Thursday, December 6, 2018

Good morning fellow actors on the planetary stage, and welcome to Thursday, December 6, 2018! Here’s the Daily Drip, written in a sleepy haze by your 103.3 radio daddio and hopefully delivered to your Facebook feed right on time. Portland has two more sunny days before the return of the rains. Highs in the 40s, lows in the 30s or lower, with patchy freezing fog away from the urban area. Sunrise 7:36 AM, sunset 4:27 PM. It’s day 340 in 2018, with 25 to go.

Important weather note…this weekend’s arrival of rain could bring a nasty episode of freezing rain in the Columbia Gorge. Travelers should check the weather before heading out.

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What a zoo at PDX, where construction crews severed a water line at 2:45 PM, cutting off water to the entire Portland International Airport for 3 hours. No bathrooms! No restaurants! No water fountains. But mainly…no bathrooms!! Pretty horrible thing to happen at an airport ironically rated #1. Porta-potties were brought in right about the time water was restored. As a frequent traveler, let me just say….oh, baby, that better not happen again.

Speaking of odd local calamities… city crews are blaming a broken carabiner–some people call them D-hooks–along with “failed metal latches” for causing a piece of metal to come flying off the Portland Aerial Tram on Monday, clipping a 21-year old woman above the right eye. She’s so lucky to be alive. She did miss a final exam at PSU. All the carabiners and hooks have been replaced, but they’re bringing in an engineer to give the 11-year old tramway a checkup.

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People were deeply impressed by the Bush funeral. Elegant, sad, funny, and nostalgic for a kinder and gentler America. A few favorite words:

–From Presidential historian Jon Meacham: “You can hear the voice, can’t you? As Dana Carvey said, the key to a Bush 41 impersonation is Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne.”
–From his son, George W. Bush: “In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal James A. Baker smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.”
–From Sen. Alan Simpson: “Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, D.C., are not bothered by heavy traffic.”
–Also from Sen. Simpson: “He never hated anyone. He knew what his mother and my mother always knew: Hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in.”
–Again from his eldest son, the second President Bush: “Last Friday when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy answered the phone, said ‘I think he can hear you but he hasn’t said anything for most of the day.’ I said, ‘Dad, I love you, you’ve been a wonderful father.’ And the last words he would ever say on Earth were, ‘I love you, too.'”
–And finally from son George: “So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have.” And the younger President Bush sobbed, and America understood.

President George H.W. Bush will be buried on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M today, but first, he will be carried there by a special train–painted to look like Air Force One–created for the historic occasion, and reviving an American railroading tradition. There’s a fascinating article about that, in the TMSG links at the Coffee Cup below.

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Portland City Council has okayed the hiring of a dozen civilians who will handle non-emergency calls, like missing persons, bike thefts, burglaries, and non-injury traffic collisions–taking some of the pressure off police. They won’t carry guns, but they will have Tasers. The head of Portland Copwatch calls them “desk clerks with pepper spray,” but Mayor Wheeler says they’ll be “ambassadors of good will in the community.” With pepper spray.

Commissioners also gave unanimous approval to severe restrictions on plastic serviceware items like straws, stirrers, knives, forks, spoons, sporks, and condiment packaging.
Customers only get plastic straws if they specifically ask for them.

The Portland Timbers have arrived in Atlanta, where the airport has working bathrooms. Atlanta is the scene of Saturday’s MLS Cup match.

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Lyric-writer Ira Gershwin was born this day 1896. He teamed with brother George on songs that people whistle to this day, like “I Got Rhythm,” a centerpiece in the Portland-filmed “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

Roy Orbison died 30 years ago today at just 52. “Oh Pretty Woman” was inspired by a comment that Roy’s co-writer Bill Dees made, when Roy’s wife Claudette popped in on their songwriting session and said, “I’m going out, honey,” and Roy asked if she needed any money, and Dees said, “A pretty woman never needs money.” Pretty outdated comment, but that’s where his biggest hit sprang from.

Ex-Michigan football player Jerry Ford became Vice-President of the United States 45 years ago today, upon the exit of the corrupt Spiro Agnew. Another one of the Greatest Generation good guys. I had a conversation with him once, when he was campaigning in Portland for election as President; he gave a news conference at the Red Lion Lloyd Center, followed by a meet-and-greet photo op, and I happened to be first in line for that. Press Secretary Ron Nessen’s camera jammed, and Ford and I were left to make chitchat while he fixed it. I perhaps rather directly asked Ford how he could pardon Nixon after all he’d done; Ford said he just felt he had to do it so the country could move on, but that he hated to talk about it. So I told him about my Dad, who resembled Ford so strongly that someone at a store wondered what the President was doing in a grocery checkout line. Ford laughed, we shook hands (he just about broke my fingers; if I can find it, I’ll post the pic to prove it), the picture was taken, and my Dad enjoyed both the photo and the story. Which was more important to me over the years than hassling Ford about the pardon.

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Pardon me while I round up some heartwarming, intriguing, or at least generally constructive news items….

–“George H.W. Bush’s Funeral Train Revives a Lost Tradition”

–“Mother reunites with daughter after 69 years apart: ‘It’s a Christmas miracle'”

–“LEGO and ‘Sesame Street’ team up on a $100 million program to teach refugee kids”

–“Police officers recount heroics to revive girl, 7, after asthma attack: “That first breath was very emotional for everybody. I teared up.”

–“First ever sun-dimming experiment will mimic volcanic eruption in attempt to reverse global warming” I don’t know. It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature. Not that we haven’t already.

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That’s the DD for today! Look forward to hearing your comments on the news, or updates on your lives, and we’ll be here tomorrow!

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