm to air on Tuesday nights as well.

Return of the Old

Summer means sunshine, vacations, and a takeover by Gordon Ramsay on Fox. Currently we have Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares airing during the week. Soon they’ll be joined by a new season of Masterchef (returns May 19th at 8pm) and Hotel Hell (returns July 21st at 9pm). While Masterchef aired last year, Hotel Hell has not been seen on Fox since 2012. The new season will include more zany hotels, managers, owners, and their staffs this time around.

American Idol ends its current run on May 21st, leaving Wednesday wide open for the return of our dance competition series So You Think You Can Dance on May 28th at 8pm. Once again host Cat Deeley as well as judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy return to see who has what it takes to make it big in the world of professional dance and who doesn’t.

Of course one of our biggest returning shows this summer has to be 24: Live Another Day. This special event series premieres May 5th at 8pm and will run for just twelve weeks on Monday evenings. It returns with Kiefer Sutherland as Jack, Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe, and William Devane as President James Heller.

So to sum up -

Upcoming Fox Finales:
The Following season finale April 28th
New Girl season finale May 6th
The Mindy Project season finale May 6th
Surviving Jack finale May 8th
Bones season finale May 12th
Glee Season finale May 13th
American Idol season finale May 20th and May 21st
Cosmos finale June 8th

Upcoming Fox Premieres:
24: Live Another Day premiere May 5th
Masterchef season premiere May 19th
Gang Related series premiere May 22nd
I Wanna Marry Harry series premiere May 27th
So You Think You Can Dance season premiere May 28th
Hotel Hell season premiere July 21st

COSMOS Reading List – Episode 5: Hiding in the Light

The most recent episode of COSMOS focused on the science of light and how it has evolved over the centuries. Our viewing party this week didn’t feature a guest speaker BUT we did have a lot of fun playing astronomy-based Jeopardy.

Did watching the episode or playing science Jeopardy spark your interest in learning more about these topics?


Here is a brief list of books to get you started (with a note next to those that can be found on the shelves at some of our local, independent bookstores):

Manipulating Light: Reflection, Refraction, and Absorption by Darlene R Stille
“Provides an explanation of how light works, including how it bounces or reflects, how it bends or refracts, and how light gets absorbed. Also discusses mirrors, telescopes, and colors.” (

Light by Michael I. Sobel
“Like the denizens of some brilliant ocean, humans are awash in light. Surrounded by illuminations both natural and artificial, we remain blissfully unaware of how light determines most of life’s rhythms and rituals or how it dominates every field of modern science. Michael I. Sobel, a professor of physics at Brooklyn College, has attempted no less a task than to enlighten us (see how it pervades our language) about the many facets of this ubiquitous phenomenon, from its earliest stirrings of emotion and wonder in ancient savants to its modern applications in lasers and silicon chips.” (

A History of Optics from Greek Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century by Olivier Darrigol
“This book is a long-term history of optics, from early Greek theories of vision to the nineteenth-century victory of the wave theory of light. It shows how light gradually became the central entity of a domain of physics that no longer referred to the functioning of the eye; it retraces the subsequent competition between medium-based and corpuscular concepts of light; and it details the nineteenth-century flourishing of mechanical ether theories. The author critically exploits and sometimes completes the more specialized histories that have flourished in the past few years. The resulting synthesis brings out the actors’ long-term memory, their dependence on broad cultural shifts, and the evolution of disciplinary divisions and connections. Conceptual precision, textual concision, and abundant illustration make the book accessible to a broad variety of readers interested in the origins of modern optics.” (

Astronomy 101: From the Sun and Moon to Wormholes and Warp Drive, Key Theories, Discoveries, and Facts About the Universe by Carolyn Collins Peterson
“Explore the curiosities of the cosmos in this engaging book! Too often, textbooks go into more detail than readers have in mind when they want to learn a little something about astronomy. This is where Astronomy 101 comes in. It takes you out to the stars and planets and galaxies and discusses some of the latest Big Astronomy discoveries while presenting the basic facts about astronomy and space.  From the Big Bang and nebulae to the Milky Way and Sir Isaac Newton, this celestial primer is packed with hundreds of fascinating and entertaining astronomy charts and photographs selected to guide you through the universe. Whether you’re looking to unravel the mystery behind black holes, or just want to learn more about your favorite planets, Astronomy 101 has a LOT of answers–even the ones you didn’t know you were looking for.” (

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COSMOS Reading List – Episode 4: A Sky Full of Ghosts

Last Sunday’s episode of COSMOS talked about the speed of light, gravity, black holes, and William Herschel, among other things. And Don, our speaker for the week at our COSMOS viewing party, talked about scientific myths and hoaxes.

Did watching the episode and listening to the speaker spark your interest in learning more about these topics?


Here is a brief list of books to get you started (with a note next to those that can be found at some of our local, independent bookstores):

An Introduction to Black Holes, Information and The String Theory Revolution; The Holographic Universe by Leonard Susskind and James Lindsay
“Over the last decade the physics of black holes has been revolutionized by developments that grew out of Jacob Bekenstein s realization that black holes have entropy. Stephen Hawking raised profound issues concerning the loss of information in black hole evaporation and the consistency of quantum mechanics in a world with gravity. For two decades these questions puzzled theoretical physicists and eventually led to a revolution in the way we think about space, time, matter and information. This revolution has culminated in a remarkable principle called The Holographic Principle , which is now a major focus of attention in gravitational research, quantum field theory and elementary particle physics. Leonard Susskind, one of the co-inventors of the Holographic Principle as well as one of the founders of String theory, develops and explains these concepts.” (

Discoverers of the Universe: William and Caroline Herschel by Michael Hoskin
“Discoverers of the Universe tells the gripping story of William Herschel, the brilliant, fiercely ambitious, emotionally complex musician and composer who became court astronomer to Britain’s King George III, and of William’s sister, Caroline, who assisted him in his observations of the night sky and became an accomplished astronomer in her own right. Together, they transformed our view of the universe from the unchanging, mechanical creation of Newton’s clockmaker god to the ever-evolving, incredibly dynamic cosmos that it truly is.” (

Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos by Caleb Scharf (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“We’ve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. They’re mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.
  Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravity’s Engines, these chasms in space-time don’t just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.
  With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.” (

Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” by Philip C Plait
“Inspired by his popular web site,, this first book by Plait (astronomy, Sonoma State Univ.) debunks popular myths and misconceptions relating to astronomy and promotes science as a means of explaining our mysterious heavens. The work describes 24 common astronomical fallacies, including the beliefs that the Coriolis effect determines the direction that water drains in a bathtub and that planetary alignments can cause disaster on Earth. The author sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and UFO sightings and explains the principles behind basic general concepts (the Big Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). Though some may find him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly because his clear and understandable explanations are convincing and honest.” (

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COSMOS Reading List – Episode 3: When Knowledge Conquered Fear

The third episode of COSMOS talked about comets, Edmund Halley, and Sir Isaac Newton (among other things). Our guest speaker for the weekly viewing party was Dr. Seth Shostack, an astronomer with the SETI Institute who has a deep interest in space exploration and astrobiology.

Did watching the episode and listening to the guest speaker spark your interest in learning more about these topics?


