Friday, December 7, 2018

Morning dear friends! It’s Friday, December 7, 2018, the last in our string of short but sunny days, with highs in the low 40s and clouds drifting in by sundown, which is, like right after lunch. Sunrise 7:37 AM, sunset 4:27 PM. But we can tan ourselves in 8 hours and 50 minutes of daylight in Portland, about a minute less than yesterday. There are 24 days left in 2018.

Portland and the valley can expect light rain for the weekend, but here’s a possible problem, and I’ll let the nice folks of the National Weather Service explain. They say, “The biggest concern with this system will be the potential for freezing rain in the Columbia Gorge and Hood River Valley. Cold air trapped in the central Columbia Gorge and Hood River Valley appears likely to remain in place, increasing confidence in freezing rain impacting these areas overnight Friday night into Saturday. Amounts should be fairly light, but any amount of freezing rain can cause impacts, making roads and surfaces slick. There is a lesser chance for freezing rain in the western Columbia Gorge, northern Clark County, and even perhaps some colder valleys in the Oregon Coast Range.” Temps will moderate next week. Maybe put off that Gorge road trip until then?

And: we have an increased danger of massive sneaker waves on the Oregon Coast. So look out for size 15 Nikes!

We’re on our way to paying tolls to drive on I-5 and I-205, as the Oregon Transportation Commission has given its unanimous blessing to the idea, which now heads to the Federal Highway Administration. They could sign off early in the new year, and that’s when the battle begins over precisely where the tolls begin and end. Looks like Washington politicians have successfully fended off putting tolls at the border; now Portland neighborhoods are worried about cut-through traffic.

The chaos on the stock market took a sorely needed positive turn yesterday as the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all staged furious late-day rallies that clawed back all the day’s earlier massive losses. Some reassuring words were spoken by JP Morgan-types, and traders took advantage of some tasty bargains to put an end, for now, to the hemorrhaging over trade worries.

Say, Let’s Go Portland Timbers! The lads in green will be in hostile territory as they battle Atlanta United in Atlanta for their second-ever MLS Cup on Saturday. Seventy thousand Atlanta fans will be roaring in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, at 5 PM Pacific on FOX. But the Timbers have a secret weapon: Timber Joey’s Victory Log has been hauled cross-country to Atlanta be with the club and its supporters. And Timber Joey is a Dripster!

Nice to report that the Portland Trail Blazers looked like their own selves again in a 108-86 demolishment of the Phoenix Suns. Minnesota is next, tomorrow night at the Moda Center.

Comedian Kevin Hart has abruptly stepped down as host of the Oscars after some old anti-gay tweets popped up.

So this happened: a guy was out on the town in Portland, taking MAX here and there, and when he got home he reached for his phone and…D’oh! No phone! And what’s worse, his phone case was also his wallet! Figures he left it on the train..figures he’ll never see his phone or wallet again. But he borrows a phone and calls his number and…hello? Someone answered. It was the operator of the MAX train! He’d found the phone, was still on duty, and agreed to meet the guy at his stop and give him his phone back. Which he did. Hooray for the MAX operator. Hooray for humanity! (MAX operators have a pretty great reputation here).

Pearl Harbor Day. If you’ve visited that actual place, on a quiet and cool winter morning, did you feel an undefinable sense of calm? And standing on the Arizona Memorial, and watching the maroon and green plume of fuel floating up from the sunken battleship where 1,102 men are forever entombed, did you feel something spiritual? I sure did, and it reminded me of what I felt walking through the American Cemetery in Normandy.

For our family, December 7 is a day that will live in, well, not infamy, so much as a sad sweet presence…because that’s when, six years ago, my Mom, having decorated the Christmas tree with a few small angels she’d made of yarn, went to bed and became one herself. She was raised by a single Mother in the Depression, was a whip-smart student who went to a good college but dropped out while my Dad did the Army thing, and together they made and raised four kids. When the nest emptied, she finished college, made a long and strong midlife run through grad school, taught Latin and English at the University of Colorado, and she is with each of us to this day. Dad, too.

Birthdays! Ted Knight (1923) Harry Chapin (1941), Gregg Allman (1947), Johnny Bench (1947), Larry Bird (1956).

Harry Chapin. Do you know his “I wanna learn a love song”? It’s a true story of how he met Sandy, a married socialite nine years his senior, who called him asking for guitar lessons. Within two years, she and Harry were married. She then wrote the poem that became “Cats in the Cradle,” basically a rip on her ex’s parenting skills.

The last Apollo moon mission, Apollo 17, was launched on this day in 1972. As the spacecraft left earth, the crew aimed a camera back at the planet from 18,000 miles up, and the result is one of the most famous photographs in history, “The Blue Marble.”

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Some chocolate for the newsy soul?

–“New Law Passes: Owners Could Now Be Jailed For Leaving Their Dogs Out In The Cold”

–“Stranger Fixes Woman’s Car So She Can Get Daughter Home From Hospital”

–“Kelloggs is using rejected cornflakes to make beer in an effort to cut down on food waste”

–“This Memphis teacher wanted to make learning physics more engaging, so he created a website. Now it’s used in 40 countries.”

–“World’s first honey bee vaccine seeks to save dying pollinators” (Hey, but who’s gonna give them the shots?)

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And that’s the week! Here’s the weekend! We invite you to join the merriment on the Bruce, John, and Janine breakfast show on 103.3 in Portland, and the iHeart Radio app nationally and worldwide (hello to Lizzy in New Zealand!). Have a super day, friends!

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