Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Let’s take a walk into a Wednesday, February 14, 2018, just us friends. It rained overnight and it’s raining this morning in your hometown, if your hometown is Portland or so. Hilltop people, the folks who live near transmitting towers and pick up FM in their toasters, might report some light snow. In fact, Beaverton PD just tweeted that it’s snowing in the Sylvan area. And…I’ve got a light coat of snow on my car at 450 feet! It’ll be an interesting morning. Let us know what’s happening where you are! The showers will ease off, and we’ll all warm up to 48. Sunrise 7:13 AM sunset 5:36 PM…two minutes earlier and two minutes later than yesterday. It’s so nice to see the sunset after work!

Breathtaking from a distance, yet it was a terrible day on Mt. Hood, where snow softened by the sun turned to ice as hard as iron, impervious to the axes and crampons of mountaineers, no matter how experienced. One climber fell perhaps a thousand feet in the Hogsback area, and despite first aid by fellow climbers and a valiant rescue effort by Blackhawk helicopter, he was declared dead on arrival at Emanuel Hospital. Six other climbers remained high on the mountain, one of them suffering injuries, as rescue workers raced to beat the snow. Some walked down, some were snow-catted out, and all are safe. That mountain is deceptive and dangerous. Well over 100 climbers have died there in the past century.

They’ve done it before, it worked, and they’re doing it again. America’s top intelligence officials say they have evidence of Russian mischief in our upcoming midterm elections, buoyed by what they perceive as their success in 2016. Where is the outrage?

The gab around the coffee machine at work today will be about Shaun White’s gold-medal halfpipe run at the Winter Olympics. The American started up with a frontside double cork 1440–and then followed up with a cab double cork 1440! No idea what that means. Norway leads the overall medal count with 11, the USA’s third with 7, four of which are gold.

A bichon frisé named Flynn won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York last night. Purina, the sponsor (you can imagine what’s in the swag bags), did something fun: they ran a March Madness-style bracket contest. If you correctly predict the winning breed from each group, along with BIS, you win a million bucks. Don’t know if anyone did. We didn’t.

A 5-day maintenance closure for the Portland Aerial Tram begins tonight. It’ll be back in the swing by Monday afternoon.

We have many reasons to treat today as special!

–It’s Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar, with many observant people bearing a mark upon their foreheads from the burnt remnants of last year’s Palm Sunday fronds.

–It’s St. Valentine’s Day, which has unfortunately deteriorated into a cliche of perceived pressure upon the males in a partnership to perform material rituals. But it sure made me smile to come downstairs and find a card from my sweetie on the coffee grinder!

–This date is encircled in hearts on many a calendar because pitchers and catchers report for the Seattle Mariners and six other teams–the last to open their spring training camps.

–And it’s the day we send a sincere Happy Birthday to the State of Oregon, admitted to the Union in 1859. In honor of our state, whether native, chosen, or both, I submit the following, from Gov. Barbara Roberts’ inaugural address in 1992:

“Today, I honor the memory of those brave settlers of Oregon, and pay tribute, as well, to the native Americans already inhabiting this land before pioneers like my great-great-grandparents arrived here in the mid-1800’s. Such dreams those pioneers had for this territory. Some instinct drew them here, a fate, a pulling, a desire for deep and lasting change in their lives. They embraced that change. They sought it out. Theirs was a quest for new horizons, for new beginnings. For a new homeland. They rode. They walked. They staved. They forged. And they died. But they kept their eyes westward. They gave us Oregon.”

And sometimes, people leave Oregon, good people for good reasons, like Joe Donlon, whose inquisitive and kind demeanor has delivered the news on KGW-TV for decades. Every so often some of the cream gets skimmed off our local TV by the major leagues, people like Ann Curry and Rob Marciano and Reggie Aqui and now, Joe Donlon, who’s going to anchor the evening news on one of the most famous stations in America, WGN. Those are breathtaking call letters to people in this business. Joe’s not market-hopping: this is a dream come true. He’s extremely well thought of at his old station, in the industry, and most importantly by the public. We’ll see him on cable. We’ll miss him. And he’ll miss the hell out of this place.

Wrapping up with H(4A)HH:

–“Relationship with Strings Attached: Married cellists Trevor Fitzpatrick and Marilyn de Oliveira make beautiful music together for Oregon Symphony” (hat tip to the Portland Tribune for this one!)

–“California Husband Recovering After Saving Pregnant Wife From Speeding Truck’s Path”

–“Man donates kidney to wife of 40 years”

–“3 grandmothers, all sisters, answer single mom’s call for help with triplets”

–“Teacher Almost Quit Because Of Unruly Student. Then She Adopted Him”

There you have your basic DD. Fun fact: it’s the first time Ash Wednesday and Valentines Day have coincided since 1945. If this was school, I would send each of you a Valentine. I wonder if they still do that mass-distribution of glittery red punchouts, those cute and corny invitations to Bee-mine, I Choo-choo-chooz you, We’d Be a Peach of a Pear–and sometimes we’d read too much into it–there was a certain 5th grader named Jennifer who gave me a card that said, “You’ve got a pizza my heart”…and I mooned over that for months. But real life sent me someone so much better, who makes me so much happier!

Thanks BTW for the good wishes and sound advice after the thumping of my car by an OBU Hyundai (nice way of saying POS) in a left-turn lane. Insurance people are on it. I’m fine, my annual checkup exam is coincidentally today. But all is well. Let’s all be extra careful on the road today, okay?

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