Monday, January 28, 2019

Well, look! It’s the last Monday morning in January, and we still haven’t had a snow day in Portland! Today is the 28th of the month, in the year of oh-my-Lord 2019. After a raw, bone-gray, fogged-over weekend, today looks different: winds will be pouring out of the Columbia Gorge, gusting to 50 in Camas and Troutdale and 30 in Portland, and the fog will blow away in the Metro area, allowing the bright sun to win out; not so much in the valley. Highs will be in the mid-40s. And if I’m reading the lingo of the meteorologists correctly, we’re flirting with a snow possibility at foothill-levels next weekend. Or maybe those NWS folks are just excited about finally getting a paycheck! (Great work through the shutdown, ladies and gents of US National Weather Service Portland Oregon!). Sunrise 7:36 AM, sunset 5:11 PM. We’ll gain ten minutes of daylight this week.

Yep it’s back to work for our furloughed friends, and a momentary end to involuntary servitude for others, as the government shutdown has itself been shut down, at least for three weeks. February 15 is the deadline for the various antagonists to get on one page. But today the wolves have been shooed from the door, the National Parks are opening and the IRS is gearing up to be swamped with questions about the new tax law, and the airplanes, thank goodness, are being inspected and vectored by folks who aren’t hitting the food bank on the way home.

The anti-vax measles wave has sickened 34, with nine more waiting for lab results.

Your inbound downtown drive may have an extra time-suck starting today, as one lane of Naito Parkway is staked off to cars and opened to all on foot and bike who are displaced by the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade maintenance project. It’s the “Better Naito” configuration that’s become the norm in the summertime, starting early. Bet the city does that permanently someday.

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The price of a Forever Stamp has popped up to 55 cents. You probably have a stash of cheaper Forevers that you haven’t used. Mine all have Santa on them.

Happy birthday to my forever friend Margie Boulé! She’s one of this town’s most gifted personalities, with off-the-charts talent diversified between on-stage, on-camera, on the radio, and in the Oregonian column whose demise signaled a major downturn for our town’s daily paper.

Hey the Dandy Warhols are 25 years old today! They’re touring in Europe, now, where they’ve always been huge. If you’ve never dived into their stuff, you are depriving yourself of some tasty rock and roll. (Personal favorite, easily accessible on YouTube: Talk Radio. The videos are amusing, but I ignore those and focus on the music. Their keyboardist/bass player Zia McCabe, who pops up on the DD sometimes, is my pal from Schoolhouse Supplies Spelling Bee days. Congratulations, Zia! and the Dandies!).

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There’s a peace deal in the works between the US and the Taliban. The framework is: we pull out from Afghanistan in phases, and they observe a ceasefire. Unresolved is what happens after we’re gone. The Taliban’s attitude toward women is right out of the 12th century.

Sen. Kamala Harris, an early favorite of many, formally launched her run for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday. And the man behind Starbucks, Howard Schultz, said on Sixty Minutes last night that he “may” run for president, and he’d do it as an independent because both parties have let us down. Sharp guy, but you know which side most of his votes would come from.

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Thirty-three years ago, on a bright Monday morning just like this one, kids filed into gyms to begin their school day by watching the televised launch of America’s first Teacher in Space. The nightmare that happened 73 seconds later was heart-stopping and incomprehensible to all of us, but imagine what it was like for little kids in class, many now in their 40s. That morning is painted in our minds, the crazy puffs in the Florida sky, the stricken expressions of the families in the stands, President Reagan delivering Peggy Noonan’s words (“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.) This is Challenger Day. Let’s remember flight commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee; pilot Michael J. Smith; Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka; Judith A. Resnik; Gregory B. Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe–who now has 40 schools named after her.

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Let’s see if we can find some demondayfication in these stories!

–“Guy Witnesses Young Man Struggling To Pay For Date In Fancy Restaurant And How Waiter ‘Saves’ Him”

–“Deer, Elk Rejoice–I-80 Wildlife Overpass Opens in Utah”

–“Boy Uses His Savings To Buy A Gas Station Attendant A Bicycle”

–“11-Year-old Girl Has Been Granting the Simple Wishes of Nursing Home Patients”

–“Study Claims That Attending A Concert Once Every Two Weeks Can Add Nine Years To Your Life” (hat tip to Sue Stebner Marston)

Details in the Coffee Cup, assuming I’ve posted the links correctly!

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Let’s do it to Monday before Monday does it to us!

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