Thursday, October 19, 2017

Well, hi there! It’s Thursday, October 19, 2017. It’s a stormy day, with heavy rain, highs in the 50’s, turning showery but colder later on. We’ve now tapped into the 5,000 mile-long atmospheric river from Asia that the TV people have been waving their arms at. Sunrise 7:32 AM. Sunset 6:17 PM.

Last night was fresh and windy on the coast, with gusts above 60, and there’s a high surf advisory through Friday. There’s a power outage in Lincoln County.

We have rain…and we have fire…

People gaped and shot video from office windows as black smoke rolled up in the sky, punctuated by aerosol cans exploding, when fire ripped through a food cart pod at SW 1st and Columbia next to the KOIN tower. The swirling winds carried flames to ten cars parked nearby. Portland Fire and Rescue investigators say it was caused by vapors from a generator, coming in contact with a heat source. TV news ran a sound bite from a nice guy whose pickup was burned, who said his first thoughts are with the families whose food carts, and livelihoods, went up in smoke.

The timing of the fire is striking, because it was one year ago today that a thunderous explosion rocked Portland after a contractor’s heavy equipment, digging on the wrong side of the street, chewed into a Northwest Natural Gas line at NW 23rd and Glisan. Seeping gas filled a basement and less than twenty minutes later, it blew–not once but three times, injuring eight people including police officers and firefighters evacuating the people in the building. The Martha Stewart-endorsed Bagelworks was gone in a flash—but I’m told their fine product is now sold in coffee shops throughout Portland, the suburbs, and other towns in Oregon.

The fruit packing warehouse in Bingen, Washington is still burning. This facility specifically serves pear growers from the Hood River Valley to Mt. Adams. That’s dozens of family farms, and they don’t know how much of their product was lost. The packing company is one hundred years old, very solid, and essential to the Hood River Valley economy.

A masked anarchist who tossed flares into the downtown Target store and a Portland police car in a May Day protest has been sentenced to five years in prison.

An unexpected change at the top at TriMet–as General Manager Neil McFarlane is retiring after 26 years with the transit agency, 7 as GM. No reason was given.

Some ******* has painted swastikas on the statues of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins in Grant Park. (I’d write the word, except I also read this stuff on the radio).

One of Canada’s most respected rock stars–Gord Downie, leader of The Tragically Hip, has passed at just 53.

This is the day of the Great Oregon Shakeout…the Great Washington Shakeout…the Great California Shakeout…the Make America Great Again Shakeout…you get the idea. It’s an earthquake drill, in schools and offices, at 10:19 AM. Pretend it’s a game, and when somebody yells “earthquake,” just drop on your hands and knees under a table, cover your head, and hold on tight. If you don’t have a table nearby, crouch against a wall far away from a window. It’s a good idea to find your safe spot in every room in the house and office, so if we start shaking, you won’t have to run around searching. What you shouldn’t do is stand in a doorway (like I did during the Spring Break Quake), and experts say we should forget all about the “triangle of life” you may have heard about, where you’re supposed to crouch next to a table. You’re much better off under the table. They suggest you put a little bag by your bed with a flashlight and a pair of shoes, so if it hits at night, you won’t be stepping in broken glass in bare feet in the dark.

Today the Dow is opening above 23,000 for the first time in history. Interestingly it was thirty years ago today when the Dow fell 22%. Ooof. It happens.

It’s National Get To Know Your Customer Day. That’s the best way to make every customer a repeat customer. The cleaners I go to, in Oregon City by the old Haggens, is just like that. The bell rings when I walk in, we know each other by name (they’re Chan and Rida), and next week I’m right back again. Haggens was like that, too.

Today’s the New Moon, which is like an invisible full moon, and it may affect the tides, adding to their irascibility during the storm, and raising the danger of rogue waves, especially today.

A Japanese orbiter has discovered a cave on the moon. It’s 300 miles long and a football field wide. It might be useful as a base for human explorers.

Another supposed Bigfoot sighting–in the Coconino National Forest in central Arizona. A man says he saw a very large, fast-moving figure from 125 yards away; it had black fur with a reddish tint. Cryptozoology investigators found enormous footprints, and by gauging its beyond-human stride, estimated the height of the being at eight feet.

I might try to find respite in cryptozoology. The news certainly isn’t doing it for me. I am beyond the gag-me point with the politicization of every single freaking thing in the country. The National Anthem and the NFL and Merry Christmas, for cryin’ out loud, and Gold Star Families are now mindless Twitter topics to be hoisted aloft and brandished to demonstrate the evility of the other side. People want to force people to do this, and we’re offended if they do that, and nothing has its own meaning anymore, in and of itself. We have a residue on us that I’d just like to scrub off.

Might go out to the woods and have a talk with Bigfoot.

Anyway..that’s a wrap to today’s Daily Drip. BTW the Blazers utterly and mercilessly demolished the Phoenix Suns in the season opener, 124-76. The Cubs stay alive, down 3-1 to the Dodgers…the Yankees go up 3-2 on the Astros. Stay dry. Umbrellas are OK, until they’re blown inside out.

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