Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Boo!

Did I scare you? Oh wait..that’s what the news is for. It’s the Daily Drip checking in on Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, 2017, the first dry Halloween in over a decade for many of us. Today will be Sunny and 62-ish. Sunrise 7:49 AM, sunset 5:58 PM. Then showers tomorrow as we roll toward a rainy and cool patch with snow as low as 2500 feet.

Yesterday’s breeze snuffed the lights for several thousand people across the area, resulting in a day off for employees at some small businesses, including one that put a sign in the door: We’re closed. Power is **currently** out.

The column of smoke blooming off to the southwest was a logging slash burn that blew out of control in Yamhill County. Plus there were at least nine runaway slash burns along the Cascades, mostly in Clackamas County east of Molalla.

The Portland Timbers, dodging the divots on Houston’s hurricane-pockmarked home pitch, managed only a 0-0 draw with the Dynamo, and head home with three injuries that could turn out to be damaging in the playoff run. Midfielder Diego Chara was taken off the field on a stretcher with a broken bone in his foot; Darlington Nagbe and Larrys Mabiala were also hurt. The two teams go again on Nov. 6, this time on Providence Park’s much better playing surface, and in front of the Timbers Army.

The Blazers lost at home to Toronto. They got a case of the clanks in the second quarter.

So what shoes will drop in the Mueller investigation? That’s unknown, but there are four cases in the US District Court DC docket with case numbers between those of Paul Manafort and George Papadopolous–and all four are sealed.

We’re getting the dirty lowdown today on Russia’s massive election-year ad buys on American social media, as executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google are hauled up before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. Facebook has already told us that memes from a Russian troll farm, sowing division and discord among the American electorate, reached up to 129 million users in the US. (I always hated those memes, usually unflattering photographs with some blatant lie about a candidate, and a message urging the reader to “share if you agree.” It’s why I banned them last year from the Daily Drip, booted those who persisted in spamming us with them, and declined friend requests from people whose timelines included that stuff. I smelled a rat).

Voter fraud is far from the massive, election-changing phenomenon that some claim, but it exists…with 54 cases suspected in Oregon and 72 in Washington. Sometimes it’s a deceased spouse who’s casting a ballot from beyond.

A judge has ordered a halt to the Trump ban on transgender people in the military.

Police located an 85-year old Vancouver woman who went missing yesterday. She’s fine, safe, and reunited with family.

“House of Cards” is ending after next season. But Netflix says the decision was made long before Kevin Spacey was accused of trying to force himself on an underage boy in the 1980’s.

This is the day of Halloween; like all American holidays, it’s built upon some venerable and purposeful old celebration with a grand but largely forgotten theme, and observed with the consumption of food and drink. The theme is the dead, and the dark side, and scary stuff. To me, that’s all fiction and entertainment, and I walk undaunted through a pitch-dark forest every night in the fall and winter. But I can’t explain a couple of things, including the powerfully familiar scent of flowers and spice that pervaded our bedroom for a brief moment a few weeks after my Chicago Grandmother died. It was her perfume. I have no doubt of it. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’m willing to make that exception.

Today is the half-millennial anniversary of a dramatic event in the history of the Christian faith. It was 500 years ago today that Martin Luther broke with the Catholic church by pounding his 95 opinions about stuff on a cathedral door in Wittenburg, Germany, inasmuch as Twitter was 490 years away. His basic objection, as I understand it, was that the Roman faith gave the rich the option of buying “indulgences” that excused them from their sins. And thus he created the Lutheran Church, and all of Protestantism.

The rest of the story on the woman who caught a home run in the World Series only to have the ball ripped from her hands and thrown back on the field is that her name is Sarah, and the guy who ripped the ball from her is her brother-in-law Kirk, and the only reason she’s mad at him is that she wanted to be the one to heave the ball back. It was hit by the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, and as Kirk explains, “(Expletive) the Dodgers.” Kirk’s going to give Sarah his autographed Nolan Ryan cap. I’d be glad to add an autograph from the guy who did the station ID’s on the Houston Astros radio broadcasts in the 1984-85 season, because that was me. Anyway, the Dodgers and Astros tee it up again tonight, with Houston up 3 games to 2, and the Dodgers backs are against the ivy-less, logo-covered walls.

Time to see if Facebook is able to post the Daily Drip as well as they did all those hate memes last fall; I guess the trouble I had seeing my own post was part of a sporadic but worldwide problem yesterday. So here…we….go!

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