Here is a brief list of books to get you started (and as always those that can be found in some of our local independent bookstores have a note about that next to them):

Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas by Alan Cook
“Halley played a crucial role in the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences. Indeed, Cook reveals that it was Halley who set the question that led Newton to write the Principia, and who edited, paid for, and reviewed it. The author also describes how Halley’s prediction of the transit of Venus led to Captain Cook’s voyage to Tahiti and to an accurate calculation of the distance between the Earth and Sun. Perhaps as important, the book examines Halley’s personal life, revealing a man who was far from a lab-bound thinker. As a young man, he sailed to St. Helena to chart the unmapped stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, Halley knew the leading artists of his age–Wren, Pepys, Handel, Purcell, and Dryden–and he travelled widely throughout Europe, meeting numerous fellow scientists and serving on a variety of diplomatic missions. He even spent a number of adventurous years as commander of a Royal Naval warship.” (

The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy by Isaac Newton (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“This book is a complete volume of Newton’s mathematical principles relating to natural philosophy and his system of the world. Newton, one of the most brilliant scientists and thinkers of all time, presents his theories, formulas and thoughts. Included are chapters relative to the motion of bodies; motion of bodies in resisting mediums; and system of the world in mathematical treatment; a section on axioms or laws of motion, and definitions.” (

Comets! Visitors from Deep Space by David J. Eicher (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“From ancient times, humans have been fascinated by “broom stars” and “blazing scimitars” lighting up the sky and moving against the fixed background of stars. The Great Comets of our time still receive in-depth attention – ISON, Hale-Bopp, Hyakutake, West, and others – while recent spacecraft encounters offer amazing insight into the earliest days of the solar system. In this guide you will discover the cutting-edge science of what comets are, how they behave, where they reside, how groups of comets are related, and much more. The author carefully explores the ideas relating comets and life on Earth – and the danger posed by impacts.” (

Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Seth Shostak (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“Aliens are big in America. Whether they’ve arrived via rocket, flying saucer, or plain old teleportation, they’ve been invading, infiltrating, or inspiring us for decades, and they’ve fascinated moviegoers and television watchers for more than fifty years. About half of us believe that aliens really exist, and millions are convinced they’ve visited Earth.  For twenty-five years, SETI has been looking for the proof, and as the program’s senior astronomer, Seth Shostak explains in this engrossing book, it’s entirely possible that before long conclusive evidence will be found.
His informative, entertaining report offers an insider’s view of what we might realistically expect to discover light-years away among the stars. Neither humanoids nor monsters, says Shostak; in fact, biological intelligence is probably just a precursor to machine beings, enormously advanced artificial sentients whose capabilities and accomplishments may have developed over billions of years and far exceed our own.” (

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COSMOS Reading List – Episode 2: Some of the Things That Molecules Do

Last Sunday’s episode was all about the evolution of life on our world. Did it spark your interest in learning more about evolution, natural and artificial selection, and the Tree of Life?

Did you attend our viewing party at Mobius Science Center and hear Dr. Kamesh Sankaran speak about comets and asteroids and are now curious about learning about them more in-depth?


Here is a brief list of books to get you started (and once again those that can be found in some of our local bookstores have a note about that next to them):


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that “we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection.”” (

What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“At once a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader, What Evolution Is poses the questions at the heart of evolutionary theory and considers how our improved understanding of evolution has affected the viewpoints and values of modern man.” (

Comet by Carl Sagan
“Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark.” (

Asteroids by Curtis Peebles
“Covering all aspects of asteroid investigation, Curtis Peebles shows how ideas about the orbiting boulders have evolved. He describes how such phenomena as the Moon’s craters and dinosaur extinction were gradually, and by some scientists grudgingly, accepted as the results of asteroid impacts. He tells how a band of icy asteroids rimming the solar system, first proposed as a theory in the 1940s, was ignored for more than forty years until renewed interest and technological breakthroughs confirmed the existence of the Kuiper Belt. Peebles also chronicles the discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, a comet with twenty-two nuclei that crashed into Jupiter in 1994, releasing many times the energy of the world’s nuclear arsenal.” (

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COSMOS Reading List – Premiere Episode!

Did Sunday’s premiere episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey spark your interest in science, space, Carl Sagan, or Neil deGrasse Tyson? Did you attend our viewing party at Mobius Science Center and are now curious about Dr. Kevin Decker and his series on philosophy and pop culture?


Here is a list of books to get you started (those that can be found at bookstores in Spokane have a note next to them to let you know; also this is not a full list of all books by these authors, just a few to mention today):

Cosmos by Carl Sagan (Auntie’s Bookstore, 2nd Look Books)
“Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.” (

The Sky is Not the Limit by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“This is the absorbing story of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s lifelong fascination with the night sky, a restless wonder that began some thirty years ago on the roof of his Bronx apartment building and eventually led him to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium. A unique chronicle of a young man who at one time was both nerd and jock, Tyson’s memoir could well inspire other similarly curious youngsters to pursue their dreams.” (

Who is Who? The Philosophy of Doctor Who by Kevin S. Decker (Auntie’s Bookstore)
“When you have been wandering the cosmos from one end of eternity to another for nearly a thousand years, what’s your philosophy of life, the universe, and everything?
Doctor Who is 50 years’ old in 2013. Through its long life on television and beyond it has inspired much debate due to the richness and complexity of the metaphysical and moral issues that it poses. This is the first in-depth philosophical investigation of Doctor Who in popular culture. From 1963’s An Unearthly Child through the latest series, it considers continuity and change in the pictures that the program paints of the nature of truth and knowledge, science and religion, space and time, good and evil, including the uncanny, the problem of evil, the Doctor’s complex ethical motivations, questions of persisting personal identity in the Time Lord processes of regeneration, the nature of time travel through ‘wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey stuff, how quantum theory affects our understanding of time; and the nature of the mysterious and irrational in the Doctor’s universe.” (

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Five Things for Singletons to do in Spokane This Valentine’s Day

tumblr_la5sxe30M31qcvdcno1_500Valentine’s Day is coming. A day singles all over start to dread as couples all over buy each other gifts and plan exciting evenings out. But this year you don’t have to fret just because you don’t have a ‘special someone’ to share the day with. There are plenty of things you can do all on your own – or better yet, with your friends – that can be just as much fun (or more) than doing the ‘couple thing’.

Interested in a classy night out with other singles, mingling and flirting and enjoying the chance to perhaps find a new spark or two? Head to Nectar Tasting Room on Thursday (2/13/14) from 5:30-7:30pm for Single Mingle. With your $10 admission you get to taste some wine, sample some snacks, listen to music, and meet some (hopefully) interesting new people.

Need a little more ultra-violence in your Valentine’s Day? First, you might be taking the anti-Valentine’s stance a little too hard. And second, take yourself to the movie theater for a showing of the Robocop remake. It has all the action, explosions, shootouts, science fiction, fantasy, Michael Keaton-goodness (where has he been the last decade anyways?) you could ask for. It’s PG-13 (so not quite as hardcore as the original), 108 minutes long, and showing at AMC Riverpark Square, Regal Spokane Valley and Northtown Mall, and Village Centre Cinemas Airway Heights (check theaters for showtimes).

Got an urge to sing, dance, and wear frilly underthings in public? Grab your closest friends and your fishnet stockings for a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Garland Theater. Your $4.50 admission ticket on Friday (2/14/14) gets you a night out you will never forget; full of props, live performances, audience participation, toast, newspapers, mixed up lyrics and all kinds of 21yrs+ fun. Sure there is some romance mixed around in the film, but it pales next to all the zany transvestite from Transylvania antics. Just remember – while costumes are encouraged, everyone is expected to have all of their sensitive bits covered.

Hearts are made to be dissected (or is it broken?). At least that seems to be the stance Mobius Science Center is taking with their My Bloody Valentine event taking place Friday from 6-9pm. Catered by Dawn of the Donut, this adults-only party will include zombie cocktails, a showing of Night of the Living Dead, and exciting party games such as – you guessed it – dissecting actual hearts. Not exactly the most romantic idea (unless you are Morticia and Gomez Addams) but definitely something fun for those looking to have a night out without all the sappy Valentine’s Day stuff getting in the way. Tickets for the event are $15 at the door.

