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Mark & Dave: Holiday tip: Go offline, party in Colorado

Thank the fine people in Gaston and Stimson Lumber for our beautiful Christmas tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square. You’ll appreciate it even more when you hear the folks in Chandler, Ariz., have to build their community tree out of hundreds of desert tumbleweeds. It’s such a bad idea, we’re surprised it didn’t start in Portlandia.

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Timing is everything. Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his bid for an unprecedented fourth term in Salem. Three days later he had to be red-faced as his signature UnCovered Oregon suffered a core meltdown, and it was announced the website “might” be able to operate sometime after January. The guv says, “I’m certainly willing to be held accountable for the fact that everybody who wanted coverage by Jan. 1 is not going to get it.” Are you listening, GOP’s Allen Alley?

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Finally, plumbers in town are catching up with the broken water pipes from last week’s Coldnado (KOIN-TV weatherman Bruce Sussman’s spin-off of “cold” and “Sharknado”). But the number of 911 kaput-pipe related calls set us back on our heels — nearly 500 in the city of Portland alone. That many people don’t know where their water shutoff valve is? They had Portland’s finest come out and turn the knob for them? God help these souls if the predicted full-rip earthquake hits.

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Rep. Peter DeFazio is pushing a bill that would prohibit cell phone conversations on airplanes. Good for him. Nobody wants to hear the one-sided conversation of a lonely business traveler or novice flier describing everything he sees out the window. While he’s at it, hopefully DeFazio can do something about that guy in the center seat who smells like pepperoni pizza and curry.

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New research suggests you can lose weight by looking at pictures of your favorite foods. It’s called the Instagram Diet and the idea is by looking at pictures of foods over and over again, you will end up eating less of them. Doubt the same therapy works for sex addicts.

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Colorado pot dispensaries are worried that they won’t be able to meet the demand once the drug becomes recreationally legal Jan. 1. That means a pot panic. A shortage. Higher prices. There’s talk of long lines leading up to Day One, not unlike those we see days ahead of the release of a new iPhone. But, unlike the mad rush for the latest new gadget, officials will keep the pot crowds distracted by cartoons and kaleidoscopes.

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Vanity Fair’s No. 1 tip on how to behave at your office Christmas party: No tweeting, Instagramming or Facebooking. The combination of booze, social media and co-workers is the fast track to unemployment. Too late for Jeff Cogen, but not for you.

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The Christmas bonus and year-end office party are making a comeback this year. According to CareerBuilder, half of all employers will offer the holiday perks to employees this year — that’s up from last year. On the other side, only 21 percent of employees plan to buy their boss a gift this year. That means 79 percent of the work force can be put on the nonessential list next year.

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Good news/bad news department. The good news is that Christmas carols are outselling Britney Spears’ new CD on iTunes. The bad news is it’s Duck Dynasty’s new Christmas album. Hairy Christmas, everyone.

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Researchers in Iceland attempted to scare fish out of a local fjord by blasting “Brown Sugar” and “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones. The sounds of killer whales and other predatory animals failed, and thus the attempt at music. May we suggest Phish? Or Hootie and the Blowfish? Before you boo too loudly, how about Lance Bass? No, we only want to scare them, not kill them.

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A coffee cafe in the south of France will offer discounts to customers whose orders include the word “please.” They will charge more for customers who continue to be rude. By our calculation they will be millionaires in a week.

Listen to Mark and Dave 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays on AM 860 KPAM. Follow them at www.facebook.com/themarkanddaveshow.