Thursday, November 9, 2017

Well, Aloha! Beaverton! It’s Thursday, November 9, 2017, The overnight rain is moving inland, and our town is left with showers, sunbreaks, rainbows, lollipops, possible thunderstorms, gusty winds, and highs of 50 to 55. Sunrise 7:02 AM Sunset 4:46 PM Pacific Standard Time.

The most wonderful time of the year, we’re told, begins today at noon–with a log truck rumbling up SW 6th Avenue, escorted by police motorcycles, delivering Portland’s official Christmas Tree to be plopped into a hole at Pioneer Courthouse Square. There it will undergo two weeks of embellishment preparatory to the night after Thanksgiving, when it will be plugged in to the huzzahs of 10,000 people. Today’s tree arrival is a fun tradition, as any event is where free hot chocolate and the Dickens Carolers are involved.

I wonder if you had a similar experience last night…I opened our front door, which faces west…and the door slammed itself shut. There’s low pressure to the west and high pressure to the east, and the pull between the two is what grabbed my door, and what’s bringing on these winds; I’ve never seen it behave so strongly.

The mighty winds are putting the temporary skids on the project bringing Multnomah Falls Lodge back into shape following the Eagle Creek Fire. Meantime, there’s this encouraging sign: foresters have spotted sprouts of green emerging from burned stumps in the ground–an indication that root systems survived the fire.

Portland firefighters were racing all over town last night, called out to no fewer than four building fires: in a home, two businesses, and a four-plex. Handled them all.

People on the coast are scanning the water for sharks, after this week’s sightings by surfers who reported looking down and seeing a shark looking right back, but I haven’t heard of any more being spotted. Whales, yes. And sharks could pop up any time. We have 13 species of sharks, from Great Whites on down, living off our coast. You might say they have an affinity for Oregon waters.

A 42 year old Myrtle Creek man tromped 22 miles in the snow to get help after he and his Pop slid off a road during a hunting trip, in the forest between I-5 and Crater Lake. By the time they got to the car, the elder man was….cold, but fine, and really glad to see his son.

A Roseburg teenager has confessed to killing three members of his family, including a foster mom, her daughter, and his biological sister. Zero explanation. His booking photo, apparently taken by a flash camera in low light, shows his pupils glowing red.

We all worried it might turn out this way, when a wanted young man’s vehicle was found parked at a Forest Park trailhead, and a runaway Aloha girl’s backpack was stashed therein. That showed where to look, and yesterday a K9 team found two bodies 80 feet off a trail not far from Pittock Mansion.

It’s going to be a long day for Portland teachers–even though kids are nowhere near. Today, like yesterday, is parent-teacher conference time. It’s especially challenging in a diverse city like Portland, so the district has translators facilitating communication.

Even paradise has its problems…people on Maui are getting slammed by massive property tax increases, largely to pay for an unfunded liability in their public employee pension system. Maybe that’s just to make all the Oregon tourists there feel at home.

President Trump is in Beijing, where they literally rolled out the red carpet. Next stop is Vietnam.

Former President Obama was treated like a rock star at the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, where he arrived for jury duty yesterday. He joked with swooning folks, but declined to pose for selfies. The 168 prospective jurors watched an ancient explanatory video recorded by a young and mustachioed Lester Holt, when he was local anchor on Channel 5. But Obama was not selected to serve on a jury, was given a check for $17.20, and motorcaded home to the South Side.

The British Embassy in Cairo is trying to help Laura Plummer, the UK woman who’s jailed in Egypt for bringing in a supply of the painkiller Tramadol for her Egyptian husband/boyfriend (reports vary). That’s legal, by prescription, in the UK, but not in Egypt. He, by the way, hasn’t visited her in jail–its been a month–and is believed to have retreated to his home town, where he lives with his other wife.

Apple TV has chomped up the rights to a 20-episode series starring Jennifer Anniston and Reece Witherspoon about the likes of Good Morning America and The Today Show. It’s based on a book called “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.”

From the Daily Drip science desk! Scientists have found that early mammals were nocturnal, with eyes best-suited to night vision, along with other evolutionary adaptations to low light, such as extremely good senses of smell, and whiskers, so they could feel their way in the dark. Those traits continue in many mammals even to this day. But here’s the discovery: these mammals all came out into the daylight 66 million years ago–at precisely the time dinosaurs became extinct. So the conclusion is that the mammals were night creatures simply to avoid crossing paths with the terrible lizards, who all worked the day shift. Smart! Come to think of it, this is why I work the hours I do.

But not for another 10 days. Unused vacation doesn’t roll over, where I work, so it’s burn it or lose it. For me it’ll be a busy and delightful time…we celebrate birthday #1 for granddaughter #2…then a night or two at the coast….then we’re visiting a winery in McMinnville, whose owner I interviewed for broadcast next week…then it’s the quarterly Craig and John reunion (stand by for goofy selfies)…and before we know it, I’ll be back at the keyboard just in time for a three-day Thanksgiving week. So the DD takes a break, although I’ll surface frequently, like a whale off the coast, just to spout.

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