Wednesday, August 22, 2018

‘Nyello, there, and thank you for finding that elusive butterfly in Facebook’s algorithmic skies, the Daily Drip, for this Wednesday, August 22, 2018! It’s funny: I was scanning a story that began, “The skies are finally clearing after a global dust storm shrouded the planet…” and thought they were talking about us! Wrong–it was an astronomy website and the story was about Mars. But it might as well have been our formerly cool blue marble called Earth. We’ll have one more hot and smoky day before the winds finally bless us with a reduction in the pollution count, which has been the worst in the world lately, and before long it will be safe for us all to come out. Or stay in and vacuum! Today’s high will likely hit 90, but tomorrow we relax back into the 70’s, where we belong, and by Saturday night we have a decent shot at some actual rain. Sunrise 6:20 AM, sunset 8:06 PM.

Couple of quick items: At 232 AM PDT, a very strong 6.3 earthquake occurred roughly 150 miles off the Reedsport, Oregon coast. No tsunami is expected.

Also: hurricane watches and warnings are up for many of the Hawaiian Islands, as Hurricane Lane is officially a dangerous category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 160mph.

Pollution count at 0400: 147.

If we do hit 90 today, then the year 2018 will be carved, indelibly (we wish, in vain), into the cosmic ledger for having the most 90-plus days in Portland history.

These days of swimming in a late-summer toxosphere have brought changes in preparation for fall. Schools have canceled outdoor marching band practice. What’s going to happen on Friday nights–will converging diamonds of trombones and flutes collide on the 50? They’ve scrubbed football practice as well. Interceptions up, concussions down. Cheer camps have been moved to the gym. Otherwise, you could just hear it, come Fall: “We’ve got emphysema, how bout you?”

You’ve got to think the mood in the White House today bears a resemblance to the atmospheric toxicity around here, lately. Upstaging the 8-count conviction of Paul Manafort (with a hung jury on the other 10 counts) was the Michael Cohen 8-count guilty plea–and his statement directly implicating the president in hushing up the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs. Morning Joe is calling it a “legal landslide” and “the worst day of the Trump presidency,” while Fox and Friends analysts are unanimous in saying the cases point to “no collusion.” I encourage everyone to seek out in-depth journalism on this topic, and be up to speed. Stuff’s happening.

Say, the ramp from the Banfield to Southbound I-5 is still closed. It doesn’t even make the news; we have a limit of one Armageddon at a time. If we had our big earthquake today, people would be saying, “What smoke?” Anyway, I-84 opens again 5 AM Monday.

I’m usually hype-averse to newly-arrived fast food joints, but the excitement seems genuine over the expected arrival of In-n-Out Burger in Keizer. It’ll be at the same exit–260B–as the Keizer Volcanos baseball stadium, 45 minutes south of Portland. That could be a fun trip: scarf a double-double with fried onions and a real ice cream vanilla shake (though Burgerville will always have the edge there), then go watch some future San Francisco Giants play ball. Probably next year. No idea when it’s opening.

*****
And now the popular “Headlines for a Happy Heart,” where I paste in the headline, and your imagination automatically fills in the details. Who, me? Avoiding effort? Or you can now click on the Daily Drip Link Farm and read the actual journalism for yourself. Some of these are worth clicking on.

–“When students were bullied because of dirty clothes, a principal installed a free laundromat at school”

–“The Planet Now Has More Trees Than It Did 35 Years Ago”

–“Jon Stewart Rescues Goats That Wandered Onto NYC Subway Tracks”

–“138,000 people escaped extreme poverty yesterday and every day for the last 25 years”

–“Woman rescued by coast guard after falling from cruise ship and treading water for 10 hours–singing to stay alive.”

https://k103.iheart.com/featured/john-ericksons-daily-drip/

****

It’s my birthday. Not a big one, don’t want to make it a deal or talk much about it. I blew past a couple of milestones and stepped up productivity and activity, without any sign of slowing down or, gasp, retiring, although there will be a related news item on the Daily Drip in the nondistant future. Anyway, I’m celebrating this day by answering a summons for jury duty, which I welcome like Kent Brockman welcomed the insect overloads. I wish I’d been selected for the Manafort trial; had I been there, it wouldn’t have been the jury that was hung, let me tell you! (jokingly. Have a good day!)

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