Happy Ned Year

Beware the toadying conjurer

There’s a “if” in the middle of significant.

The end time came and went and yet we are still here, back for another column of notches, nicks and etches to guide you into the new year.

You back my scratch and I’ll back yours . . .

n 12/21/12 – Mayan time came and went.

The end of the world turned out to be a loopier, more mystical, version of Y2K, didn’t it?

Was it a case of yours, Mayan and hours?

n Most Fascinating Person of 2012: General Petraeus? And Honey Boo Boo and Gabby Douglas are on that list?

Barbara Walters, are there fumes getting into your limo?

n Okay, on to more important things: the name Ted.

My friend Ted Harrison showed up in my Facebook circle this year, a welcome thing. It got me thinking about “Ted”:

We have Ted Williams, Ted Hendricks, Ted Ligety, Ted Kramer: famous baseball, football, skiing and tennis Teds. But just try to name one basketball Ted. They don’t exist.

I played against a guy named Ted once — once.

And further — there have been famous football Teds, but has there ever been a famous quarterback named Ted? You’d think so, but not a one.

n Ever noticed the beeper on a microwave oven and the backup signal on a delivery truck sound exactly the same?

That means microwave ovens should be banned from loading docks.

Guy doesn’t want to turn and look for his Top Ramen when a loaded van is heading their way.

n Rampant in college and pro sports: names that start with “De.”

There are more guys named DeAndre, DeMarcus, Deon, DeVonte, DeJuan and DeSean than you’d ever imagine.

Other great sports names I found this year: Frostee Rucker, Munchie Legaux, and Staats Battle.

n I was sad to see Buddy Roemer pull out of the presidential race last February; he had just acquired some self-described “roementum.”

The guy seemed to operate his campaign all via email. No wonder he lost. He’s behind the times.

n An email I never finished reading this year: someone started it with, “let me etroduce myself.”

Delete, DeMarcus!

n Can any email header in 2012 top the one I got on New Year’s Day? It said: “beware the toadying conjurer.”

Didn’t open it, so I’m not sure if they were talking about Buddy Roemer.

n Will 2013 be the year we admit “on paper” is an obsolete phrase?

n Stay thirsty, my friends, and answer me this: If a café is casually called an eatery, why is a tavern never called a “drinkery”?

n A word we need: tuckonds.

It’s that unit of time, measure in seconds, when you are alone in the office break room and you quickly loosen your belt and tuck in your shirt (or skirt; ladies, you’ve done this too.) There’s a feeling of mild danger in tuckonds — gotta work fast before someone comes in.

Use your imagination for the tuckonds concept as it fits other, more personal actions. Don’t look down your nose …

n The best song line I heard in 2012: on “Midnight Train,” alt. country sage Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings,

“You may sit beside fear and go worse than lonely/

Or travel with trust and love and faith restored/

These choices you have and these choices only/

When that train rolls in and you step on board.”

n Three lists of names: racehorses, old disease names, islands in Europe. Can you guess which list is which?

A: Fugloy, Truchen, Lepud

B: Ikerne, Adornica, Perlessa

C: Kruchenten, Mormal, Coryza

I saw them all in the space of a few days earlier this year and they struck me as completely interchangeable. (Answers at the bottom, peek if you must)

n Here’s a serpentine fact: Saving the lives of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan is a snake antivenin made by a pharmacological institute — in Iran.

n Words for a new year, from Elizabeth Page Roberts:

“Be, don’t brood.

Don’t wait for life

to announce itself

in capitals

or high garb ...”

n In the words of Alec Guinness: “I never liked New Year’s Day … it has always too often felt like a day of foreboding.” On resolutions, he said, “Experience has taught me they barely survive a week. But I have made a few negative wishes for other people. I never wish to see again any reproduction of Andy Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe.”

n Another word we need: one that describes the amount of time you have between breathing on your glasses and catching the moisture to effectively clean the lens. Ought be a word for that. (Conden-seconds?)

n On Dec. 31, 2011, the Oregonian had a list of words to say goodbye to in 2011: “Portlandia, and anything -landia.” In that same issue, a photo of an event called “Jewlandia.”

Oh, but a word we don’t need: Sexylandia. Saw that just the other day.

(Meanwhile, the show “Portlandia” is funny as ever.)

n Song title without a song: “You Can’t Leave Yet (We’re Still Leaning on Your Truck)”

n Will someone please make a movie about Charles Durning’s life? The guy survived terrible childhood poverty, got stabbed on D-Day and killed the poor German with a rock, and he supported himself with jobs like working in a barbed wire factory. RIP, One Tough Dude.

n Was there ever a happier sentence uttered in the English language than this one, from Dickens, in “A Christmas Carol”:

“Bob served hot stuff from the jug, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!”


The “three lists” answers: A – islands in Europe; B — race horses; C — old disease names (in order: whooping cough, gangrene, and a cold)

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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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