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The Hammer, November 2023 Special Time-warp Edition

Swooning over the moon, and other holiday leftovers

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

Nov. 27, 2023

We See a Bad Moon ‘Risin: Holy cow, CDN news folk said in unison, up on the newsroof, a smidge after sunset (right after lunch) at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Truly Remarkable, This, Because: We hardly ever do anything in unison.

It Struck Us, and Strikes Us, That: We probably should give this moon some meaningless, search-engine-optimized, otherwise-fake name. Like the Super Blood Orange 2-Stroke Outboard Taylor-Swift-Riding-the-Partridge-Family-Bus Indefatigable Perplexed Wolf Moon. 

Formerly Known As: Your basic full moon, on schedule. 

Oops, Too Late: It already has a name: “The Full Beaver Moon.” You could look this up for yourself if you didn’t have mint jelly all over your post-holiday hands. It is, according to space.com, the second to last full moon of 2023.” For those of you short on your annual moon quota, there you go.

Speaking of Quotas: Driving home the other night, B. Hammer was happy to note all the … uh, progress over near the Lakeway Freddy’s, where mega-apartment complexes and heated storage junkoleums are sprouting like toadstools on a nurse log up Chuckanut Creek.

One of These Has a Sign That Says: “elf storage.”

Either: It’s an LCD sign shortout on a self-storage monstrosity, or ne’er-do-wells are literally stacking tiny pointy-hatted beings in one of those 5-by-8 quadrants, closing the door indefinitely with the “click” of a cheap Master lock.

See You Later, Wee Ones! And don’t be making any of those elf noises.

Truth Be Told: The city’s newest elf storage raises all sorts of troubling questions, not the least of which are: Is the Puget Neighborhood properly zoned for elf storage? Can it be accomplished with a conditional elf-use permit? Were any trees ruthlessly slaughtered in pursuit of this unjust cordwood-stacking of elf-kind? Why does the city planning department hate elves?

And Also: How do the elves feel about being stored among old record collections, an occasional Singer pedal-operated sewing machines, and Bellingham’s most expansive croquet mallet collection? 

Speaking of Green Stuff: Sezhere the C.O.B. is looking at various innovative solutions to the city’s poop-disposal problem, with four new proposals taking interesting scientific approaches, each likely to boost current sewage rates right through the outhouse roof. Rumor among the Transformational Leadership Transition Team over on Lottie Street is that a fifth, budget-cutting option is on the drawing board.

Working Title: Hold it in, Bellingham! 

Alternate Working Title: Enjoy the Go — But It’s Gonna Cost You.

Is It Not Time: For Mr. Floatie, the legendary, walking-turd mascot who haunted public hearings about secondary treatment in our Poop Sister City of Victoria, British Columbia, for many years, to make a celebrity guest out-of-retirement appearance at the next public hearing on disposal matters?

Hammer Says: Yes.

Special Thanks: On this post-Thanks post, to the kitchen crew at Old World Deli, for a Thanksgiving Dinner which, in the long-running words of Arlo Guthrie, “couldn’t be beat.”

Nov. 13, 2023

So Look: Ever since CDN’s birth throes (there’s labor, then there’s font-selection labor), the newsroom, one corner of which B. Hammer occupies on a somewhat regular basis, has endeavored to stay above the Linoleum-level news judgment oft exhibited by some of our competition, particularly the “local” Brand H now run as a rounding point by a large hedge fund.

Specifically: We vowed not to engage in the “clickbait” game of celebrity news, snippets on things eaten by giant snakes, people having conjugal relationships with giant snakes, Florida mansions for sale by celebrities consorting with giant snakes, or fake online “polls” that help serve as a vanguard for the First Amendment by registering votes of 12 people weighing in on their favorite place in town to buy shoestrings.

But Oh, My God: The major news-chain players went and outdid themselves last week. Gannett (motto: News Like You Used to Get, Just a Lot Less), a (lack-of)-soulmate news chain with the same sort of bad habits described above, made a torpedo splash in the clickbait universe by appointing its own Taylor Swift “reporter,” a faux journo who is more of a fan than a thinker, to report on anything and everything T-Swift for the foreseeable future.

Um: This threatens our entire existence, and prompts the following measured response.

Henceforth: B. Hammer hereby appoints himself as the official Taylor Swift Reporter for Cascadia Daily News, a modest, young, occasionally furtive news organization clinging, in the fashion of a sea cucumber to a rock, to the edge of the great Northwestern frontier.

Let It Be Known: That moving forward, no piece of news too small about T. Swift shall pass Hammer by, and that while CDN does take its job seriously when it comes to saving local news, we are willing to demonstrate that we, too can abandon absolutely all reasonable journalistic principles in the pursuit of prurient-interest clicks. All for the sake of humanity.

