Election Day tricks; decorative treats, too | NevadaAppeal.com

Election Day tricks; decorative treats, too

Kurt Hildebrand

It is a fact that Election Day comes very near Halloween this year. The only problem is we get a lot more tricks than treats.

Here’s one particularly annoying tactic. My phone rang last week and a man came on saying he was Brian Sandoval. A couple of days later, I get a call from Erin Kenny. Finally, on Thursday I hear from Tom Grady.

All three of these people are running for office and I would love to talk to them about their campaigns and what they stand for.

Except they aren’t actually on the phone. Instead I’m getting prerecorded messages from them.

I can see some people picking up the phone and thinking Brian Sandoval is on the other end.

“That Sandoval sure seems nice, but he doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise,” I imagine the conversation going.

My wife, Jenn, must have done too good a job of decorating for Halloween. I pulled into the driveway just as a little Spiderman was released from a car and sent up to the door.

I smiled reassuringly at him as he passed me, but he got a look at Jenn’s spooky signs and went back to the car. After reassuring him it was all right, he came back up and rang the doorbell. He got a piece of candy for his trouble and ran back to his dad’s car.

The basement of the Nevada State Museum looked a little like a festival for the museum’s annual employee chili cook-off on Wednesday.

Six teams from different departments competed for best chili and best presentation.

State archivist Guy Rocha, and myself were two of the judges in the contest which came down to two very nice chilis.

Good chili is a balance of spice and texture, and the best chilis tended to have beef in them.

As I discovered a long time ago, when judging beef recipes for the Cattlewomen, the trick to judging a food contest is to separate the steak from the hamburger.

It was those crafty folks in the museum’s exhibits department who claimed the prize as winners of the contest. They spent their time on content rather than presentation, something I respect.

The presentation award when to administration for their gypsy booth. The anthropology department took second for a very stylish petroglyphs booth.

I took a bowl of the winner as my prize.

About two-dozen people turned out last weekend to help build a trail around the far side of Dayton Park.

According to Judy Harris, VISTA Volunteer for the improvement project, at least one-third of the workers were young people including elementary and middle schools students.

“We concentrated on the right side of the area where you were unable to walk,” she wrote me. “You can walk there now. We were able to connect the whole area with a clearly defined trail.”

Most of the trail is covered in a layer of sand to prevent it from becoming too muddy this winter. Picnic benches for the park are on order, Judy says.

Kudos to the folks at the Depot Casino, who provided lunch food, and Smith’s for handing out coupons for some extras.

The barbecue after the work day featured plenty of food, which was enjoyed by those who participated.

“Most of the people I talked to at the end said they were happy but tired,” Judy said. “They had a right, even the little ones worked really hard to get the trail complete.”

Kurt Hildebrand is former managing editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 887-2430, ext. 402, or e-mail him at kurt@tahoe.com.