No matter how it's shaken, bacon taken to new heights

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I'm relieved a Seattle company has "put the ‘fun' back in funerals." J&D's Foods expanded from its many bacony goodness edibles into the realm of loving bacon to death with the J&D's Bacon Coffin.

It's like any other high-end casket, except for the look of bacon stripes on the outside.

Company owners "told KIRO, straight-faced, that bringing bacon to the afterlife was a service for the nation's millions of bacon-lovers and one that would take some of the stress out of funeral plans and help mourners make it more of a celebration."

This is the same outfit that recently came up with original and light versions of Baconnaise because a customer wanted a bacon to spread, like mayonnaise.

They also produce a variety of flavored salts, popcorn, ranch dressing and dip mix, gravy, croutons and "Mmmvelopes" flavored envelopes. Just precede each of these products with "bacon," because as the company maintains, "Everything should taste like bacon."

And - oh, yes, - there's even bacon lip balm to keep chapping in check.

Their first product was a salt that tastes like bacon. Through trial and error, they now produce a low-sodium, zero-calorie, zero-fat, vegetarian and kosher seasoning that brings that bacon taste to anything on which it's sprinkled.

The items the company's founding bacontrepreneurs Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow have dreamed up since they started it in 2007 are kosher.

Their first financing came from a $5,000 win on America's Funniest Home Videos with a look at Dave's baseball-batting 3-year-old son Dean, called "Swinging for the fences."

Find out more about this business online at www.jdfoods.net/. It occurs that these baconofficionados may not be seeking to be cured.

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Walla Walla Valley Lioness Club members have been stocking items at the Helpline Women's Shelter in Walla Walla, said member Veva Hepler in a release.

Among their many needs are toilet soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, residential cleaning supplies, garbage bags, shower curtains, bath towels, deodorant, face cloths, bleach, disposable rubber gloves, hand sanitizer, a curtain for the front door, cough drops, cotton balls, razors, shampoo, mop, glass cleaner, fabric softener, twin bed-sized sheets, Clorox disinfecting wipes, copier paper and pen markers.

Those wishing to attend club meetings or who would like to donate items may call Veva at 509-522-0687. Members brought things to fill two large laundry baskets at their last meeting and gave a donation of $300.

The group's dinner meetings are 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Fireplace room at Merriam Street Apartments, 115 Merriam St. In fact, a staff member from Lincoln High School will speak during the group's April 10 meeting and guests are welcome to attend and have home-cooked meal, Veva said.

"Please come for a free dinner prepared by one of our members if you are interested in community service and making new friends or renewing ties with old friends," Veva said.

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Had you been asked to stop that "walla-walla-ing" in China in mid-1935, it would simply be a request to quit engaging in meaningless blather. The definition came to light after an unidentified Union-Bulletin reporter at the time wrote the 4th Marines in Shanghai, China, wondering about the meaning of the Marine Corps' newsweekly name, The Walla Walla.

Copies of the newspaper occasionally made the transocean crossing to our Walla Walla and the reporter was curious about the significance of Walla Walla in China.

Marine First Lt. M.S. Rahiser responded that "walla-walla-ing" essentially is the same as slang terms then in use, such as shooting the breeze, being gabby, shooting the fat, chinning or chattering.

An explanation of the Chinese slang term was included in the subsequent newspaper article on June 9, 1935.

The lieutenant said one might ask another to lay off the idle chit-chat by saying, "Cut out that Walla Walla and come here."

Rahiser continued, "I trust that I have made myself clear. And now you may understand why we use it as the title for our weekly."

Thanks to Joe Drazan, who unearthed the article and the cover of The Walla Walla issue for us. See Joe's vintage image collection at www.wallawalladrazanphotos.blogspot.com/

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‘What a fantastic performance by the Odyssey of the Mind teams," said teacher Dan Calzaretta of their second year in competition.

Pioneer and Garrison Middle schools students attended the regional competition March 17 in Garibaldi, Ore.

"The kids had a great time and the adults survived," Dan added. He teaches sixth- through eighth-grade Explorers at Pioneer and teacher Beth Clearman does the same at Garrison. Not all the students competing were Explorers, Dan said.

Fifty-two students on nine Pioneer teams competed and received four first places; two each second and third places and one fourth place. The seventh-eighth-grade "Ooh-Motional Vehicle" team won the "OMER" award, which recognizes the spirit of the competition for creativity.

In Garrison's first year of competition, 11 teams went. They earned one first place, two second and one third. "Their results were pretty amazing," Dan said.

All the first-place teams qualify for world competition, to be at Iowa State University in May. "I'm not sure that any of our teams will be able to go because of the short amount of time to do fundraising," he said.

To prepare for regionals, Dan said students did a lot of Odyssey-related activities, such as team building and creative problem solving.

"We received numerous compliments from the (Twin Rocks Camp) director where we stayed the night, the Odyssey coordinator, and the competition volunteers about the attitude, behavior and friendliness of our students. This says a lot about our families and chaperones," Dan said.

"To me the most important results from an event like this are that the kids learned something and they had fun. This certainly was the case. All of the kids today are excited and happy with the weekend. I am proud of all of them."

Teachers had the assistance of chaperones who also endured the 328-miles, seven-hour bus trip: Thom Bolduc, Martha Roberts, Katie Christianson, Carl Christianson, Kathryn Southwick-Hess and Dawn Moore.

Coaches devoted lots of time to this endeavor. "Without them there would have been no Odyssey of the Mind at Pioneer this year," Dan said. They are: James Winchel, Jennifer Northam, Jeff Adams, Stephanie Kytola, Annette Matlock, Katie, Kathryn and Thom.

"We really have an amazing group of kids and parents. I am lucky and honored to be associated with such a fantastic group," Dan said.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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