Monday, February 5, 2018

Greetings to you, and welcome to a Monday, February 5, 2018! We’ll have a pencil-drawn sky today, with a cloud cover in shades of gray, and highs of 57. There might be some light rain in there, though most pushes north of Portland. The week will try to dry out, and at times it will succeed. Sunrise 7:26 AM, sunset 5:23 PM.

Here’s a high five to those who are going to work today; 14 million Americans won’t, stuffed as they are with Doritos and Bud Light. Super Bowl Sunday is as close to an American holiday as a non-holiday can be–we observed it with a house full of loved ones–and maybe it’s time to move Presidents Day to the first Monday in February, so we can all party into the night and not be expected to perform surgery, or whatever our job is, the next morning!

The game was close, entertaining, the New England Patriots finally lost, and the underdog won. That adds up to a great Super Bowl. High point for the crowd in our living room was the slick trick play where the Philly QB stepped aside while the running back took the snap in the shotgun, handed it off to the tight end, who lobbed a touchdown pass to the quarterback. People will be talking about that play all week. The halftime show was slick as satin, Justin Timberlake dancing his way through 12 perfect songs in 14 minutes, no surprises, no Janet Jackson, no former NSYNC bandmates, and even the rumor of a Prince hologram turned out to be false. But the image projected on a shimmer bed sheet was cool. And maybe it was just us, but the sound didn’t pop the way a Super Bowl halftime show should. But it looked astonishing and was worth every penny we paid for it at home. The commercials? Saw hardly a one. They were outranked by family time. So I’d love to hear everyone’s take on them, or really anything about the game, so I might steal it and sound smart on the radio!

By the way, Pink says that wasn’t gum she spit out just before praiseworthily singing the National Anthem while battling the flu. It was a throat lozenge.

CNN says one of its employees found sensitive Department of Homeland Security reports about protecting the Super Bowl from terrorism in the seat-back pocket on an airline flight.

It’s Day One of this year’s short Oregon legislative session, and they’ll cram a whole lot into a five-week span. Democrats will try to pass a pollution tax on big emitters like power companies with proceeds going to carbon-reduction projects. Governor Brown is hoping they’ll pass a gun law, requiring cops to follow up when a gun buyer fails a background check. They may toss a couple of hot potatoes to the ballot for voters to decide: putting the right to health care into the Oregon Constitution, and joining the push to elect the president by popular vote. And they have to decide what to do about Sen. Jeff Kruze, who’s accused of pawing female colleagues and smoking in his office, which no longer has a door on it. Perhaps for both reasons.

Along with a bellyful of Super Bowl nachos, people have been digesting the Nunes memo, the Republican take on the Russia investigation that talk radio promised would reveal a scandal worse than Watergate. Democrats from the same House Intelligence Committee have their own version, which they say contains facts and context omitted from the other one, and there may be a vote today on releasing that too.

It took an all-night mission by a crack rescue team, but a 21-year old Beaverton man was airlifted safely to Salem Hospital after falling at Henline Falls, an hour’s drive east of Salem. That’s a beautiful and intriguing place, near the mouth of the abandoned Silver King Mine, and the hiker–even though his Facebook page shows him flexing a six-pack—was climbing up a slope that was way beyond his capabilities to get a better view when he fell.

This is the week the curtain goes up on the Clint Eastwood-directed “The 1517 to Paris” which recounts events of 2015 when three Americans launched themselves at a terrorist on a high-speed train. One of them is former Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos; he and the two others play themselves in the film.

Happy birthday to Portland novelist Chelsea Cain. A TV series based on her female-hero thriller “One Kick” is now airing in France, and it’s apparently a smash–with the premiere episode pulling a 24% audience share. Chelsea says the book “started out in my head, in a bubblebath, in Portland, Oregon.”

A hunter in Maryland was knocked out cold when a goose was shot out of the sky by a fellow hunter and came down on his head.

Minnesota Jaycees are investigating possible cheating at their annual ice fishing tournament. They think the winner and his dad, who took third, might have smuggled in a couple of big live fish in a cooler.

The weather summary for Portland on this date in 1996 called for a Pineapple Express to arrive the next day, and deliver a massive rainfall. Flooding was predicted. Which was a vast understatement, as we’ll recall as the next few days go by.

OK then!

–“108-year-old Canadian man says the trick to a long life is to pick a good wife.” (His passed seven years ago after 72 years of marriage).

–“A young woman decided to help rehome an 11 year old dog that reminded her of a puppy she had to give up when she was a kid. It turned out it was the same dog, and the microchip proved it.”

–“First class of women welders graduates from Indiana prison program” (Rosie the non-recidivist riveter!)

–“Ohio Appeals Court Says Speed Trap Town Must Pay Back $3 Million In Unconstitutional Speed Camera Tickets” (wonder if Coburg, Oregon is nervous. For years, until they cleaned up their act, their I-5 speed traps supplied half the town’s budget).

–“Teenager delivers hundreds of solar lamps to Puerto Ricans living without power”

–“Netherlands prisons are so empty they’re being turned into homes for refugees”

–“Sprawling Maya cities uncovered by lasers” (included elevated highways, palaces, and a population ten million greater than previous estimates, all covered up for centuries by the Guatamalan jungle. Find the story in National Geographic).

–“People are spending 50 million fewer hours on Facebook a day” Including, it seems, the Daily Drip; a couple of days this past week, we fell short of 500 reactions for the first time in months. That’s all about algorithms. I think it helps if you click “like,” but I’m not sure. Either way is OK. We’re happy to have lots of readers, but the point is community, not tonnage.

Cheers. Let’s have a fun Monday!

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