Look for a bunch of dragons tomorrow on Lake Washington. These dragons don't breathe fire, but they will get hot during the second annual...

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Look for a bunch of dragons tomorrow on Lake Washington.

These dragons don’t breathe fire, but they will get hot during the second annual International Cancer Cup Dragon Boat Festival at Newcastle Park in Bellevue.

The heat comes from the exertion of the 20 paddlers in each boat, racing against one another. The sport originated in China and features a highly synchronized paddling in low-to-the-water boats decorated with dragon heads.

The Bellevue festival is sponsored by Team Survivor Northwest, an organization that provides athletic programs for female cancer survivors.

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Even if you’ve never paddled before, it is fun to watch. Races can be seen from the shore. And where else can you find a perpetual trophy called the Specimen Cup? (For more information go to www.teamsurvivornw.org.)

The chairwoman of the festival is Cheri Rutherford, who lives in Bothell and works in Bellevue.

She’s easy to spot driving around town. Besides carrying paddles and life jackets in her Honda CR-V, her license-plate holder is a dead giveaway.

It reads: “My other car is a dragon boat.”

Sticky question

Bob Burke edits Blackberry Preserves, the Kirkland Heritage Society newsletter. So when a man called recently and asked if this was the blackberry-preserves place, Burke said yes.

The caller then said they’d found some old jars of blackberry jam and wondered what the shelf life was.

“He had obviously found us on the Internet under blackberry preserves,” Burke said. “When I explained it was the title of our heritage-society newsletter, the man apologized and said he felt stupid.

“We had a good laugh together.”

Burke couldn’t resist adding the story to the latest issue of Blackberry Preserves. He wanted to share the laughter — and was hoping someone could tell him the answer.

Early warning

Medina, which qualifies as one of the four quietest towns on the Eastside, may have a traffic jam next week.

Apparently Bill and Melinda Gates have invited Chinese President Hu Jintao to dinner. He arrives in Seattle on Monday.

Curious as to the other quiet towns? Yarrow Point, Hunts Point and Beaux Arts.

Hog tied

Some people walk their dogs. Carrie Van Dyck walks her pigs — Basil and Borage.

Van Dyck, co-owner of The Herbfarm Restaurant in Woodinville, puts harnesses and leashes on the 10-month old potbellied piglets — the restaurant’s mascots — and walks them several days a week.

She intended to train them to be comfortable with human contact by holding them frequently. Unfortunately, Basil and Borage hadn’t read the same page of the pig-training manual.

They squealed loudly whenever Van Dyck picked them up.

“I didn’t want to disturb the hotel guests so I’m letting them get used to walking with me first,” she said.

The Herbfarm sits in the same complex with Willows Lodge, and Basil and Borage share a pen near the south end of the luxury hotel.