Welcome, Greater Mountain Biking/Music World: All you folks in the 'Ham for the NW Tuneup festival should know in advance that: A) Yes, we really dress like this; B) yes, this is normal weather; and C) no, you don't want to move here.
Speaking of Which: Yes, The Hammer also noticed that The New York Times helicoptered in for a glimpse at our 'Ham Quarters last week. We would say there goes the neighborhood, except: there went the neighborhood a long time ago.
To Be Honest: We've seen far worse similar treatments. And to all those potential migratory camels still hoping to get their nose under the tent, may we say the same thing we say to foul-tempered respondents seeking to have a word with the editor about "highly biased" Opinion page columns and commentaries: Take a number, Pal.
Speaking of Helicoptering: Someone remind The Hammer sometime to tell the tale of the great "Top 10 Best Outdoor Places" list on which Bellingham landed, and in which he was surreptitiously involved many years ago.
Special Hammer Shoutout: To those public-servant Washington State Patrol troopers who picked the morning of the Fourth of July, i.e., the one time traffic flows unimpeded through Bellingham, to launch what appeared to be extended blitzkrieg motorcycle speed trap ops on Interstate 5 through the city.
Seriously: Just knowing that the state was out there keeping the world safe from those 64-mph left lane scofflaws made The Hammer feel safer, secure and more pleased than ever to support this level of policing via regressive taxation in a state where you can't reliably get a ferry across Puget Sound.
Lots of Pretty and Giddy Words: The former Jet City of Seattle was all agog recently about the granting of the city's football stadium status as a host site, along with Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 2026 World Cup. But oddly, nary a word about the legacy of scandal around the organizing agency, FIFA, the one group in the world that can make the corrupt International Olympic Committee look like a panel of Eagle Scouts. Money talks, right?
Meanwhile, Up Above: "Sky watchers," i.e., folks with that rare combo of spry necks and entirely too much time on their hands, report seeing a spate of "noctilucent," or night-shining clouds above Washington, Oregon, England and Canada, The Washington Post reports. We'd probably see them here, too, if not for the recent conspiracy of Plain Old Ordinary Damn Dreary Clouds, which not only do not light up at night, but for much of the year do cause it to descend at 3:30 p.m. Does that count?
And Finally: The coming primary and general election season looms as a spicy one in these parts, with even a congressional race that suddenly looks interesting. Just saying. Watch it unfold on these pages.
The Hammer is swung on Wednesday and updated as needed.