Thursday, December 21, 2017

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the first day of Winter! It’s Thursday, December 21, 2017, and in case you’d like to mark the moment by casting a glance at the tiny cold sun, the Solstice is at precisely 8:27 AM, Left Coast time. In terms of the shriveled up sunlight, this day is 6 hours, 59 minutes shorter than on the Summer Solstice. Sunrise 7:47 AM Sunset 4:30 PM. The days will now get longer and longer until we’re back to sipping IPA’s on the deck instead of cocoa by the fire.

It’s a shivery 28 degrees on the Daily Drip weather deck, and with fog that could persist all day, we may well encounter slick roads on our drive this morning. A Freezing Fog Advisory is in effect until noon. We’ll count on the DD crew (that’s you) to provide updates on what you run into, and hopefully not literally. We’ll have a high of 38 today. Tomorrow it’s rain or snow, with an estimated 1000 foot snow line, and then the Santas and candlelight service participants among us need to be aware that there is a possibility of some form of frozen precipitation in the lowlands Sunday night into Christmas Day before transitioning to all rain. That’s still a few days out; we’ll get some clarity between now and then, but yes, there’s a chance of a White Christmas in Portland.

Excellent news for the holiday traffic flow between Seattle and Portland: two southbound lanes of Interstate 5 at DuPont reopened last evening, and the third should be unbarricaded this morning.

A semi hauling a Dumpster spun out on a SW Portland curve and plunged into a swimming pool that happened to be in the backyard of Portland Trail Blazer guard Evan Turner. Not the kind of dunk he’s used to seeing. The driver was rescued by a PF&R team, including one firefighter holding the man’s head out of the water, while others used the Jaws of Life to tear apart the steering column. He should be OK.

A couple of immediate impacts of the new tax law: the IRS, as well as payroll departments across the land, will be in a panic over the holidays, because the changed tax rates will require updates to the withholding tables, and this bill was passed without the months of planning that typically precede such a massive overhaul. Also, with major banks and other companies receiving a windfall, thanks to their sharply reduced corporate tax rates, companies like Wells Fargo and Boeing are making a show of sharing (some of) the wealth by raising wages, granting bonuses, and making charitable contributions.

Congress still hasn’t done anything on CHIP, DACA, or the impending government shutdown.

An SUV ran into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in Melbourne, Australia. Up to 19 injured, the driver arrested, an Australian citizen of Afghan descent.

The Oregon Humane Society–bless them–is caring for nine neglected horses, rounded up from a farm in Molalla. The poor animals were underfed, with no food or water, and standing in mud. They’re in safe hands now.

Vancouver police are on the hunt for a driver who jumped out of a car and sneaked up behind a woman walking on Main Street the other night, grabbed her by the neck, and zapped her six times with a stun gun. She’s all right, but eager to see the guy locked up. She had apparently walked in front of his car, which was protruding into a crosswalk.

Have you noticed your iPhone is really, really slow? Apple’s doing that intentionally..but, they say, not to con you into buying a new 8 or 10. Instead, the company says the CPUs slow down when the lithium battery ages, in order to avoid the unit shutting down randomly. The answer apparently is to replace the battery–but not the phone.

The Doodle Pad is closing, downtown. They’ve been selling creative cards for 24 years. Two things killed the Doodle Pad: young folks don’t buy cards as much as their folks, and the owner says the homeless situation has made running a downtown business too difficult.

Jane Fonda is 80 years old today. An actor with a resume as branched-out as her family tree, she’s a lifelong activist for peace and women’s rights, and has one major regret: the 1972 photo of her posing on an antiaircraft gun in Hanoi. She remains active in her film career, with a series running on Netflix, and while she was raised an atheist, she’s fifteen years a Christian, though not aligned with a defined denomination.

It’s Carl Wilson’s birthday. The late Beach Boy sang lead on “God Only Knows” and “Good Vibrations,” and backup for his nieces Wendy and Carnie on “Hey Santa.” (When they performed that song last week at the K103 Christmas Broadcast, I offered to accompany them on my tuba, which I had with me, and they politely demurred. Although Carnie did ask if she could touch it).

The first pilgrims from The Mayflower set foot on shore in what is now Plymouth, Mass, on this day in 1620. You just missed Thanksgiving, pilgrims!

Now, today’s edition of the popular Heads for a Happy Heart, where I paste in an actual headline and you fill in the details from the goodness of your imagination.

–“Deer walks into Colorado shop, is given chocolate, walks out, and returns half an hour later with three more deer.”

–“Research shows elephants think humans are cute the same way humans think puppies are cute. The same part of the brain lights up.”

–“Texas elementary school flooded with blankets after girl’s plaintive letter to Santa asks only for food, a blanket and a ball for her brothers to play with.

–“Boy saves his sister from a house fire on his birthday”

–“Wildlife park introduces baby sloth named Chewbacca”

–“North Korean soldier who defected has been granted Choco Pies for life — a snack Kim Jong Un hates”

–“Secret Santa covers $49K in layaways at Walmart store”

–“Toddlers hilariously fight over baby Jesus during church nativity scene”

That’ll do, kids. Radio daddio here is sneezy, sleepy, dopey, and grumpy. Better go see Doc. TTFN!

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