Monday, November 26, 2018

Well…hi there! Here we are, all together on a Monday, November 26, 2018, with Thanksgiving behind us (or wherever we carry that caloric enhancement), and Christmas and all the other joyful holidays yet to come. It’s cold outside–38 on my deck near Oregon City, low 40s in most areas. Portland’s weather lines up as follows for the next five days: rain late today, then rain, rain, rain, and rain, with highs in the 50s, and the Cascade snow level at or above the passes every day until Friday. Sunrise 7:24 AM, Sunset 4:31 PM. It’s Day 330 of 2018, with 35 left in the year.

The homeward treck for thousands of people is complicated by weather gremlins, as Chicago is waking up to a blizzard, and it’s snowing and blowing from the Great Lakes to New England. A storm is muscling into the Pacific Northwest, primarily to the north of Seattle, but there are gale warnings and a high wind watch at the Oregon coast too.

A water line broke in the town of Gaston. No school today.

The port of entry between San Diego and Tijuana reopened last night after being shut down for much of yesterday, when US Border Patrol agents fired tear gas into crowds of migrants who tried to rush the border.

The worst wildfire in California history is now officially 100% contained. The Camp Fire–a misleading name, because it was likely caused by a power line, not somebody’s campfire–destroyed 14,000 homes and killed at least 87 people. Hundreds are still unaccounted for.

It was nice to see Portland’s former mayor Bud Clark interviewed on KATU yesterday morning. The gentleman is about to turn 87 years old, but still has that sparkle and wit, and that trademark “whoop whoop!” As Portland’s last 2-term mayor (Vera Katz served three), he called on Portlanders to show some patience to Mayor Ted Wheeler, and decried the outbursts that regularly perforate City Council meetings. Said Bud, “It’s a very intense job. Give him slack, and let him do his job. All the booing and hissing is completely unproductive.” And to Wheeler, who was rebuffed in an attempt to regulate protests by mayoral order, Clark advised, “Read the Constitution and understand what a revolution this country was. Keep on learning.”

Portland’s Christmas Tree glows lovingly over the town square, after Friday night’s delightfully uneventful ceremony. It was on this date in 2010 that 19-year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized US citizen, was arrested in a federal sting for attempting to detonate what he believed was a van full of explosives. He’s doing a 30-year prison term at a medium-security facility in Victorville, CA.

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Ah, it’s like the scene near the end Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” where parsimonious old Scrooge, newly awakened to love and compassion, throws open the window and shouts to a lad on the street, “What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” And the boy replies, “Why, it’s Cyber Monday, sir!” Yes, Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday, only much, much easier, and more likely to send your money out of town. One big secret for making the most of it is having an Amazon Prime membership, so you can take advantage of a 30-minute exclusive window on all the “lightning deals.” Amazon Prime costs $120 a year–but you can get a free trial, and cancel when you’re done.

Today is Mars Landing Day for NASA’s 10th unmanned mission to our rosy planetary neighbor. The mission for the InSight spacecraft is to explore the planet’s interior, but first it must land safely, and that’s no gimme: the craft will enter the atmosphere at over 12,000 MPH, then must pop out a parachute that will decelerate the lander to just 5 MPH for touchdown. It’s a complex sequence that engineers call “seven minutes of terror.” There’s a cool video showing how it’s done–click on the Coffee Cup for the link.

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Sports!

The Blazers have hit a bumpy road, dropping their third straight to the Clippers last night, 104-100 at the Moda Center.

The Portland Timbers fought Sporting KC to a 0-0 draw at Providence Park in the first leg of the MLS semis, and action shifts to Kansas City Thursday for the final leg.

Things are looking up for the Seattle Seahawks’ wild-card chances, after they beat the Carolina Panthers on a last-second field goal, and now wrap up their season with four out of five games at home.

The Oregon 6A high school football championship will be decided Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium in a matchup between #1 Lake Oswego and #3 Sheldon. The 5A title was won by Thurston over Wilsonville; Banks defeated Seaside for the 4A crown; Rainier beat Cascade Christian for the 3A. Kennedy defeated Santiam in the 2A finals, and Dufur beat St. Paul for the 1A title.

In Washington, Vancouver’s tough Union High School team won an intense game against Puyallup and is heading to the Tacoma Dome this Saturday to play Lake Stevens for the 4A championship. That game, by the way, is at 7:30 PM…not 7:30 AM, which is a typo spreading around the internet. Meantime Hockinson plays Linden at 1 PM for the 2A title.

Let me know, please, what I’ve missed, and if you have a team that deserves a shout out, this is the place!

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Let’s see if we can fill the Coffee Cup with something warm on a cold morning:

–“A flight attendant is being called a hero for breastfeeding a passenger’s crying baby in-flight” (I’ve calmed a few squawkers on long flights with a kind face and a rumbly voice, but I can’t equal this feat!)

–“Couple finds $1.8 million lottery ticket while cleaning before Thanksgiving”

–“A trespassing complaint turned into a feel-good story on Thanksgiving because of two police officers.”

–“Missing Dog From Idaho Found In Memphis After Five Months”

And my favorite story from the holiday weekend:

–“WSU band learns Husky fight song to play during Apple Cup after UW bus flips on trip to Pullman”

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A parenthetical observation about the tree-lighting ceremony on Friday night. It was rainy and cold. The chants of “light the tree! light the tree!” rang louder than the Christmas carols being pounded out by Thomas Lauderdale and some of Pink Martini, particularly when they had to pad for several long minutes while Channel 8’s live coverage waited out a commercial break. “I guess we’re stuck here singing Christmas songs,” grumbled Lauderdale, who launched into “Auld Lang Syne” after the tree was lit, prompting the KGW anchors to wonder aloud if the songbook pages were stuck together and they skipped a holiday. When at last the lights sprang on, the crowd fled like a jailbreak–or so it seemed to me, from my very comfortable couch.

Hey, back to the airwaves on 103.3 this morning for your radio daddio, and that feels good. I might make some little changes in the DD and I might not. Thank you for the feedback on my various experiments!

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