Monday, October 29, 2018

Good morning! New week, fresh start! Today is Monday, October 29, 2018, and after a weekend of heavy rain, thunder, and a funnel cloud which I’ll detail shortly, we’ll have showers and highs of 55. Sunrise 7:46 AM, sunset 6:01 PM. It’s Day #302 of the year, with 63 left in 2018.

Yep, that was a tornado that swirled down from the sky and scraped along the ground south of Marine Drive, about half a mile east of I-5, around 3 yesterday afternoon. Knocked over several empty semi trailers and damaged a warehouse. The National Weather Service classes it as an EF-Zero tornado, with gusts between 65 and 85 MPH, but a tornado it was. And: snow is falling on the Cascade mountain passes all day today.

The American flag is flying low, until sundown Wednesday, after a week during which this era’s bigotry and hatred were manifested in the mass killing of eleven Jews in Pittsburgh–literally in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood–and the seeming attempted assassination by letter bomb of two former presidents and a dozen other top figures in the Democratic party. And white man killed two African-American people at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky, after he tried to enter a predominantly black church nearby minutes before. The suspects in these crimes begin their long legal roads today, while our country tries to rekindle the flickering light of civilization. Late yesterday people of all faiths along with Portland’s mayor and members of Congress overflowed the Main Sanctuary at Congregation Beth Israel, at NW 20th and Flanders, for an event titled Love Your Neighbor: A Community Gathering of Peace in Response to the Shooting in Pittsburgh. Among those attending was a cousin of one of the eleven who fell on Saturday.

If ever there was a time for kindness in our everyday interactions, it’s now. Listen deeply, smile at someone, thank a letter carrier. Small gestures add up. In fact, let me suggest that we all put down the Daily Drip, and go say something nice to someone. Be right back.

******

Local youth will rally at Terry Schrunk Plaza from 11:30 to 1:00 today to support a lawsuit against the federal government for its inaction on climate change. The rally was scheduled to coincide with opening arguments in Juliana vs. U.S, whose plaintiffs include six young people from Oregon. The Supreme Court delayed today’s court proceedings in Eugene, but the midday rally will go on.

The heralded “caravan” of Honduran refugees heading north has dwindled to half of the reported 7,000, according to Mexico’s ambassador to the US. Many people are accepting Mexico’s offer of asylum, and Mexican communities along the way are turning out to welcome the refugees with food and clothing.

Good times in Cougar country, as Washington State leaps to #10 in the AP’s college football rankings. Oregon doesn’t show up at all, nor does Washington.

The Timbers closed out their regular season with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. But the Portland club rested its starters, missing out on a chance for a home match to begin the playoffs, and will travel to Dallas for a knockout round game on Wednesday.

The Boston Red Sox surprised absolutely nobody by winning the World Series in five games. They’re one of the best teams in history–winning a total of 119 games this year, including the playoffs. Only one team’s ever won more: the 1998 New York Yankees, who racked up 125 victories. By the way. Pitchers and Catchers in 108 days.

After taking part in NATO’s biggest military exercise since the Cold War, a force of 7,000 American sailors and Marines invaded Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík–and literally drank the city dry. Bars across the city ran out of beer. Faced with a crisis, they appealed to the oldest brewery in the country, and they came through with an ample replenishment of the local supply of Ölgerð Egils Skallagrímssonar.

Some today-in-history factoids:

The fortunes of thousands of people were wiped out in a day as the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, 89 years ago, signaling the start of the 12-year Great Depression. The market didn’t regain its pre-crash value until 1954.

Delta Airlines merged with Northwest Airlines 10 years ago today.

This is the day in 1792 that Mt. Hood got its name–at least the name we use–when a member of Capt. George Vancouver’s British exploration, camped out on Sauvie Island, looked to the east and wrote in his blog that “A very high, snowy mountain now appeared rising beautifully conspicuous….” and named it (and likewise Hood Canal in Washington) after Admiral Samuel Hood, who served with British Navy in the American Revolution. So…the crowning majesty of Oregon is named after an enemy of American independence? Maybe we should change it back to the original Multnomah tribal name, Wy’east! Wy’not?

*****

Seriously, tell me something good!

–“Kindergartners sign ‘Happy Birthday’ song to custodian who is deaf”

–“Golden retriever who saved Arizona woman from snake bite named dog of year”

–“Drowning kangaroo rescued by Australian police officers”

–“Violin maker in Palestine brings sweet sounds to troubled landscape”

–“Red Sox star feeds homeless hours after team wins World Series game”

*****

The sunrises this week are really, really late; people are going to work and school in the dark. That’ll change soon when we switch to Standard Time on Sunday, but an extra measure of caution is called for. Random acts of good driving!

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