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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 22, 2008 2:55 AM. The previous post in this blog was Perfect. The next post in this blog is America the Gullible. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

And when those blue snowflakes start falling

The winter wonderland looks as though it will be staying with us for a while longer. It's supposed to warm up any day now, but we've got lots of white stuff on the ground, and nighttime temperatures are supposed to be below freezing until the end of the week.

I feel bad for the retailers, who are already reeling from the economy. With all the closures and weather scares of the past week and change, they're probably having the worst year ever. For them, Christmas just wasn't meant to be this year. And for many, there may not be a next year.

Comments (28)

I've got to give the weather people props on this one. Yes, they started the drama a little soon - okay, 6 days soon - but this past Saturday was an absolute beast, and I've been through many a winter in New England. This led to some good moments when the reporters' fatigue broke through the corporate persona and they actually said something from the heart. One comment was, "We've got some really sorry looking people out here." I think the loopier the reporters get out at the truck stops and overpasses, the better the coverage. It's a little like when mountain climbers start acting irrationally from oxygen deprivation. I heard an occasional wacky comment and you ask me, we could have used more of that. I also loved the interview with the Chicano guy at the Greyhound station. You know the stations are selling that fluffy outlook of a community pulling together to deal with an emergency, right? I mean this is a feel-good event with little pictures of dogs playing in the snow dressed as Santa sent in by viewers, etc...The young man from L.A. took it in a different direction talking about being given expired sandwiches to eat, and how the security guard was mistreating his grandmother. You could just see the reporter thinking, "This isn't the product we want," and saying, "So tensions are high in the station? Okay, thanks, let's get back to the studio where I understand we have another dog dressed in a costume making snow angels."
As the week wore on, the coverage turned into that movie, "Groundhog Day" - weather reporters saying the same things over and over until it all seemed to merge together. Then just when it all looked like fodder for Storm Center 9000 to ridicule, Saturday rolled in with its bad self. That one I give props to the weather people for - that's the one where events surpassed the hype.

It's got to be dreadful for the retailers. Unless a lot of landlords work with their tenants over the next few months there's going to be a lot of empty retail space in this city (and well, the whole country) and a lot of retail workers losing their jobs. There will be those that say that Christmas isn't about gifts and blah, blah, blah, but the reality of the world that we live in is this is an incredibly important time of the year that benefits all. I fear this season is a write off for many of them.

It is in the record books...most snow fall in Dec. since 1968. I remember that one! We had another 3 or 4 inches last night.
I am now past the "this is fun stage".
canucken...you are right about the retailers/landlords. Empty spaces do not pay the landlord's mortgage no do empty spaces provide income, even IF the property is paid for. (Which has to be rare.) We will have to all work together for some time to get through this.

I still subscribe to the O. No show so far this morning.

Looks like another walk shoveling exercise this morning... classic losing battle. I'm running out of space to put the stuff.

Saw an Audubon's Warbler yesterday for the first time at one of my feeders and the downy woodpecker has been appearing more often. The usual goldfinches, house finches, Oregon Juncos and bushtits are out there constantly, but I think the squirrel that's figured out how to drop from the power line to the top of the pole that holds the bird feeders must be having a hard time leaving the nest in this. That's the wildlife report from SE Portland.

I like the commentary from the local reporter out at Troutdale ending her spot with "excuse me for my snot-icle". Classic.

Jack, it looks like another of your cyber parties are in order for Christmas Day since our friends and relatives can't show up and few of us have bought even half of our projected gifts. You could have a Cyber Christmas Dinner where we all bring up "interesting" things about each other and along the way donate more money to SoWhat's bailout or other non-profit, goodwill agencies.

Bill....the Hispanic gentleman at Union station complaining about the donated sandwiches being a couple of days after sell by day will be one of my highlight moments of 2008. Symptomatic of the "Mummy help me" culture that was/is rife in the country today.

One thing you can nearly always guarantee in life is that within a few blocks of major city landmarks, like stations, there will be a Mickey D's or other fast food joint.

The reporter should have said to him, "go outside you lazy, ungrateful little s**t, walk a quarter of mile over the river or down Broadway and you will be able to choose your cheap, fresh, fast food poison".

Here's a tip for the morning commute: Don't feed the dogsled team 'til you get there. They run better that way.

Well we have at least 13-15 inches of snow this AM out here in SW Gresham. I took the No. 9 Powell TriMet bus to work this AM, and it looks like they are having problems turning the busses around at the Gresham TC. The snow on the road is the deepest I've ever seen it in my 20 years in the Portland area. At the intersection of Powell and 82nd Avenue; the snow is at leats 14-18 inches deep between the tire tracks - and it will not be melting anytime soon. I don't know about others folks, but I hope this cold and snow spell gets over sooner rather than later.