Want to really revel in the fact that you are single this year and don’t have to deal with compromising and agreeing on things as a couple? Head to the Spokane International Auto Show at the Fair & Expo Center on Friday (2/14/14) from 10am to 8pm. All of the newest cars, trucks, and SUVs will be there, as will dozens of very helpful sales people only too eager to talk you into buying something! Who needs a boyfriend or girlfriend when you can get a flashy new Ford Mustang instead? Admission to the show is $6-$7.


– Mia V.


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Rocky Horror Picture Show
My Bloody Valentine
Spokane International Auto Show

Valentine’s Day Around the World – Special Feature!

valentines-day-gift-ideas-onblack-bridal-bliss1Valentine’s Day is coming, and while here in the US we may exchange cards and gifts and candy and sexy lingerie (scandalous I know), in other countries they have their own special ways of celebrating this time of love. Such as in Japan, where guys and gals actually have TWO different days to celebrate. On February 14th the ladies give their guys gifts of dark chocolates – sometimes store bought but often made by hand to show just how much they care. Then on “White Day” – March 14th – it is the guys’ time to reciprocate by giving their gals white chocolates or cookies.

If you travel to South Korea on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be easily able to spot the couples in the crowds, as they’ll be wearing matching or similar outfits. They also celebrate in a similar fashion as Japan with chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, white chocolates to women on White Day, and a “Black Day” (April 14th) where singles celebrate together by eating noodles.

While in America it is a day celebrated by lovers as well as family and friends, in countries such as Spain Valentine’s Day is only a day for those in love to exchange cards and gifts. In Taiwan it is a reversal of Japanese celebrations, with men giving their loves chocolate on Valentine’s Day and ladies giving their men chocolate on White Day. And in Finland it is known as Friendship Day and is celebrated by everyone by gifting cards and tokens of affection to all who are considered friends.

There are some parts of the world where celebrating Valentine’s Day is more age-specific. In places such as India and Nepal, boys and girls of college age and older are free to give gifts to each other on this day, while those that are younger are not supposed to do so. Many high school students make a game of sneaking love notes to one another on Valentine’s Day, however. Speaking of fun and games, in Norfolk, England they have Jack Valentine, who is much like Santa Claus in that he brings treats and presents to children on the eve of Valentine’s Day.

Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate this year, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love and happiness and chocolate and fun!


– Mia V.




A Lady’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him


Struggling to find a good gift for your guy? Well don’t worry!  We’ve got you covered!  We’ve consulted with men all over the Inland Northwest in order to bring you the most definitive list of V-Day gift ideas!  Do you have more great suggestions for us? Leave them in the comments below or let us know on our Facebook or Twitter!


The first gift is kind of a given…guys need tee shirts!  They can never have enough!   But just because your dude is in some serious need of a closet conversion doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from it in the meantime!

slide_332342_3299973_freeYeah, I know, definitely not subtle!  But this guy in the picture is cool, relaxed, and totally rocking this tee, so who’s to say your guy wouldn’t do the same?!  Hey, don’t be afraid to give up your Ryan Gosling fangirl tee and wear a “this girl loves her husband” shirt in return!


While we’re on the subject of clothes, lets move into one of the most commonly given gift at Valentines Day…Pajamas.

Full-Bacon-SuitAnd ladies, you’re doing it wrong!  Boxers are passe! Your man wants bacon pajamas! You won’t need any grease to get him to slide into bed in this fashionable two-piece set!  They’re so popular, you can even pick them up at your local JCPenney!


41P2QThwE9L._SX335_This one speaks for itself.  What guy wouldn’t prefer ice cold shots of Jeager right from the comfort of his own home?  However, beware, this is tougher to get your hands on than a tickle-me-elmo on Christmas!  Your best bet is the original, but you can find a few bootlegged on other sites!



This next item is classy and casual. Whiskey Old-Fashioned Wet Shave Soap in a Jar is the perfect gift for the man who has everything…because we are pretty sure he doesn’t have whiskey-scented soap.


bottle-opener_300Finally, what man’s wallet would be complete without this handy (and adorable) bottle opener? You can get really creative and engrave one yourself, or get this one…it’s pretty cool! Follow the “FIND IT” link below to check out the website where we found this treasure for more fun and clever gift ideas!  Happy Valentine’s Day!


By: Natalya Lainhart


Let’s All Bask in the Sci-Fi Awesomeness That is Almost Human – Programming on Fox!

By now you’ve all been watching Almost Human every week and keeping up with the escapades of Detectives Kennex and Dorian as they fight crime in the future, right? If you haven’t, um really? Why not? There’s really no excuse to not be watching.

How about you go catch up on the show and we’ll wait right here for you to come back. Go ahead, we’ll be here.

Caught up now? Good job.

How can you not love this show right? I mean besides all of the sci-fi goodness going on in each episode, there is the wonderful eye candy that is Karl Urban (all rugged and growly) and Michael Ealy (all pretty and sensitive). Some of us have been fans of Karl Urban since his early days on some little cult fave fantasy shows called Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess (I’ll admit he was my ultimate fantasy boyfriend for at least several years there when I went through my own Xena phase.) And some have come later to their Karl Urban love, when he started showing up in blockbuster film franchises such as Lord of the Rings and Star Trek.

However we got there, it’s all the same now. Karl Urban is a fantastic actor who does the grouchy but good-hearted hero to perfection. He also has the buddy-buddy thing down well. Like his great on-screen chemistry with Chris Pine in Star Trek, in Almost Human he and Michael Ealy shine as police partners. They don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they learn from each other and grow as people and as a unit in each progressive episode.

The main characters are not the only thing to love in Almost Human. The world they populate has an attraction all its own to lure viewers – sci-fi enthusiasts or not – in to its depths. While we can all admit that it seems to derive much of itself from other popular sci-fi worlds (Blade Runner, Minority Report, iRobot, and The Fifth Element immediately come to mind) as time goes on and the show grows into its own skin, it is becoming more and more of its own thing. By episode three at least we stop seeing it as derivative of other things and start seeing it as its own, not-quite-yet-but-soon-it-will-be fully realized world.

With a show like Almost Human, populated by people with robot parts and robots with people feelings, in a future where intimacy dolls are built to become attached to their partners and criminals kill women for their skin, many questions about what it means to be human are continuously raised. Are Dorian’s feelings real even though he was “programmed” to have them instead of being “born” to have them? Is Kennex less of a man because part of him runs on wires and computer chips instead of blood and veins? Is it inhumane to deactivate an android just because it was involved in criminal activity? In a future where technology has been created to be more human than human, where are the lines drawn?

This show isn’t perfect. It has some flaws and some things to make up for. The fact that it does remind viewers of other science fiction movies/shows/books isn’t exactly a point in its favor. But the good definitely outweighs the bad in Almost Human. It has a lot of heart and a lot of depth and it is becoming better and better with each new episode. It can make you laugh out loud one moment, and cringe in apprehension in the next moment. It makes you feel for the characters – human and android alike – and care about what will happen to them next. It gives us a hard science fiction world without overwhelming amounts of techno babble to melt the brain.

And it has wonderful-to-look-at Karl Urban and Michael Ealy taking center stage week after week.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

*Almost Human airs Monday nights from 8-9pm on KAYU Fox 28.

Special Feature! – Get Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a lot of things. National Adopt-a-Shelter Dog month. Halloween month. The first month that really seems to feel like Fall and remind us that Winter is coming (but not a new season of Game of Thrones on HBO yet which kind of sucks). October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and whether you have been personally affected by breast cancer or not, it is still a great time to get involved in raising awareness of it as well as pushing for a cure.

Not sure exactly how to get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness month? Well lucky for you there are lots of helpful websites out there that can point you in the right direction. In fact, there is aNational Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) website created specifically for that purpose. It not only explains the history of NBCAM, but also who is behind it, why it is important, and resources on how you (yes YOU) can learn more and help out. It has links to organizations including the American Cancer Society, The American Medical Women’s Association, Men Against Breast Cancer, Susan G Komen for the Cure, and half a dozen more.

