Monday, January 23, 2012
Among our standards for news decisions at this newspaper is "How many people were present?"
In the case of my Friday night folly, the answer was "hundreds."
I feel it only fair, in the interest of full disclosure, to report on an incident Friday night that I am sure readers will find compelling.
The editor fell on his backside.
Not in a figurative sense. Literally.
And there to witness it were about 300 people. Fortunately, the majority of those present at Vannet Court at HRVHS were watching what they should be, junior cheerleaders showing their moves, and not my low point.
But I know that some people saw the sideshow as I fell over backward, iPhone aloft. We have documentation, of sorts.
The slapstick happened during halftime of the girls varsity basketball game. Local youth, aged 5 to 10, were taking turns demonstrating what they had learned at a recent cheer workshop. While one group did a cheer, others sat on the floor waiting their turns.
I walked among the action, recording it on my iPhone as I moved backwards and suddenly realized I was about to step on a couple of girls. Almost subconsciously, I did a near-flip backwards to avoid hurting the girls, and there in front of The Dalles-Wahtonka crowd, I landed on my keister and left elbow.
I also had the presence of mind to prevent damage to the Nikon that was around my neck by holding the camera aloft as I went down. The iPhone slid across the hardwood, and a nice man picked it up and gave it back to me.
"Should be quite a video," I think he said to me.
In my 32 years as a reporter I have had my share of embarrassing mishaps, such as driving my car into a watery ditch, tripping on bleachers and tearing a coat while climbing over a fence. Most of these went unwitnessed, and even a minor sideline collision or two with football players passed without much notice.
But Friday, my halftime tumble happened in front of hundreds. It was a YouTube moment - my first.
I asked the two girls I nearly stepped on if they were okay, and one of the senior cheerleader said yes.
The eyes of one of the little girls, however, spoke volumes. "What a bozo," they seemed to say.
She was right. And in that spirit, we are posting that video. I felt it only fair to share it with readers, including the 299 people who did not say anything to me.
The first 30 seconds or so show the cheerleaders doing their stuff, and then the iPhone goes skyward and you are free to laugh.
"Quite a video," indeed. Enjoy it, on our website homepage:
(I meant to do that!)
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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