• ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.
• RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.
We hereby deliver:
• ROSES to the apparent end of the mid-valley's recent heat wave, although it may take a few days for high temperatures to descend into the 80s. As we wrote today's "Roses and Raspberries" column, the National Weather Service was preparing to call off the heat advisory that the region has been sweating through.
But temperatures will not immediately cool down much, and highs are expected to be in the 90s through Sunday, with patchy smoke possible that day. So take care — and keep an eye out for neighbors and relatives who may be unduly affected by the heat.
Here's the really good news about the weather: Temperatures should be cooling down into the 80s just in time for next week's Benton County Fair. Fair managers obsess about the weather and with good reason: Weather that's too hot (like last year's scorching fair temperatures) or too cold can really depress fair attendance. But prospects look good for weather that's right in the sweet spot next week, and that's refreshing.
• RASPBERRIES to scam artists, who never seem to take a day off. We heard this week from a mid-valley woman who reported getting a recorded call from scammers who claimed to be from the Social Security Administration. The caller said that the woman's Social Security account had been tagged for fraud and that its assets were in danger of being frozen.
The recording urged the woman to call another phone number. That presumably would have been answered by a live con artist who would have tried to convince the woman that she needed to buy cash cards to settle the matter.
The woman didn't fall for the scam. She did make another call, though: to the real Social Security Administration, which offered assurances that it doesn't work that way.
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These con artists never take a vacation, so be sure to keep your guard up.
• ROSES to the Army veterans of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, who have gathered for an annual reunion every year since 2005. The reunion for these Vietnam veterans is held in a different location each year; this year's reunion, held last weekend, was hosted by Tim Nokleby of Corvallis. The veterans took a trip to the Oregon coast and then had a barbecue Saturday at Nokleby's home.
The members of Charlie Company frequently were thrust into dangerous situations; the company's unofficial historian, John "Mac" MacFarland, said he believed every one of the 28 veterans at the reunion participated in at least 25 air assaults — the level at which soldiers qualify for the Army's Air Medal.
The reunions offer camaraderie, of course, but also serve as a form of therapy for the veterans: "With these guys you can sit and talk about stuff you never could with anybody else," McFarland said.
We're delighted these veterans chose to gather in Corvallis. And we are grateful for their service and their sacrifice.
• ROSES? RASPBERRIES? We're not sure how to react to a news item from The Oregonian, about an Ashland woman who said she used telepathy and a "feline-speak eye blinking" technique to guide a cougar out of her house after it wandered in through an open door and dozed for six hours behind a couch. (Actually, anyone with cats can believe that bit about the long nap.)
This feline eye-blinking business, by the way, occurs when you make eye contact with your cat and slowly blink your eyes. Supposedly, this reassures the cat, although it's just as likely that it's an elaborate practical joke cats like to play on their owners.
In any event, the woman reported that before dawn, she telepathically sent the cougar a visual image of a route out of the house. She then woke the cougar with drumming (remember, this is Ashland) and the cat left the house, although it is not clear whether this is because of the telepathic image or because the cat is a music critic. The woman posted a video on Facebook that purports to show all this.
All's well that ends well, we suppose, but we are reasonably sure that no expert on cougar behavior would endorse any of these techniques. (mm)