And if just reading up on things or donating online to help with research funding isn’t enough for you (and why would it be?) you can always go out and get involved in local activities created around NBCAM. The Spokane Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5k run/walk, actually takes place in April BUT you can sign up now to participate. Just register online, join an existing team or start your own, and start collecting donations ASAP.

Like to shop? Well now might be a great time to flex those buying skills as a lot of companies “go pink” during NBCAM with special products and special versions of their regular products. Yogurt, t-shirts, shampoos, sporting goods, you name it there is probably a “pink” version of it on the shelves. When you purchase one of these special items the company donates money to breast cancer research, etc. HOWEVER, it is a very good idea before you go nuts buying every pink thing in sight to do a little research into just HOW MUCH of the purchase price will be donated to the cause. Some companies only donate a small percentage, while others donate half to all of the money from that item. I’m sure you can figure out for yourselves which is the best to look for.

There are many more ways to get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this should give you at least a place to start. Breast cancer is a serious health issue affecting millions of women and men in this world. Take some time to get educated, be aware, and do what you can to help the cause.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Spokane Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Special Feature! – Get Involved with Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

The world would be a truly wonderful place if every dog waiting at a shelter for adoption could suddenly find their perfect forever home. If they could all be loved and taken home and treated as an important furry member of the family. Unfortunately the world isn’t quite at that place, and many dogs will have to wait a long time before getting adopted. Not everyone out there has the proper housing, time, or patience to keep a dog properly, and sometimes it seems like there are way more dogs needing homes than homes available for dogs.

If you are like me and live in an apartment with a roommate and a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy, or if you work 70 hours a week and don’t have time to devote to a canine friend, or even if you are allergic to dogs and can’t be around them without breaking out in hives, you CAN still get involved in helping out animals in shelters. You just have to take a different approach instead of trying to bring them all home to live with you.

Hold an Adoption Drive
Many times just getting homeless dogs into the public eye can go a long way toward finding them new homes. Once people see how adorable, charming, energetic, loving, or enthusiastic they are, they are more willing to consider adopting them. So gather your friends and neighbors, borrow some space at a park or retail business, call a shelter or rescue organization that would be interested in working with you, and help get those puppies out there.

Become a Foster ‘Parent’
Maybe you have the space and yard needed to own a dog, but still aren’t quite ready to make a lifetime commitment. There are some shelters and rescue organizations that ‘foster’ dogs with available families until a permanent home can be found for them. Sometimes these dogs are very young or have health issues that require them to need extra care. It isn’t necessarily easier to foster a dog than to adopt one, but if you have the time and energy for it you may find it to be a rewarding experience.

Volunteer at a Local Shelter
There is always a need for volunteer help at local animal shelters. You can help socialize and exercise dogs on a regular basis, as well as clean up after them and perform regular tasks that keep the dogs healthy and happy while at the shelter. Some volunteers will take dogs to pet stores or events for adoption drives, and some will check in with new adoptive families to make sure everything is working out well once a dog has actually been adopted.

The best way to get involved in Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month would obviously be to take a homeless canine into your family. But if you can’t do that, there are still plenty of ways to get involved in helping them out. Take some time to research the possibilities in your area and then go out and do what you can to make a difference!

Local Spokane shelters with adoptable dogs as well as volunteer opportunities include:
Spokane Humane Society

Get Ready for Some Schedule Changes – Programming on FOX28!

Our primetime lineup isn’t the only thing that will be changing this month on FOX28. We’ve got a slew of new (haha that rhymed) syndicated shows set to air throughout the daytime, evening, and nighttime hours. While some comedies and talk shows are taking a final bow, new clip-shows, talk shows, and comedies will be taking their places to keep you entertained throughout the week.

Some of the biggest changes start the week of September 9th as a second hour of Family Feud joins the afternoon schedule (from 2-3pm) as does the Bethenny Frankel show (4-5pm) and an hour of Right This Minute from noon to 1pm. Don’t worry, we aren’t losing the Steve Harvey show, he’s just moving to the 3-4pm hour. Late night is getting some new flavor starting the 9th as well, when Arsenio Hall returns to the talk show scene with a new hour-long program that will air from 11:05pm to 12:05am on weeknights.

And just in case you’re curious, Right This Minute presents all of the most current internet and television videos to you in an easy to watch format so you never feel like you’re missing out on what everyone is talking about, even if you don’t spend countless hours online every week. And Bethenny is a daytime talk show hosted by one of the Real Housewives of New York City that focuses on fashion, style, lifestyle tips, and celebrity interviews.

Starting the week of September 16th we’ll be making a bit of a change to our week day Law and Order offering. Criminal Intent will be waving goodbye and the popular SVU installment of the long-running series, staring Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, will take its place from 1-2pm. But we aren’t quite done there! One week later (the week of 9/23) we’ll be adding a new comedy to our evening and late-night schedule when Modern Family joins the FOX28 family. This hilarious and touching half-hour sitcom will air from 6:30-7pm and from 10:35-11:05pm Monday through Friday.

So get ready for a big month of changes coming at you as we shake up the early morning comedies, mix in some new daytime talk shows, rattle the evening comedy lineup, and add a dash of new to late night. It’s going to be an exciting September!

Come back Wednesdays (or Thursdays) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

We’ve Got Premiere Dates! – Programming on Fox!

Summer isn’t half over yet but I know many of you are already wondering when your favorite FOX programs will be returning, or when new FOX programs will be starting. Well lucky for you, we’ve got the Early Fall and Late Fall premiere schedule, straight from the big wigs at the network and ready to be reported to you. Aren’t you lucky?

Because we can’t possibly go a season without some reality excitement and drama (and So You Think You Can Dance has its season finale on Tuesday, September 10th from 8-10pm and Masterchef takes a bow on Wednesday, September 11th from 9-10pm), we’ll be bringing back The X-Factor as of 8pm, Wednesday, September 11th with the first hour of a two-part premiere. Part two will take place from 8pm until 10pm on Thursday, September 12th.

Our Big Premiere Week will take place from September 16th through September 22nd. Bones returns on Monday (9/16) from 8-9pm, while new supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow will premiere from 9-10pm. Tuesday (9/17) starts with TWO new half-hour comedies, Dads at 8pm followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:30pm. Then returning favorites New Girl and The Mindy Project take up the 9-10pm hour. Because we know you can’t get enough singing and dancing and high school shenanigans, the season premiere of Glee takes place Thursday (9/19) from 9-10pm.

The next big round of Early Fall season premieres will take place around the weekend of September 27th. First up, on Friday (9/27) from 8-9pm is the premiere of Masterchef Junior. Then Sunday (9/29) rolls along and hits you with The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and American Dad from 8-10pm. That’s a lot of new programming in one night. We hope you’re prepared for it.

We’ll let things settle down for a bit after September 29th. At least until November when we bring on our Late Fall premieres. Starting Monday, November 4th, new science fiction show Almost Human will take over the 8-9pm timeslot (while new episodes of Bones will continue on Fridays from 8-9pm). Returning comedy Raising Hope will take up position at 9pm on Friday (11/8) and be joined by new half-hour comedy Enlisted (which will air at 9:30pm).

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Get to Know People in Spokane – Author Jessica Rising

Sometimes it seems like there is nothing new and different under the sun – at least as far as media is concerned. One book about vampires or zombies becomes popular and the next thing you know ALL books are about vampires or zombies. I’m a big fan of supernatural and fantasy and science fiction, but I’ve pretty much reached saturation point on the same old storylines being used over and over and OVER again. Finding something unique to read that stimulates my imagination as well as my emotions is a treat these days and luckily for me and all of you out there that like to read, Jessica Rising has come along to provide that treat.