You Might Think We’re Joking: Nope. Hammer already has authorization from the home office, downstairs, to offer an official invite to T. Swift to visit the ‘Ham, for a whirlwind tour to include the following stops at our considerable expense of time and treasure:

  • Selfie with CDN TSwift reporter at baggage claim at Bellingham Intergalactic Airport.
  • Guided tour of the Bellingham waterfront’s Iconic Acid Ball, Iconic Ear-Splitting Scenic Scrap Heap, Iconic Pump Track, Iconic Shipping Container Commerce Center, Iconic Decaying Pier From Yesteryear and Iconic Living Museum of Half-Finished Irish-Financed Condominium Projects.
  • If Time Allows: A moment of silence at meeting of Iconic Port Commission, under whose watch all of the above iconography has occurred. 
  • If Additional Time Allows: Impromptu meetup with Swifties at WWU’s Nash Hall. Photo-opp nose nuzzle with Clydesdale in Iconic Lynden. Sharing of bag of free popcorn at Les Schwab on James Street. Drop ins at several of Bellingham’s approximately 1,200 IPA dispensaries. Perhaps a charcuterie event at home of Hilary Swank, if available. Some sort of sapling planting with the Million (Wait, Is It Billion?) Trees folks. A photo opp involving a bike with muddy spokes.

You Laugh, But: Just wait. Our people, both of them, are going to be in touch with her people. Is she really going to say no to a publication of our modest means setting aside the uber-important time of one of its top officials to be all-Taylor, all the time? Not bloody likely.

Stay Tuned: And feel free to pass along any additional enticements we might offer T. Swift to drop in for a day or so to brighten our skies (motto: Dark, Dark, Did We Mention Dark?)

Other Minor Bell-ebrity News: Thanks a million to the many, many CDN loyalists who dropped by the home team’s Reader Appreciation Event Monday morning in Cordata. Wonderful to make face time with some of our regular readers and news participants. We treasure every one of you. Tell your friends!

Nov. 3, 2023

Dark Days Ahead: So here we are again at the time of year when all good Northerly People crawl out from under a pile of old wool Army blankets and ask that time-honored question: What’s the deal with Congress?

Oh Wait, It’s Actually: “When do we have to change the $)(#*%!! clocks again?”

Followed By: WHY do we have to change the $)(#*%!! clocks again?

Fortunately: Hammer, a lifelong complainer about the utter stupidity of twice-yearly clock changes, can handle both of these, in order.

Part One: You have to change your clocks on or about 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. For those of you spending too much time at your local dispensary, please note that you need to set your clocks BACK, as in “fall back.”

Part Deux, the “Why:” Duh! Because you live in a dysfunctional banana republic, currently trying its best to ditch the “republic” part and just become a large, continent-sized … um, banana with next-level streaming capabilities.

But Seriously: Yes, yes, yes. We the people decided four years ago that Washington state, in a bold move to end the twice-yearly insanity, would join with Oregon and California — and all other people with the common sense God Gave a Goat — to ditch the switch. The West Coast would like to stay on what now is considered “Daylight Saving Time” year-round, please.

But nooo: Ditching the switch cannot go into effect without Congressional action, pardon the oxymoron.

So Who In Congress Is In Charge of This? Nobody! Well, close. Congress, due to its large concentration of literally insane nutjob members, cannot agree on what day it is, let alone what time. And the person who has been the loudest voice in promoting the ditching of time changes for all eternity, on a national basis, has been the otherwise-feckless Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Bottled Water.

Not Kidding: Rubio’s bill, the bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act, cosponsored by our own Sen. Patty Murray, was approved by the Senate last year. It gave individual states the power to adopt permanent DST. But like anything else noble and good ever known to humanity, it has “stalled in the House.”

That Wasn’t This Bill’s Actual Name, Right? Oh yes it was! Do you think we could make this stuff up? 

photo  The sun sets at Little Squalicum Beach in March. Now that the clocks are changing — for no reason, yet again — it might as well not bother to rise until the spring, B. Hammer suggests. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)  

What Does All This Mean to Me, Joey Citizen? You get an “extra hour” of sleep, which would be a cause for rejoicing, except that — serious insider NEWS FLASH pro tip here — you could gain exactly the same thing any day of your life simply by going to bed an hour earlier. Who knew, right?

Inserting Local Angle Here: Like the lemmings we are, we’re about to set clocks back once again to make sunset even earlier, during the useful, afternoon part of the day. Which means that for the old folks up in Birch Bay, it now starts getting dark basically right after lunch.

And Just Shut Up: All you latecomers who, after Washington state took action to send time changes to the scrap heap of Historically Stupid Ideas, suddenly realized that permanent DST might … sit down for this … cause children to have to go to school in the dark.

Rest Assured, Parents: A) The kids would be fine and B) even if not, the world does not revolve around your kid and C) if you don’t like the morning dark, convince your local school board to start classes maybe an hour later. The current time schedules were not, as is popularly believed, etched into stone tablets handed down from Mount Sinai by Moses.

Anyway, the Upshot Is: You don’t even need to ask when it will start getting dark now. Because it will just be dark. It’s dark right now, and in 12 hours, it will still be dark. Add six hours? Dark. Subtract six? It will remain dark until sometime in March. Grief counselors are literally standing by.

Important Follow-up Question: Does all the rest of the country engage in the same nonsense twice each year?

Answer: No. Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and most of Arizona (?) do not observe Daylight Saving Time. It’s a miracle their children have survived! Dozens of other state legislatures, attempting to leap forward into the 18th century, are also reconsidering the question

PTSD Recap: How should this make we the people feel? Please see banana reference, above. If you don’t like the Hammer’s take on any of this, please just accept the fact that you are wrong, and don’t bother him. He’s sleeping in.

The Hammer, a somewhat-less-studious alter ego of CDN’s executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, publishes online monthly and is updated somewhat regularly; ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com; @roncjudd.

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