Kaleidoscope: The ear in review

Because if you can’t make fun of yourself once in a while, you’re taking life far too seriously

Ear in review


Ear in review

For regular Hood River News readers, this page should look familiar.

At about this time last year we featured an inaugural “make fun of the editor while he’s on vacation” photo essay titled “KNR’s Greatest Heads.” The full-page spread paid homage to the remarkable number and variety of backs-of-heads photos that had secretly been taken and secretly collected during the previous year.

In this second installment, we look back at 2012 in Hood River County, again through the lens of Editor Kirby Neumann-Rea in a piece aptly titled “The Ear in Review.”

As if responding to last year’s jabbing, KNR did in fact change his approach to shooting news events in the field. Rare are the days of standing behind tall bald men and curly-haired ladies to get photos of things on the other side of the room. Touché, cheers, hurrah, bravo, bravo … It took public ridicule and more than a decade of practice, but all that hard work is finally paying off.

Of course, there’s still plenty of room for good old-fashioned office mockery and testing the boss’s sense of humor.

What we see here is the amusing byproduct of trying to correct years’ worth of bad habits in a single leap. Change often must come in steps, and it appears in this case the first step is about 90 degrees. To avoid one Hood River News photographic fallacy, we’ve invented another. We now have inner ear canals to add to the list red-flag-photos along with things like backs of heads, low-cut blouses, double-chins, animal backsides, any kind of eating, nose scratching and comb-overs on windy days.

In secretly cataloging these gems throughout 2012, there was far too much cartilage for a single page photo essay; so extra points were awarded to images with multiple ears, ears of politicians or local celebrities and certain technical features like blurry ear, flash ear, under/overexposed ear and composition favoring in-focus lobes with the actual subject of the scene blurry somewhere in the background.

And for nostalgia’s sake, special County Fair Grand Champion ribbons were awarded in exceptional cases where backs of heads AND insides of ears were captured in the same image.

n In the spirit of the mantra “If you can’t make fun of yourself once in a while, you’re taking life far too seriously,” chears to everyone, and ear’s to a wonderful 2013 in Hood River Canal ... I mean County.

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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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