Wednesday, January 2, 2019

(Squeal! Is this thing on?) Well, hi there! Welcome back to the future! It’s Wednesday, January 2, 2019, which seems like an impossibly distant date, one you’d punch into the time machine on a Delorean, and yet here we are, writing/reading the Daily Drip, and getting up and going about our lives after a long winter’s nap. One foot in front of the other. Check the weather. Cold outside. Just 31.6 on my deck, and subfreezing across the Metro area. With freezing fog. Feels like there might be ice on some roads. Partly sunny later on, with highs around 40. Then a storm rolls in tonight, with enough rain to make the rivers jump. But not to flood stage. And there’s an air stagnation advisory, as fireplace smoke is trapped near the ground, and so we’re starting out the year checking Portland’s Air Quality Index, which–at 3:30 in the morning–ranges from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Portland’s sunrise today is stuck at 7:50 AM, the latest point of the winter, and there it will hang for another week before beginning its summerward trek. And today’s sunset is at 4:38 PM, which is a full eleven minutes later than its earliest disappearance in December. We’re making progress! I noticed yesterday that it’s still light at 5 pm. Daylight gain today: 0:55.

It’s Day Twelve of the partial government shutdown, and with a new blue sheriff in charge of the House, solving the stalemate will require more deal-making ability than we’ve seen so far. One longshot possibility: President Trump gets money for the border, Democrats get DACA and immigrant work visas. Too much posturing right now for any of that to happen, and people will be marking their territory for awhile anyway.

Mitt Romney becomes a United States Senator tomorrow, but he’s authored an op-ed in today’s Washington Post that has people wondering if he’s eyeing a primary challenge against Trump. Romney writes that he agrees with some policy decisions, but deplores his character, and vows as follows: “I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”

Portland’s uneven grasp on racial equality was on national display over the holiday weekend, as an African-American guest at the DoubleTree Hotel was forcibly evicted for talking on the phone in the lobby, where a security guard and a shift manager mistook him for a loitering trespasser. The fact that he was a paid-up guest holding a room key didn’t stop the hotel from calling the Portland police, who made him get his belongings from his room and escorted him off the property. The parent company–Hilton–fired the employees involved and apologized to the guest.

A ceremonial swearing-in today will plunge Jo Ann Hardesty into the many-chefs’ soup of the Portland City Council. She’s a former legislator and a Navy veteran and KBOO talk show host, and the first African-American woman to be elected to that position.

Bud Clark, the Goose Hollow barkeep with the twinkle in his eye and a keen businessman’s instinct behind his playful image, was sworn in as Mayor of Portland on this day in 1985. He seemed like a right jolly old elf at the time, but he had just turned 53 years old. That’s younger than Ted Wheeler.

A bicycle thief was dim enough to use a pair of shears to lop the lock off a bike that was parked at the Gladstone Police Department. It took a cop 5 seconds to walk out and handcuff him.

There’s a social media hunt underway for a couple named Tony and Alex who disrespectfully carved their first names–and added the phrase “4Life”–into the trunk of a lovely tree in Portland’s Japanese Garden.

A family that was visiting Mt. Hood Meadows is trying to find their dog, Rooney, who ran away apparently after being spooked by a snow cannon, which is fired off to control avalanches.

That was quite the backup heading home from the ski areas on Mt. Hood last night. US 26 looked like a Subaru parade.

Amid bouncy seas ahead of a storm tonight, commercial crabbing season is underway off most of the Oregon coast. The hundreds of boats in towns like Newport, where a “Deadliest Catch” spinoff was set a couple of years ago, were loaded with colorful gear waiting for the green light, and word finally came on New Year’s Eve that sample crabs had put on enough meat to allow the brave crews to heave their traps overboard and into the hopefully teeming waters. These folks, pursuing a notoriously dangerous payday, can begin hauling in their catch on Friday. (I always enjoy reading Dripster Michele Longo Eder‘s posts on this. She’s from a family of fishermen, and wrote a great book on the subject. Hope its a safe and bountiful season, Michele!).

*****

The Blazers flipped open the 2019 calendar with a 113-108 OT win at Sacramento. Hey, the Huskies made a game of it against heavy-favorite Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, running off 20 straight points before failing to convert a last- minute onside kick. And somebody at the Sugar Bowl thought it was a nifty idea to have an actual Texas Longhorn do a pregame meet-and-greet with the literal Georgia Bulldog–until the huge steer charged the pudgy pup before cowboys took control. No blood was shed.

Today in history: it was on this day in 1974 that a 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by President Nixon to save gasoline in the face of the OPEC oil embargo. I remember getting pulled over by a Colorado State trooper for doing 60 in my VW Beetle on a rural stretch in Eastern Colorado, and we both felt embarrassed about it.

And on or about January 2, 1920, Isaac Asimov, foundational science fiction writer, arrived on this planet. Which is why today is National Science Fiction Day.

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Good news? Sure! These are stories are linked in the Coffee Cup with the Daily Drip logo (hmm…we should have some actual DD coffee cups made!)

–“On New Year’s Day, NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft went farther than any spacecraft has ever gone before – 4 Billion Miles from Earth.”

–“Good deed, getting lost leads to $200,000 lottery jackpot”

–“This Adorable Newborn Tree Kangaroo Brings Hope to the Species”

–“By age 11, she’d figured out the NBA job of her dreams. The odds against it? ‘Insane.’”

–“On Japan’s Tashirojima Island, cats are king.”

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And that would be the first Daily Drip of 2019. I think we’re in our 7th year! But we’re in our 34th on K103, and we hop back in the saddle at 5 AM, as ever, on 103.3. Janine’s on vacation, so it’s Bruce, me, and our pal Lynn Masterson. It’s a short work week! Nice! Except for folks who normally have M-T-W-T-F to get stuff done, and this week all you have is W-T-F. Good luck!

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