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Scenic drive, weird wages and Blobapalooza

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• Driving education: Want to know a little bit more — make that a LOT more — about Highway 20 as it cuts across the North Cascades? A new audio tour of the northern half of Cascade Loop Scenic Highway is now available from the nonprofit Northwest Heritage Resources, an outfit that promotes and preserves cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Each guide includes CDs, maps, text and photos that feature stories and music on places from Puget Sound, the Methow Valley and Lake Chelan. For more info, visit washingtonfolkarts.com.

• Pay puzzle: How do you increase average annual pay without raising wages? Good question. In 2010, a 2.1 percent increase pushed the state's average annual wage to $48,162 to hit an average weekly wage of $926. But that may not all have come from workers getting raises. According to the state Employment Security Department, the average wage may have climbed because the recession has taken a toll on low-paying jobs and workers who fill them. The jobs were eliminated, thus raising the average wage, while workers sought jobs elsewhere. Another factor may be that more hours were assigned to part-time workers, which increases paychecks but not employment rolls.

• Getting Slime'd: Slime is a tire sealant so popular among car and bike enthusiasts that the company has declared a three-month Summer of Blob Tour for fans of the goo. Yeah, that's right ... now you can get up close and personal with the Boys of Blob at several Blob Stops to view demonstrations, win prizes and help raise money for five different charities, including United Way and CARE. The closest that Slime's Blob-Mobile gets to the Wenatchee Valley will be on July 21 at Suncadia Resort in Roslyn, where Raleigh Bicycles will hold a big retailer show. Of course you want more info on this gunk — who doesn't? — so visit Slime.com to get your fill and plug those leaky holes.

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