Lighted deer, Led Zep’s unreleased Christmas album and ‘Inoke’

Dec. 22, 2010

Hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to bounce around a few topics in this column. Besides, it’s the holidays, so I might as well add to the festivity frenzy. There’s no point in trying to contain Christmas spirit, is there? So here’s what I’ve been doing to get into the Christmas spirit. And you know what? I think it’s working. And I hope some rubs off on you.

First, if you’ve visited Mosier recently, you may have noticed a bunch of Christmas decorations next to 10 Speed East. The city council sets up a light display there every year, but this year, when all the lighted metal-wire deer and greeting signs were set up, nothing worked.

Not one bulb.

So, kinda like the Grinch, I gathered up these unwieldy items and headed up the hill to my shop with a promise to bring them back to life.

After what seemed like an eternity of mind-numbing work, I replaced close to 200 bulbs. Of course, the “old” bulbs (which were probably made in the exact same factory as the “new” bulbs) had to be swapped out of each little holder, because the new one wouldn’t fit in the old one.

As soon as I got these fixed, I was informed that the Lighted Penguin display in front of City Hall was burned out.

I sighed, I installed new batteries in my portable bulb-tester and headed down the hill.

My holiday wouldn’t be complete without some music, and this year I was lucky to attend the United Way Holiday Benefit Concert, with Aaron Meyer and his band, on Dec. 12.

And, I’ve got to say, this single show was perhaps the best musical event I’ve seen in Hood River County. The only problem? We’ll have to wait an entire year for another one.

During the entire show, I was transfixed. Time? I lost track of it. I had to laugh. At one point, Meyer’s violin and band tore into Led Zep’s “Kashmir,” AND IT STILL FELT LIKE A CHRISTMAS SONG.

The last few years, there’s a name that keeps popping up in my music column right around Christmas time, and this year I was reminded of him when I saw the advertisement in the paper. But all the information said was “Musical Entertainer Inoke.”

Now, I know from past years that “Inoke,” aka Inoke Baravilala, is a guitarist. But really, what else did I know about him?

Answer, not much. But when I dug a little deeper, I just got a feeling that there was a lot more to his story.

It turns out Inoke has been playing guitar, all over the world, for over 40 years, and I think his interview is one of the most interesting ones so far. So, if you’re a musician looking for some inspiration, or just someone looking for some more holiday spirit, Inoke will be in town on Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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