Post-apocalyptic stories are not a new idea. However, post-apocalyptic stories for KIDS are a whole ‘nother enchilada (ooooohhh, enchiladas … but I digress). And that is exactly what local children’s author Jessica Rising writes – post-apocalyptic books for young readers (middle grade, actually, which doesn’t necessarily mean Middle School but instead around eight to twelve years old). Her stories are full of burnt-out worlds, Steampunk gadgets (you might want to look that up if you haven’t heard of it before – Steampunk is its very own subculture and I don’t have room enough to explain it all here), giant insects, nefarious plots by evil bad guys, and amazingly realistic heroes. Child heroes, that child readers can relate to, root for, and look up to. Not because they have super powers or magical gifts or always know the right thing to do at the right time to do it, but because they stumble and fall and fight and cry and get scared, but then pick themselves up and brush themselves off and try again when they need to.

Jessica Rising’s main series for middle grade readers is called Guts and Glory: Freedom Fighters of Nil. The first book, Dr. Fixit’s Malicious Machine, was released in paperback last winter and introduces readers to not only her main characters, but an entire world of a style she calls “apocalypse punk.” This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It has some seriously scary moments. Her heroes go through a lot of rough scenes in their quest to rescue their ‘mom-napped’ mother. But that is how they start to learn who they really are and what they are really capable of. They fall on bad times but they manage to make it through tougher and braver than they started out.

And yes, before anyone asks, I have read all of Dr. Fixit’s Malacious Machine. Even as an adult I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of action, some serious suspense, and I could really feel for the kid protagonists. I cared what happened to them, which is more than I can say for characters in other children’s and young adult books I’ve read in the past few years (not that I’m naming names or anything but *cough cough sparly vampires cough cough*).

There is something to be said for unique artistic vision, as well as for someone that uses their artistic vision to do something they love. Jessica Rising loves children’s literature. She has read it, studied it, and made it her academic as well as literary topic of choice for most of her life. She’s graduating in August with an M.A. in Writing and Literature with a focus on Children’s Literature and is also a current member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has fought to make the publication of Guts and Glory a reality – self-publishing her first book when agents and editors turned their backs on it. And she is doing everything she can to find the readership her books deserve. She’s done readings at local bookshops such as Aunties, took part in interviews on morning radio shows and local podcasts, and also appeared at conventions including Spokane Comicon. She is finding her audience a book at a time and making her writing dreams come true.

Because just like her characters, Jessica Rising knows how to pick herself up, dust herself off, and do what she needs to do to become her own kind of hero.

You can find Jessica Rising online at:
Jessica Rising Blog
Jessica Rising Literary on Facebook
Dr. Fixit’s Malicious Machine on

Check back on Fridays for more installments of “Get to Know People in Spokane.” Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane!

Special Feature! – Is Your Home Prepared When You Go On Vacation?

If you’re like most of us, getting ready to go on vacation can be a chaotic flurry of activity. You have to remember to pack enough pairs of underpants, work out someone to come by and feed your fish, and check your bank account repeatedly to be sure no sudden large charges or bills pop up that you may have forgotten about. In all of the excitement it can be easy to forget that you, your kids, and your purse-size dog aren’t the only ones that need to be prepared when you head out of town. Your home also needs some attention paid to it before you disappear for a few days or weeks. Otherwise you might come back to more than just a sunburn and an empty pocketbook.

Don’t Forget the Little Things!

Did you know the mail comes every day? Well except Sunday, but I digress. The mail doesn’t stop just because you are on vacation – unless you put a stop on your mail, that is. If you don’t have someone who can come by and pick up your mail and place it somewhere safe, go to the post office and fill out a mail stop form. The post office will then hold your mail until the date you signify that you will return. A full mailbox is a glaring sign to ne’er do wells that you aren’t around. And the less the ne’er do wells know about your time away, the better.

It is also a good idea to clean out your perishable foods from the fridge before you head out, especially if you’ll be gone more than a few days. There’s nothing like coming back from an awesome trip to a tropical paradise, only to find spoiled milk and rotten lunch meat overpowering the refrigerator. You should also get a few timers and hook them up to lamps around the house. Set them to turn the lights on and off at varied times so it appears someone is still in the house during the day. Once again, you want to discourage those dang ne’er do wells from creating mischief while you’re away.

Set Up a Housesitter!

Unless you have a family member that is staying behind and can keep an eye on things, you should set up a friend or family member to check up on the place for you. If they can’t stay overnight they should come by at least once a day or every other day. They can pick up the mail (if you haven’t put a stop to it), turn on and off lights, feed the pets, watch your cable, snack their way through your pantry, try on your clothes, and check to make sure your toilets haven’t suddenly backed up or your ceilings haven’t caved in.

A housesitter can not only deter those ne’er do wells again, but can also be on hand in case of an emergency. There has been a time or two that I came back from a trip only to find the pipes had burst in the kitchen and flooded the room, or the dog had barreled its way through a window and feasted on the couch cushions. If someone had been watching the house for me, they could have caught these problems as soon as they occurred and kept them from getting worse. Make sure you leave phone numbers, emails, Twitter names, and CB radio handles in a convenient place so that whoever is watching things for you can reach you in case of emergency.

Vacation is awesome. We should all take one whenever we can. But getting prepared for vacation can be a total pain in the rear end. Do yourself a favor when you first start discussing your vacation and sit down to make a plan. Come up with packing lists as well as To Do lists for preparing home/work/school/etc for your absence. If you are vacationing with others, give everybody their own tasks to take care of and deadlines for getting them done. It might seem like a lot of work at the time, but believe me, it will make the actual time you are on vacation seem a whole lot better. Especially when you don’t have to worry about what those ne’er do wells might be doing to your home while you’re gone.

- Mia V. 

Late Fall Will See Some Primetime Programming Changes – Programming on Fox!

In this world of ever-changing media it shouldn’t come as a surprise that networks such as Fox are changing up how they present their programming. In the interest of providing new viewing options on a regular basis, this year we will not only be premiering new series in early Fall (say, around September) but we’ll be bringing you even MORE new shows, starting in the late Fall (November maybe? Still waiting on word from the all-powerful network on exact dates). This should hopefully cut back on the number of repeat episodes viewers have to suffer through – I mean enjoy! – each season as well as keep our programming from stagnating by just airing the same-old-same-old all the time.

An exciting new one-hour science fiction drama series, Almost Human, will take over the 8-9pm Monday timeslot from Bones (which will move to Fridays from 8-9pm). Almost Human was created by J.H. Wyman of Fringe fame, as well as executive produced by J.J. Abrams (you’ve heard of him, right? He did a little show called Lost? As well as the new Star Trek reboot films and Fringe?) It stars Karl Urban, who once upon a time appeared on campy-fun 90’s shows like Hercules the Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and now pops up in blockbuster films such as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Star Trek, and The Bourne Supremacy. He is joined by Michael Ealy, who appeared in FlashForward, The Good Wife, and Californication. The show opens 35 years in the future when humans have robot parts, robots have human feelings, and cops still have to work within the “buddy cop” system.

Once Bones takes up residence on Friday evenings, it will be joined by returning comedy series Raising Hope at 9pm and new half hour comedy series Enlisted at 9:30pm. Enlisted brings back Geoff Stults to Fox, who previously appeared on the Bones spin-off The Finder in 2012. He stars alongside Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars), Parker Young (Suburgatory), and Keith David (award winning actor whose previous army-acting credits include Platoon – which was a bit more serious on its take then Enlisted will be). It was created by Kevin Biegel, who also worked on Scrubs, Cougar Town, and South Park, so he isn’t a stranger to comedy. The show will focus on three brothers who all happen to be in the army and stationed on the same base and in the same unit. Hi-jinks, I’m sure, will ensue on a regular basis.

Only time will tell if these clever new programming schedules will work out, but it does look like there will be lots of new shows to choose from on a regular basis come Fall, and how can that be a bad thing?

