On with the show

January 7, 2009

This year will be different. In fact, I’d like 2009 to be at least 12 times different than last year. Or even better. Let’s make it 12 times different than my entire life up to this point. There’s 12 months in a year, right? Let’s call them opportunities to see something different.

You see, over my lifetime, I have saved just about every single ticket stub or wrist-band to every concert, show, festival, fest, event, fair, museum, movie, amusement park or other attraction. My collection certainly isn’t all-inclusive, I mean, how do you save a “hand-stamp”? Anyway, I’ve decided that if I’m going to keep collecting this stuff, I’m going to get as much as a well-rounded collection as I can.

So this year, let’s go see a dozen bands that I’ve never seen before.

This won’t be easy. I’ve seen a lot of shows. And that’s a lot of bands with a lot of performers. I guess what really got me thinking about doing this was the news last month of the death of drummer Mitch Mitchell, who played for Jimi Hendrix. That led me to thinking about the musicians that I have seen, who unfortunately aren’t around anymore. It seemed like the list was going on and on.

I thought to myself, if I had been paying attention, I could have gone to see Mr. Mitchell. I mean, he was right next door in Portland. I love seeing people who have played with legendary people. It seems to make a connection that in some small way, I too get to “see” who they worked with, even though it’s just through the music.

So, my rules are simple. 12 shows in 12 months. It can’t be any band I’ve already seen. Ever. And we’ll keep you posted, right here on the web.

But, I’ve already got my first “technicality.” I’d like to say that I’ll be able to start this process on Jan. 8. But, I can’t. Even though we bought the tickets months ago, and the show was supposed to happen in September of 2008, and then due to a touring schedule conflict the show got rescheduled, it’s still not going to count. You know who’s playing on the 8th, at the Rose Garden, right? (Ok, fine, go “google” it).

You see, I’ve already seen him. According to my ticket stub, it was Aug. 21, 1992. Madison Square Garden. GREAT SHOW.

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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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