The Rundown

2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree selected

Shit if we’re not in December!

Sorry but that’s about all the Yule I can unspool for the time being. I’ll get back with y’all if and when I happen to come across more of the stuff . . . as long as it’s not painted in 80 proof. But seriously, the Rockefeller tree is a fine spectacle no matter what spirit(s) you happen to find yourself in. The peeps who schlep an 82 foot tall Norway Spruce through the rivers of midtown Manhattan are akin to brain surgeons and rocket scientists in my book.

Let’s get to this thing! . . . .

Idaho quadruple student homicide: 'Crime of passion,' 'burglary gone wrong' among possible motives, mayor says

Two weeks in and the quadruple homicide in Moscow, Idaho remains a tragic mystery. Law enforcement officials seem to be going backwards, having returned to the scene of the cold crime this week to lift more prints and repossess vehicles for investigative purposes. They’ve backtracked and sidetracked and basically, they’ve gone off the fucking tracks at this point. And the “we haven’t had a murder in these parts in seven years,” excuse ain’t gonna bring those four kids back. Unless the cops are giving a master class in Columbo, things might just be heading from horrible to even worse.

Japan made the bullet train famous . . . Don Cornelius was the professor of getting down when he hosted the legendary Soul train . . . the O’Jays classic groove had us punching a ticket onto the Love Train the same way Ozzy reminded us how crazy of a ride it really was. And now here come the peeps at the Dartmouth Steam Railway in the UK. These kids at heart are busy unwrapping their Train of Lights for the Christmas season. Check out their practice run.

I folded.

When I got home on Tuesday, there was time enough to catch the second half of the US vs Iran soccer match. I know I had sworn off the Cup because of the locale and the stench that comes with FIFA’s money grab. But this tilt had too much going on. On the one side you had a US men’s team trying to buck history. On the other, you had an Iranian national team that was being threatened by its despotic regime for supporting the protests in Iran. It ended with the US winning a nail biter 1-0; a bittersweet outcome in that we win but those kids on the other side lose more than just a soccer match.

Big props to US men’s captain Tyler Adams for kicking this question to the curb with smarts and class. Nicely played kid.

House Dems finally have Trump's tax returns - Wisconsin News

The House Ways and Means Committee said “Way!” after they finally found the means with which to grab six years worth of Trump tax returns. And no silly, this latest find has absolutely nothing to do with the train wreck of a campaign run that 45 has been warning us all about and which is actually maybe kinda gonna happen now. Nah, the fact that he’s been screwing people over for decades wasn’t important until, oh . . . just now.  The timing of it all is just a coincidence.

Peter Eigner to continue family tradition at BGSU | The Blade

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle is doing double duty for this week’s episode by providing me with our next story as well as the capper that sends us into the weekend. Thanks Cincy.

Peter Eigner is living his dream. He’s a walk-on goalkeeper for the Bowling Green Falcons and he’s never seen a lick of action to this point and that doesn’t matter nearly as much as the journey he took to get here.  Start with the fact Peter was a decent forward at St. John’s Jesuit, but he lacked the speed it takes to play Division I collegiate hockey. This was the opinion of none other than his father Ty, who was an assistant at Bowling Green when Peter was taking recruiting trips while still in high school.

Dad wasn’t being a hard ass, he was just being honest. He was and is damn proud of the young man his son has become and he’s thankful beyond words to have this time because well, it almost never happened.

Peter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when doctors found a grapefruit sized tumor in his abdomen; after which they discovered the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow. He was four years old. He lost the next two and a half years of his life to chemo treatments and tests and more chemo treatments. There were bad days and there were worse ones. And through it all, his father Ty learned the two most important things about being a dad; always be truthful with your kids, and always say good night.

All these years later, Peter doesn’t remember much about losing kindergarten and first grade, but he does remember the fight that got him here. And maybe he gets a shot as the starter one day, and maybe he doesn’t. All that matters is that he is going to have the one thing that matters most of all.

A chance.