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

New Dramas and Comedies Coming at You This Fall – Programming on Fox!

Viewers will soon be seeing quite a few new shows taking up the primetime schedule on Fox28 – starting this Fall with one drama, two comedies, and one new reality competition series. But just because these shows are ‘new’ doesn’t mean you won’t be recognizing storylines, actors, and showrunners from already existing media.

Monday nights will see Sleepy Hollow joining Bones to create a solid night of drama and mystery. This series is based on Washington Irving’s classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and focuses on the exploits of recently resurrected hero Ichabod Crane as he tries to not only deal with the modern world but also with saving that world from his nemesis: The Headless Horseman. Sleepy Hollow was created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci of Fringe fame, as well as Len Wiseman of the Underworld film franchise. It stars Tom Mison (Lost in Austen, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) as Ichabod Crane, Orlando Jones (Pushing Daisies, Everybody Hates Chris, MADTV) as Captain Frank Irving, and Nicole Beharie (Shame, 42) as Abbie Mills.

The first hour of the Tuesday night comedy line-up will be taken over by two new half hour shows – Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Dads is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and created by Alex Sulkin (Ted, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show) and Wellesley Wild (Family Guy). This multi-camera sitcom centers around the recently disrupted lives of a pair of friends who have their own video-game development company and now must deal with trouble-making fathers that want to live with them. It stars film actor Giovanni Ribisi (The Other Sister, Saving Private Ryan, Avatar, The Virgin Suicides) TV star Martin Mull (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Arrested Development, Two and a Half Men), Animal House alum Peter Riegert, and media jack-of-all-trades Seth Green (creator Robot Chicken, voice actor Family Guy, TV star Buffy the Vampire Slayer, film actor Evil Sexy Genius).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a single-camera comedy created by Daniel J. Goor and Michael Schur, who have both worked on shows such as Parks and Recreation). It stars Andy Samberg as a less-than-professional police detective who has to deal with a new overly-professional boss. Samberg has grown his comedic career by starring in films such as Hot Rod and That’s My Boy, as well as being a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live (creating the popular Digital Shorts segments along the way) and co-creating the novelty musical group Lonely Island. He is joined by award-winning actor Andre Braugher, who has starred in television shows including Men of a Certain Age, Thief, Hack, and Gideon’s Crossing.

These new scripted shows will be joined by the latest addition to the Masterchef franchise – Junior Masterchef – which will air on Friday nights. Hosted by Gordon Ramsay and judged by winemaker Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot, this version of the long-running reality cooking competition will feature eight to thirteen year old children competing for prizes and fame. It is based on the popular UK and Australian Junior Masterchef series and will follow some similar challenges of the original Masterchef competition – though taken in new directions for the younger competitors.

Starting in early Fall, Sleepy Hollow will air on Mondays from 9-10pm, Dads will air on Tuesdays from 8-8:30pm and be followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine from 8:30-9pm, and Junior Masterchef will air on Friday nights from 8-9pm.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

How Much is Too Much Seth MacFarlane? – Programming on Fox!

If Fox is the network that The Simpsons built, than Seth MacFarlane is the media powerhouse that Fox built. And loves. And wants around forever and ever and ever. Sure they cancelled his first show – Family Guy – early on, but they realized their mistake after it became a hit on syndication and DVD and they brought it back to a sweet spot on the Sunday night lineup. Then they added his next animated half hour show American Dad, followed by Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show. This Fall sees the addition of his first live-action half hour comedy creation – Dads, starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi – join Fox primetime. AND next year, the Seth MacFarlane produced Cosmos reboot will air. Between Seth MacFarlane shows and Gordon Ramsay shows it is almost amazing anyone else gets air time on Fox primetime these days.

Family Guy first premiered on Fox after the Superbowl back in 1999. It was cancelled in 2002 after three seasons, but brought back in 2005 and has been on the air ever since (eleven seasons and over 200 episodes as of the time I’m writing this blog post). This half hour, animated comedy centers around the exploits of the Griffin family – father Peter, mother Lois, son Chris, daughter Meg, baby Stewie, and talking dog Brian. Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and Mike Henry perform the regular voice-overs for the main characters. Besides consistently high viewer numbers, Family Guy has managed over the years to prove its worth by pulling in twelve Primetime Emmy nominations and eleven Annie (animation award) nominations, and winning three of each.

American Dad! came along in 2005 a few months before Family Guy returned to the Animation Domination primetime programming block on Fox Sunday nights. It has been on consistently after since for nine seasons and over 150 episodes. This half hour animated comedy revolves around the life and adventures of CIA agent Stan Smith and his family – wife Francine, son Steve, daughter Hayley, talking goldfish Klaus, and escaped alien Roger. Once again Seth MacFarlane is a major voice actor for the show (like with Family Guy) and is joined for American Dad! by Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, and Dee Bradley Baker. Though it has not managed to win any awards yet, American Dad! has managed to pull in almost two dozen nominations, including Teen Choice, Golden Reel, Annie, GLAAD Media, Prism, Artios, and IT LIST.

Of all the recurring side characters on Family Guy, it was Cleveland Brown that was chosen in 2009 to get his own spinoff show. The Cleveland Show aired for four seasons and over 80 episodes before being cancelled (to new episodes) in May of 2013. Yet another half hour, animated comedy, The Cleveland Show centered around Cleveland, his son Cleveland Jr, and their experiences joining families with Donna Tubbs, her son Rallo, and her daughter Roberta. Seth MacFarlane voiced one of the show characters, as did Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson, Reagan Gomez-Preston, and Jason Sudeikis. Like its predecessors, The Cleveland Show pulled in a fair share of award nominations, including an Annie, an Emmy, and two Teen Choice nominations. It didn’t manage to win any of them.

All three current Seth MacFarlane shows (as of June 2013) can be seen on Sunday evenings during primetime. The Cleveland Show airs at 7pm, Family Guy airs at 9pm, and American Dad airs at 9:30pm.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Get to Know People in Spokane – Spokast Podcast

What do you get when you take two media guys, put them in a room together with a bunch of computer and technical equipment, supply them with copious amounts of alcohol, and then let them talk for an hour or more? If you’re lucky (which we in Spokane ARE), you get the usually hilarious, often insightful, mostly NSFW (not safe for work), reasonably intelligent, and always interesting Spokast Podcast.

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A podcast – for all you technological noobs out there – is like a radio talk show, only it is recorded instead of live and it is listened to over/through the computer instead of on the stereo. Some podcasts have a theme, such as movies for the SchmoesKnow or history for Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and some are done by comedians or celebrities like the Joe Rogan Experience or the Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick. With the technology to record audio so accessible and the internet so vast and welcoming, you can basically find a podcast about anything you might be interested in. Some of them are awesome, some of them are awful, and some just float along in between.

Spokast, in case you were wondering (and why wouldn’t you be), falls into the ‘awesome’ category. It was created by two local Spokane guys with a background in television and movie production who really, REALLY, like to talk. And they will talk about ANYTHING. Politics, reptiles, guns, YouTube videos, recent news stories, movies, food, booze, books, local media – you name it, it has probably come up at some point in an episode. Fans of the show have likened it to “two guys sitting on the porch shooting the breeze,” or “one of those great bar conversations you’ll hear when you go out.” They sound so comfortable on the air and so relatable while conversing that you tend to forget you AREN’T sitting right there with them and can’t join in on the chat.

The podcast started back in October of 2012 and they’ve already had a long and varied list of guests on the show. The most famous is probably local ex-weatherman George Maupin, who has guested twice now and has proven that he quite possibly is the Most Interesting Man in the World. Other guests have included TV directors, audio engineers, chemists, children’s authors, history teachers, gamer chicks, mechanical engineers, Grandmas, sisters, cousins and more. For a homegrown podcast less than a year old, Spokast hasn’t had any trouble booking interesting people to come on the show and talk themselves up.