My favorite line of TV snow-casting:
"This just in, the word of the day is--snotsickle." Courtesy of Chanel 2.

Hopefully, the retailers can stick it out until the snow thaws; people will be out then.

I have to give prop to the O. We haven't missed a paper. Especially this morning.
We are thinking about venturing out to a local eatery (if they are open).

stick it out until the snow thaws; people will be out then.

Once we get to Thursday, though, people's enthusiasm for spending should wane quite a bit.

My mother-in-law just cancelled. I'm all about the enthusiasm right now.

I have to give prop to the O. We haven't missed a paper. Especially this morning.

ditto. I'm amazed to find a paper at my doorstep these past few days.

I am officially over freezing rain. That stuff sux. One tree on my truck, luckily no damage. One massive tree limb fell last night and just missed the house. The top of another tree is leaning, but that should just be due to the weight of the ice. The base of the tree is huge and dry.

On top of all that, I was awakened to a thunderous boom and blinding flash of white light. Either a transformer blew on the street behind me or SWAT raided the illegal alien drop house next door.

A comedian in Florida left me this message yesterday: "I don't want to be a jerk, but I really did just have to turn the air conditioner on." The bastard, but don't worry, I'll get him back during the next hurricane.

My O delivery guy is frickin' awesome. We were going to give him a $20 tip for the holidays, but it's going up to $30 since we haven't missed a paper all week. The Sunday O was in the box before I got up.

The roads suck. The Tri-Met fleet is pretty much stuck. I drove, slowly, and managed okay but it's really bad out there.

Hey Bill, Florida gets hurricanes much more often that every 40 years!
Small comfort to the folks in their FEMA trailers with no power fo the last 4 days.
Did everyone see the story about the folks who brought food to the people stranded at the Greyhound Bus terminal?
Now that is the true spirit of the season!

I agree that the O delivery has been amazing. The only problem is I can't find today's paper. I heard it being delivered (it was the only car on our street all night) but it's buried under several inches of new snow.

2pm on nw 23rd update , there is a Sisco semi about 5 ft from the front of Tavern and Pool , after failing to make a right turn...
at least he skiidddedd short of the ol buildin.
at least he can make that McMen. delivery.....

I guess "Sam the Tram's" hat is warm, but it makes him look like he has elf ears with little strings on them...
Most amusing...
Back to my shoveling. If we don't get this 2 feet of snow out of the driveway it will be really ugly later in the week.

Where's ODOT??????

I went down Barbur past Fred's around 11 and there hadn't been any plowing since yesterday. Here it is one of our most used state roads that is used by everyone to service southwest Portland and beyond during these kinds of snow events.

And what's with the people walking, skiing, pushing their bikes, sleds, whatever right down the middle on the one and only lane open on Barbur? Are they nuts?

We seem to be set up for some more flooding as happened in '96 when there was also a lot of snow and ice on the ground and then it quickly warmed up and rained.

I've been thinking the same thing. A really s****y economic picture, massive layoffs, people hunkering down and not spending and now even those who would want to spend are limited to where they can walk.

I love local retailers and hope that they get through this holiday season okay. Remember, they are the ones who save us from Walmart sameness.

Maybe a Christmas in February--when we dig out of this mess--would be something to help them. Personally though, I like buying things from locals year-round and not concentrating all my spending for this one month!

3 #15 buses stuck in a 20 block stretch. Two stuck on that little hill where the road splits and the inward lanes go up to Lone Fir Pine Cemetery around SE 26th. One stuck between 11th and 12th going east after the chains broke and came off. Another relief driver stranded there waiting 4 hours for his bus to show up.
A 2 foot drift down the middle of 39th.
I'd say we're in the battle but right now the snow's winning.

Two #35 buses strewn along the northbound lanes on Highway 43. Adds to the driving challenge. We've got the vehicles and the tires for driving in this stuff, but the other loonies out there driving, feh. And the morons walking in the road, and the bikers riding on the road. Like I can stop a 4000 lb vehicle on a dime in this weather. When they handed out brains, the folks in LO were passed over. Either that or they're auditioning for the Darwin awards.

The bad shopping season locally is obviously the fault of the TV meteorologists who conspired to make bad predictions and get hysterical.

Or maybe it's the fault of the City of Portland for encouraging people not to buy stuff with too much packaging.

Or it could be something that Amanda Fritz did.

Not sure, but it's got to be one of those, at least.

Sarcasm! How fun for Christmas.

I'm just hoping to be able to get out either Wednesday or Friday and finish my Christmas shopping. Likely we won't be having Christmas at my house until Saturday.

And dammit, I just finished digging out the path to the street for the second time and it started snowing again (I'm in Camas).


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