Ben's Babbles: March is such a tease

At the start of this week I was standing in the sunshine watching baseball. As I write this I’m looking out my window and watching the rain pour down. Boy, I hate March; it’s such a tease.

One minute it’s snowing, the next it is beautiful, and the next it’s raining sideways.

A few weeks ago, the weather was so bad even lacrosse was canceled.

Well OK, that cancellation was not due to the weather but pretty much everything canceled that week was.

Early spring sports are a constant adventure and that’s even before the weather gets involved. Technically the major league baseball started this week — with two games in Japan — at 3 a.m. Pacific time. Following two games, the Mariners and Athletics came back to resume spring training. The rest of the season doesn’t begin for another two weeks.

When the weather does get involved, the waiting gets even worse.

The Tuesday before last I stood in the pouring rain and watched the HRV softball team go through drills on its outfield grass. Nearby, the HRV lacrosse teams were also practicing through the downpour.

All of the teams had games scheduled that day. But none of them got on the bus.

Earlier that day I got a barrage of e-mails informing me of all the cancellations for the day. Included among them was the night’s lacrosse game. Turns out that one was not weather-related, but due to a scheduling problem on Redmond’s end.

The next day things were even worse.

“So you cancel all these things, but are still going to go make me stand outside in the rain for golf?” I asked, Michelle Jacobs, the athletics secretary at the high school as she brought me up to date on the cancellations.

She told me I should probably go look outside, because she doubted they would be playing on a white-covered green. Turns out she was right.

We’re all just forced to wait in March I guess. Whether it be to the weather, spring break, the delays between games in the NCAA tournament or a second opening day in major league baseball. This month can’t end soon enough.

So come on, March — just go out like a lamb already!

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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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