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They even managed to pull in a big name sponsor – the Elk Public House – through the cunning method of talking up the business whenever they could. As a Spoko-local program, the guys like to give credit to local businesses they feel truly deserve it. Of course they’ll make a point of criticizing those businesses they think deserve that as well. They aren’t shy about revealing their experiences working in the Spokane television market or dealing with different groups around town, so if you’re easily offended or unable to listen to their point of view on things you might want to be wary before pressing Play on an episode.

The audience for Spokast is growing on a weekly basis, but that doesn’t seem to be the most important thing for the guys behind the mics. Even if they only had one listener an episode they would probably STILL keep doing it, because it is love of the project that keeps them going. Just listening to them for a few minutes makes it obvious that they are having the time of their lives gabbing over the internet and they’d probably do it everyday if they could. Luckily for fans (which includes well over one person listening a week) this means they won’t be giving up the idea any time soon. They’ll continue to drink, talk, record, and entertain us for episodes to come.

Spokast can be enjoyed a number of ways. Head over to their website and listen to a Shortcast (15 to 20 minutes) or a long episode (one to one and a half hours) and see for yourself what they’re all about:
Spokast on Podbean
iTunes (just search Spokast under Podcasts and you should find them – and you can download eps for free!)
Spokast on Facebook
Spokast on Twitter

*Check back on Fridays for more installments of my “Get to Know People in Spokane” blog series. Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane. I’ve got a few more people/groups lined up in the upcoming weeks but I’m always excited at the idea of finding more.

Time for Summer Finales Already? – Programming on Fox!

Just when you find yourself really getting into a show, it seems like it is time for it to go away. New Fox reality show Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? hasn’t even started yet (it premieres tomorrow, May 23rd, at 9pm!) and yet in just a few short weeks (the finale airs on June 27th) it will already be waving goodbye, to be replaced on Thursday evening at 9pm with a second hour of Hell’s Kitchen. Oh Toxic Office, we barely knew you.

Original comedy program The Goodwin Games is also taking an early bow off of the summer programming schedule. Having only just seen its premiere this last Monday at 8:30pm, the half hour show will be airing the season finale on July 1st. A second encore episode of Raising Hope will be taking over the timeslot through the rest of July.

And Hell’s Kitchen will bravely stick around with new episodes on Thursday evenings at 8pm until July 25th, before it too will have to say goodbye for the season. Fans will be happy to hear, however, that once Toxic Office leaves the schedule there will be two hours of Hell’s Kitchen in Thursday primetime – at least until the season finale.

But not all the news for summer shows is sad. Fox will be borrowing FX half-hour comedy Anger Management for a four week run in June. Beginning on June 3rd and running through June 24th, this program starring Charlie Sheen will air at 9:30pm on Monday evenings instead of The Mindy Project, which took over the timeslot a couple of weeks ago. As of July 1st Mindy will be back on the air with more encore episodes.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Get to Know People in Spokane – The Modified Dolls

I’m retiring my (occasional) series on upcoming weekend events in the area. We have an events calendar on the website already, PLUS I Tweet daily events and re-Tweet other daily and upcoming events on a regular basis, so I think we’re covered on those. Instead I’m going to try a new (and hopefully interesting) series about people and groups in the area that I think everyone should be aware of. (PS I REALLY wanted to name this series “People in Your Neighborhood” but that is taken already by some show – maybe Sesame Street? – and I didn’t think it was right to steal it. Oh well.)

First up I’m going to talk about a group that is very near and dear to my heart, The Modified Dolls. This non-profit organization is made up of tattooed, pierced, and otherwise ‘modified’ women who work together to raise money, donations, and awareness for different charities. The idea began with one determined young woman in Kennewick, Washington, and has now blossomed to include hundreds of ladies throughout the United States and other countries. Yeah, it really is that big a deal.

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Though part of the greater Washington Chapter, there is a small group of Dolls located right here in Spokane that plan events in the area to benefit both local and non-local charities. They held a benefit show at The Hop just this last winter, with cash donations from the event going to both and a local women’s shelter. They collected personal care items and food stuff that went to the shelter as well. Last summer they held a bake sale during one of the Pasties and Paddles burlesque shows, and repeated the activity in November at another Pasties and Paddles extravaganza (this time with the funds earned going to Feed America). Unfortunately there are only about five Dolls (one just graduated from Gonzaga and is leaving to join the Peace Corps but they were happy to recently welcome in a new Doll to fill the gap) in this area and putting on regular events has proven difficult, so they’ve spent most of their time participating in events held by other Dolls in Yakima and the TriCities area instead.

But our Spoko-local Modified Dolls won’t be deterred. They see a lot of potential in Spokane and the surrounding area and they are determined to hold or participate in more events here. That is why they are doing (yet) another bake sale with the Pasties and Paddles burlesque troop, this time at the Cabaret Royale on May 25th (with the proceeds from the bake sale going toward the March of Dimes). In June they’ll be going pin-up style and working a booth at Swamp Stomp for World Wildlife Fund, as well as participating in the Rainbow Festival at Riverfront Park. In July they’re heading out as a group to build houses with Habitat for Humanity at a new development project in Deer Park, and in August they are hoping once again to hold a large event of their own (maybe a Rock Band Tournament for the charity Child’s Play? They’re still working that one out). They’ll also be heading to the Tricities area and the Seattle area for bikini motorcycle washes, zombie balls, and pride festivals – all in the name of doing good things for other people.

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So you’ll start seeing them around town more and more as the year progresses, and I encourage you to strike up a conversation with them, see what they’re all about, and if you are a modified lady yourself who is interested in helping others, perhaps apply to be a Doll yourself.

Check out more about the Modified Dolls at:
Modified Dolls website
Washington Modified Dolls Facebook
Modified Dolls Facebook

*Check back on Fridays for more installments of my “Get to Know People in Spokane” blog series. Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane. I’ve got a few people/groups lined up in the next few weeks but I’m always excited at the idea of finding more.

How Much is Too Much Gordon Ramsay? – Programming on Fox!

Here on FOX we obviously love ourselves the wacky, the weird, the dark, the edgy, the snarky, the rude, the genius, and the downright insane. Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay embodies more than a few of those descriptors, which must be why we have so very much of him on the air throughout the year. Between MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and the new reality series Junior MasterChef (coming soon to a FOX schedule near you!), we are serving up your fill of Chef Ramsey and then some.

One of the longest running (altogether) of his reality cooking game shows, MasterChef originally aired in 1990 as a program in the UK created by Franc Roddam. It is now in 35 countries such as Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Iceland, Malaysia, Romania, and South Korea. MasterChef Australia is actually the most popular television series in that country. Aside from each country hosting and airing their own version of the show, there are several ‘spinoffs’ of the original concept, including MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, and Junior MasterChef. When the reality show first came to America in 2000 and 2001, it was hosted by Gary Rhodes and aired on PBS. In 2010 FOX took the show over, installed Gordon Ramsay as the host, and Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot filled the judging duties.

Hell’s Kitchen is another reality cooking show based on a UK series of the same name. This time the series was actually created by Gordon Ramsay, aside from being hosted by him (with Scott Leibfried, Andi Van Willigan, and James Avery serving as Sous Chefs and Jean-Philippe Susilovic and James Lukanik serving as Maitr ds over the seasons). It began its run on American television in 2005 and has now managed eleven runs on the air and has become popular re-broadcast in other countries including France, the Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Middle East. In Hell’s Kitchen contestants form teams and compete to win the ultimate prize of a job as head or executive chef at a swanky top restaurant. Past winners have gone on to Tatou in Los Angeles, Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, Gordon Ramsey Steakhouse in Paris Las Vegas, and Savoy Grill in Savoy Hotel, London. Along the way Hell’s Kitchen has been nominated for three primetime Emmys, two People’s Choice Awards, and even a Teen Choice Award.

