Cascade Cup?

Gridiron excellence means

it’s time to purge ‘Civil War’

This may be punting into the wind, but the people of the state of Oregon should consider a modest proposal having to do with the athletic contest for which it is mobilizing on Saturday.

It is time to get rid of the term “Civil War.”

In the actual American Civil War, 600,000 people died in the only conflict in which Americans killed fellow Americans.

Also, a modern reality — a war looming in Iraq — compels the retiring of “Civil War” as an athletic term.

Oregonians should purge its use for anything other than what it really means.

“Apple Cup” is what our neighbors in Washington call the annual test between the Cougars and Huskies. The rivalry is just as fierce as the OSU-Oregon one — sometimes more so — yet the Evergreen State’s nickname for the game is much kinder. It also reflects something important about Washington, its apple trade.

Changing the nickname takes nothing away from the fact that the football game in Corvallis between the Beavers and the Ducks is the state’s prime athletic event. It will remain so until, and probably beyond, the unlikely day the Blazers host the NBA Finals.

Of course, the Beavers’ and Ducks’ success in the past 6-8 years is a turnabout from the football mediocrity that Oregonians on both sides of the university fence had grown used to in the previous 20 years. The 2002 season has been a slight disappointment in Eugene and Corvallis, but contests between teams with records on the order of 3-8 are a thing of the past.

Oregon and Oregon State universities have replaced mediocrity with excellence — all the more reason to replace a negative nickname with something ennobling, or at least endearing.

So here are three suggested alternatives for the presidents and athletic directors of both schools to get behind:

Fir Cup — reflecting the state tree, Douglas Fir.

Pear Bowl — continuing the Northwest fruit theme; pears are the main crop in Hood River and Jackson counties, at both ends of the state.

Cascade Cup — for though mountains divide us, a violent name should not.

Ad nauseam

Product images keep sneaking in

Prepare yourself: The line between programming and advertising on television is going to get even more blurred.

This unhappy development comes as a byproduct of new technology. Viewers with the right equipment are zapping the commercials out of TV programs, using personal video recording systems such as ReplayTV and TiVo. It’s no surprise that networks are looking to retaliate by working the ads right into the programming itself.

Fine Living, a cable network started up in March by Scripps Networks (which also owns the Food Network and Home & Garden Television) is leading the way, with a couple of new takes on old TV program tricks to keep advertising content on the screen.

Old enough to remember General Electric Theater? (Hosting it didn’t hurt Ronald Reagan’s career back in the 1950s.) Like that early TV series, all the Fine Living shows are available for sponsorship. Sponsors get the name of their company and logo splashed on screen prominently as part of the show’s identity.

Fine Living programs also run special highlight segments that supposedly elaborate on show content, but their real purpose is obvious: displaying the names and logos of sponsors and sometimes even the sponsors’ products.

The latter is just a new wrinkle in product placement, the venerable art that has been around about as long as TV. One of the first such deals was struck way back in 1952, when Hoover agreed to pay the makers of “I Love Lucy” every time a character was shown looking happy and relaxed while using a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

Since then there have been too many instances to count on screens large and small, including Reese’s Pieces on “ET: The Extra Terrestrial” and the Ray-Ban glasses in “Men in Black.” Junior Mints made out well thanks to a prominent role in an episode of “Seinfeld.”

What will viewers get for watching all the new stealth ads coming their way? No commercial break whatsoever.

— Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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