u up? someone's in the house. lol SolStock/Getty Images

Talking on the phone sucks: Everyone knows it. Starting yesterday in King County, 911 dispatch is now accepting emergency text messages. This is actually great news for a number of reasons, least of which has to do with people who don’t like conversing on the phone. There are many instances in emergency situations where it could be difficult or even impossible for someone to make a voice call.

It’s winter solstice! That means the days just get longer and longer from here on out, baby! That being said, today is the shortest day of the year.

Estimates say shaking will be shakier than previously thought: The M9 Project, which was a 4-year project to better predict the effects of a “Cascadia megathrust earthquake,” shows just how screwed we are in Seattle. From the Seattle Times, “Researchers found the sedimentary basin under the city can amplify the type of ground motion that’s hardest on high-rises by a factor of two to five.” So in response, Seattle increased the seismic standards of tall buildings. Experts aren’t too concerned about new buildings though. But what about older buildings? That’s exactly the question experts are asking.

Amazon increasing its delivery game: Amazon is leasing an additional 10 jets—767-300s—to its delivery fleet. Amazon's shipping costs were a whopping $21.7 billion in 2017, according to Geekwire. Earlier in the week, the CEO of Fed-EX said he doesn't see them as a competitor.

I don’t usually ask this question, but… Whose man is this? The weather was nuts yesterday (not complaining, love it, love it), but this man definitely had a worse day than you did.

Will there be a government shutdown? Well. Probably. But maybe not? But probably. Trump’s threatening a “very long” shutdown now, whatever that means. He also wants Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option, meaning changing the rules so that they can pass the budget with just 51 votes. That seems more unlikely than a shutdown though.

"No adults left in the room:” This has been a popular phrase lately with the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. I want to just remind anyone who believes there ever was “an adult in the room,” that all of the people who joined Trump’s administration knew exactly who Trump was before they got into it. That alone means there never was “an adult in the room.” But that phrase is also hilarious; pretending that being “an adult” is even a thing; in the words of the great Digable Planets, “we’re just babies, man.” In this case though, even as just a metaphor, it falls flat.

Traveling for the holidays? I’m sorry. I feel very grateful I am not. Today and tomorrow are expected to be the busiest travel days of the year at Sea-Tac airport. In fact, KING5 says there are going to be a record number of travelers. Yikes.

Dumb: Ever get frustrated at the long list of people who get to board before you? Well today add another thing to that list if you’re flying Alaska out of Sea-Tac airport. Or give in and find a dumb sweatshirt. I mean, an ugly sweatshirt.

Dumber: Yesterday and the day before there were reindeer in pens at the light rail platform at Sea-Tac airport. My wife tells me this is typical. KING5 says the creatures were there to “thank people for using mass transit to travel to the airport.” Thank them by making the platform smell like reindeer poop? By making every rider witness to a bunch of jailed Santa-helpers? If you want to say thank you to mass transit riders, I have an idea. I know, I know, it’s crazy to think there is a better idea than stationing woodland creatures at a light rail platform. Well, anyways, here it is: Make mass transit free.

Gold Star Comment:

"Houseplant with added rabbit DNA could reduce air pollution, study shows."
And Rabbit with added houseplant DNA could reduce Mother Nature to ...
Well, only Gawd (& Monsatan) knows.
But, by all means, Monsatan (LLC?),
Release The Genie.
It'll NEVER go back in the bottle,
but why should that be any of YOUR Concern?!
It's all about Profits!*
Btw — are YOU Roundup Ready™?
You better be.
*let the Citizens cover ALL Costs!
Nothing Wrong with a little Socialism, for rich folk —
'cause it'll Never destroy their character:
they're (somehow?) Immune.

Peace out, y'all: It's been an honor waking up early as all hell to serve you your curated morning news for the past three months. There have been ups, and downs, and through it all I've learned that my cat Gouda is far more popular than I will ever be. I suppose that's just something I will have to live with. I have a lot on my plate for the next several months though, so I'm sure we will see each other in some manner. In fact you can view my paintings up at the Caffe Vita in Fremont during the month of January. I'll also continue to be publishing a poem every month on my website in addition to some large literary ventures I am not at liberty to disclose, yet. Well, that's all Sloggers. Farewell and Godspeed. Here's one last taste of the Goud stuff.

Goodnight, and have a good winter.
Goodnight, and have a good winter. Michael Bell

This weekend's best Seattle entertainment options include: Seattle super queens BenDeLaCreme and Jinx Monsoon's To Jesus, Thanks for Everything! Jinkx and DeLa, the last chance to sip kitschy holiday cocktails at Miracle on 2nd, screenings of It's a Wonderful Life at Grand Illusion, and the end of the Let There Be Light public video art exhibit at Pier 86.