Unlike the previous two reality shows, Kitchen Nightmares is not a competition style series but instead plops Gordon Ramsay down in the midst of a failing restaurant. He then tries to teach the owners and chefs to not only cook amazing meals, but how to keep their businesses afloat. Once again this is a reality cooking show based on one from the UK (Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares), though developed by Daniel Kay instead of Ramsay himself. The show began airing in America in 2007 and has now managed six seasons. Each one contains mostly stand-alone episodes that each focus on a different restaurant project. Some episodes, however, include visiting previous restaurant locations to see how they have fared after filming the show.

Hell’s Kitchen currently begins airing on Thursday nights at 8pm starting on May 23rd. Kitchen Nightmares just had its season finale on May 10th, and MasterChef has its season premiere on Wednesday, May 22nd at 8pm (where it will air for two hours every week through the summer).

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Exercise for Charity, See Some Short Films and Aerial Arts, and Celebrate Mom – Events This Weekend!

It looks like we’ll be having a warm and beautiful weekend, at least up until Sunday when the Spring rain gets here. Luckily there are plenty of things going on in and out of doors to keep you occupied throughout the days. You can start the weekend off by working out for a good cause at the Shake Your Tail Zumbathon fundraiser to benefit the Spokane Humane Society on Friday, May 10th. The event takes place from 6-8pm at Lincoln Center and costs $12-15 to participate.

Saturday evening you can head over to the Magic Lantern to see the 2013 50 Hour Slam Film Festival. Over 30 filmmaking teams originally signed up to make three to six minute short films in just 50 hours over one weekend, and 15 finalists were chosen from the completed films. Screenings of the finalists will take place at 5pm and again at 7:30pm, but the festival starts at 4pm and runs until 9:30pm. Along with screenings of the films other events such as live poetry readings and performances by local bands Flying Spiders and Cathedral Pearls will take place in the Saranac Public House. Tickets for the film festival will be $10 each.

If short films aren’t your thing, you can instead head over to Riverpark Square to see a special performance by Spokane Aerial Performing Arts. They will be joined by Cirque aerial, fire, and duo-acro performer Cheetah Platt. The performance is free to view and will take place from 7:30-9pm in the Riverpark Square Atrium.

Don’t forget that Sunday is Mother’s Day! If you are looking for something unique to do with your loved one, why not head over to the Bing Crosby Theater for “Listen to Your Mother,” a group of readings in celebration of motherhood done by 13 local writers including Becky Ammerman, Caroline Fowler, Mery Smith, and Rebecca Mack. Tickets cost $15 each and the show starts at 7pm.

Come back every Friday to find out what is going on in and around Spokane! Know of something exciting coming up that everyone needs to check out? Alert us in the comments below!

Let’s Talk a Bit About Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? – Programming on Fox!

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there about this new reality show yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. While it has taken Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? a bit longer to find its place on the schedule than originally expected (and a name change or two), it will finally begin airing Thursday, May 23rd from 9-10pm with six new hour-long episodes to play through June.

The Fox Network released the following information in April about the show: New unscripted workplace experiment Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? will premiere following the time period premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. In the new six-episode series, the boardroom doors get blown wide open when employees are given the power to make some tough decisions. Frustrated bosses will hand over the reins of their companies to the employees, offering their respective staffs a chance to make changes in the workplace – even if it means letting co-workers go. Each participating office will have its own set of issues, which will force them to take a hard look at what’s plaguing their workplace and answer the toughest question of all: Does someone have to go? Featured in the first two episodes of Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? is Velocity Merchant Services (VMS), a family-owned business in Downers Grove, IL. When the family owners leave the company in the hands of their employees – including the owner’s cousins and mother – the staff quickly learns that solving personnel issues isn’t as easy as it looks. Forced to make difficult decisions and fix the company’s problems, they also realize that blood may not be thicker than water.

Toxic Office is produced by Endemol USA, along with executive producers Cris Abrego, Ben Samek, Rabih Gholam, and Fernando Mills. This isn’t the first reality series for any of these producing veterans. They’re bringing experience on such shows as Rock of Love: Charm School, Flavor of Love, New York Goes to Work, The Surreal Life, Survivor, and The Amazing Race to the table and hopefully it will help them create another popular and entertaining unscripted series.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Go Backstage with Rihanna and Then See What All the Teens are Into – This Summer on Programming on Fox28!

Fox28 is airing a number of specials this summer, starting with Rihanna 777 on Monday, May 6th at 8pm. In honor of her seventh studio album, Unapologetic, the singer went on a seven day, seven country tour. The seven-time Grammy winner performed seven shows (and yes, that is a lot of sevens if you are counting), traveling from place to place on a 777 and accompanied by 256 (not 777 as you might have expected) fans and journalists.

The Rihanna 777 tour began in November 2012 and included stops in Mexico City, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London, and New York City. While not showing an entire concert show, this behind-the-scenes special from Fenty Films in conjunction with Love Live and Granite Creative promises to show all of the drama and excitement of putting on a major musical production such as the 777 Tour.

On Sunday August 11th teenagers take over the station from 8-10pm to share all of their favorite films, music, TV shows, and stars with the Teen Choice Awards. This live special comes straight from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles and is seeing its 15th year. Dozens of awards, in the shape of a surfboard, are handed out in categories including Choice Hottie, Choice TV Villian, Choice Movie Liplock, Choice Break-up Song, Choice Twit, Choice Athlete, and even Choice Web Star. Special awards such as the Acuvue Inspire Award, Ultimate Choice Award, and Courage Award have also been presented in the past.

While the full line up of celebrity attendees and presenters hasn’t been announced yet, in previous years stars such as Shaun White, Zooey Deschanel, Kevin Hart, and Lea Michele have taken the stage. Musical performers have included No Doubt, Justin Bieber, and Flo Rida. It has also not been announced just yet who will be serving hosting duties, though some years there was no host at all and some have included multiple people filling the role. As the date of the Teen Choice Awards grows closer more information will be revealed, so check back for an update in the next few weeks. If nothing else it promises to be a totes good time.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Just What is The Goodwin Games All About? – Programming on Fox!

Wondering if it is worth it to tune in to new Fox comedy The Goodwin Games this summer? Well if you like scripted half hour shows with stars such as Beau Bridges, Scott Foley, and Becki Newton, created by the writers and producers of long running comedy series such as How I Met Your Mother, you should definitely take the time to check out this show.

The Goodwin Games is a brand spanking new series premiering on Fox28 May 20th at 8:30pm. It will run through the summer on Monday nights as part of a primetime comedy block including encore episodes of New Girl and The Mindy Project.

The basic premise of the show goes something like this: Three adult siblings who don’t get along find out that their father has passed away. The old man was loaded and they’d all like a piece of the inheritance, but it comes with some pretty far out there strings attached. In order to win the money, they’re going to have to win a very special game of Trivial Pursuit designed by their father to re-introduce them to their pasts and hopefully make better people out of them. Of course comedic hijinks and personal growth moments will ensue.

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, writers of How I Met Your Mother, have created and written The Goodwin Games and filled it with characters and situations that they hope will be as amusing as those found in their previous work. The show also has a line up of actors that have proven both their comedic and dramatic acting chops in film and television. Beau Bridges has been acting since 1948 and will have a guest starring role in the series. The main characters are played by Scott Foley (previously of Felicity, The Unit, and Grey’s Anatomy), Becki Newton (who starred on Ugly Betty and as a recurring character on How I Met Your Mother), and TJ Miller (a prolific voice actor with roles in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hell & Back, and Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas).

Will The Goodwin Games prove to be as funny as its primetime counterparts? That remains to be seen on May 20th. Be sure to check it out when it premieres and decide for yourself just how good an addition to Fox28’s comedy lineup it is.

Come back Mondays for more programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!