Thursday, July 5, 2018

There’s got to be a morning after….but do we really have to go to work in it? OK! It’s a privilege and a challenge, actually, to be up and at ’em on this Thursday, the 5th of July, 2018. It may be just us chickens…but let’s crow! Today’s weather is starting out cloudy, but by the time the rest of the world is awake, it’ll be sunny and well on its way to an 80 to 85 degree high. Sunrise 5:28 AM, sunset 9:01 PM. You might be able to spot Mercury in the post-sunset sky, about 10 degrees above the horizon in the west-northwest.

First…heartfelt and humble thanks to the scores of citizens who wrote from their souls…and to the countless of others who read and heard these proud, troubling, and ultimately inspiring words about the nation we live in, at the hour of its 242nd anniversary. We saw powerful writing and thinking, and I encourage everyone to share the thread far and wide. I say theoretically–not volunteering–that someone needs to print it off and bind it up into a volume that lands in every library, newsroom, jailhouse, immigrant detention facility, and smoke-filled backroom in every capitol building in the land. By the way, that thread continues; if you’d like to contribute, it should be findable downstream.

Anybody get any sleep last night? I did OK. Probably five hours.

Let me, through ringing ears, quickly scan my reliable sources for the news of the morning..

The Portland Fire and Rescue twitter feed was alive all evening with a series of fires caused by you-know-what….4800 SE 75th…117th and SE Madison…6100 NE Glisan…in many cases, embers threatened nearby buildings, but firefighters stopped the flames from spreading. One civilian injury. Those late-afternoon showers were not on the menu at all, but they bumped up the humidity by ten points, and that may have helped hold down the damage from all the demolitions experts out there.

A mom in Happy Valley was hit with a $1,000 citation for her kids playing with illegal firecrackers.

A man fell 20 feet from a balcony during a Fourth of July party in Forest Grove. His injuries are life-threatening.

A branch from a hundred-year-old oak tree fell on a crowd at a fireworks show in Rock Island, Illinois. Two were killed, others hurt including a pregnant lady, who then gave birth, and those two are fine.

A woman scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty and vowed to stay there until kids seized at the border are reunited with their parents. She was arrested.

A neighbor in Clackamas called the cops on a black woman who was going door to door, thinking she was looking to steal something. The woman turned out to be Oregon State Rep. Janelle Bynum, knocking on constituent doors.  It should be added that cops were also called on a white politician who was similarly canvassing the neighborhood.

The kids in the cave in Thailand…lemme check. They’re still trapped. Rescuers had brought in a phone so they could talk to their parents, but it fell in the water. They’re bringing in another. Teams are trying to drain the water before the next deluge arrives…others are trying to drill a hole…

Lost animals…they’ll be turning up for days at the animal shelters, where it’s prime time for people doing good work. It was a scary night for our friends of the canine and feline persuasions, but if they fled your neighbors’ celebratory weaponry, they might be cowering behind the tree out back, or somewhere down a street where you’ve walked them. When scared, they look for the familar. I’ve had success finding lost dogs (okay, it happened just once) by driving my car down neighborhood streets–and the “He’s Home!” engine noise brought her right into my lap.

On this day in 1971, Richard Nixon certified the 26th Amendment, and the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. Oregon played a role in that, but not in the progressive way the state is known for. Congress passed a law in 1970 lowering the age to 18–and Oregon, of all states, objected. I dunno why. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled–hey, a win for Oregon!–that Congress could lower the age for federal elections but not state and local. So Oregon’s nitpicky little ambiguity was resolved with the 26th amendment.

It’s the 81st birthday of Spam.

And now…quietly…tell me something really good! (Actual headlines here, copy paste and Google for the stories).

–“Girl with cerebral palsy saves 1-year-old brother from drowning”

–“The San Antonio Zoo wants to offer Toys ‘R’ Us mascot Geoffrey a new job as ambassador for giraffe conservation”

–“Player misses first World Cup for birth of first child, saying “Everybody says you only get one chance to be in a World Cup, but also there’s only one day in your life where your children are born.”

–“Nigerian Prince Scam took $110K from Kansas man; 10 years later, he’s getting it back” (Spoiler: it turns out that Western Union employees were in on this, and the company has a fundto reimburse victims).

–“Japan Team Leaves Locker Room Spotless and Leaves Thank You Note in Russian after Loss to Belgium in World Cup”

OK. Those of us who are on the clock today probably have to get five days’ work done in four. Fortunately we’ll be unimpeded by colleagues who were quick enough to grab the days off. I am consistently insistent on the creation of new holidays to match reality, when most people are taking the day off anyway. Like the day after the Super Bowl. Productivity in the workplace would improve if we didn’t have these ambiguous half-holidays. Make them real. The Fourth of July, which should be called “Independence Day” anyway, should occur as the climax of a floating four-day midsummer break. However, this is not yet the case, so off to work we go. Not complaining, y’understand. I’m straddling the morning shows on K103 and KEX, today, and hoping I don’t step on a metaphorical rake.

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