Just in time for Christmas, the Ralphie Parker house is up for sale and if you’ve got 10 million Red Ryders to spare, it could be yours.

The house that A Christmas Story made famous is being sold for that princely sum and no, Elon Musk is not interested in buying it, seeing as how he ain’t interested in anything outta Cleveland. The 1.3 acre property is living its best life as a museum and any prospective owners would have to be cool with keeping the history alive.

If you’re interested, you should . .  wait for it . . . get a leg up on putting in a bid.

Bullies suck.

Melvin Anderson, a seventh-grader at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School in Buffalo New York knows this all too well. He was getting the worst of it from some of his classmates because he had the nerve to come to school in a worn out pair of sneakers. Name brand sneakers have been a source of bullying and worse in schools for decades, and so it really wasn’t a surprise that the poor kid was on the wrong end of this status war.

Enter classmate Romello Early, who decided he was going to do something about it. No, Mello didn’t challenge these kids to a fight. He didn’t even choose to shout them down with some trash talk, as much as they would have deserved it. What Mello did instead is why this story meets the second day of twenty-five special ones.

The kid discussed his classmate’s predicament with mom and asked if he might be able to use his allowance money to buy Melvin a fresh pair of sneakers. Mello was willing to go further if necessary, letting her know he was cool with less presents if it came to that. Mom said dipping into his allowance would be just fine, and you know she had to be thanking her lucky stars to have a son who doesn’t just believe in the spirit of Santa Claus.

He’s also the big guy’s sub-contractor.

 

 

 

Still Perfectly Frank: Dec ’22

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

With one month ending and another starting, Imma asked me to take a break from Beach Walk Reflections and pitch in with some random thoughts. Thanks to Marc for the space.

November delivered unrest in Iran & China, continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict, a time for a new World Series champion, new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, a new NHL scoring record for a player on one team, US midterm elections, the temporary ending of the relentless flood of campaign ads on TV, a record Powerball lottery drawing that I didn’t win, a dead guy winning an election in Pennsylvania (yep), discovering the oldest decipherable sentence on an ivory comb, violence at universities in Virginia and Idaho, Artemis rocket reaching the moon, a massive snowstorm in Buffalo (80 in/203 cm), a grumpy old man in Florida announcing, and politicians saying stupid shit.

November deaths included several rappers, international athletes & musicians, Top Gun‘s Sundown, Corporal LeBeau, R&R HOF inductee (group), an Academy Award & Grammy-winning sing-songwriter, and people dying from gun violence, natural disasters, and war.

I mentioned the World Series, a special congratulations to Astros manager Dusty Baker. With a solid playing career, many years as a coach and manager, and one of the game’s class acts, he won his first championship as a manager. Well done, Dusty!

November was a time when my wife went to Iceland with a few lady friends with hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. They had a great trip but didn’t see the lights. Meanwhile, I stayed home to do two things: whatever I want, whenever I want.

November was the month I posted about my escapade with the postal service. The story didn’t end there. Last Friday (25th Nov) I received notification that I now hold dual citizenship! Meanwhile, USPS reports my mail to the Italian Consulate is still lost.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

In case you missed it, here are a few November headline gems from The Onion:

  • Man Inspects Perimeter To Find Most Vulnerable Entry Point To Hamburger
  • Skydiver With Malfunctioning Parachute Does One Last Scan For Trampoline
  • Half-hearted Nod by Uber Driver Interpreted as Invitation to Discuss Eugenics
  • Artemis Rocket Carrying Mannequins to Determine Viability of Department Stores on Moon
  • High School Anatomy Book Shows Female Reproductive System Wearing Long Denim Skirt

Try the Combo Challenge. By using only the words in the above headlines, create your headline, then share it in your comment. My combo appears later in this post.

I find this to be funny, but others may not. Click if you dare.

Did you know pears are native to Asia and Europe, and there are over 3000 varieties found in many places?

Wondering: Which will happen first: a civil war in the US or a US war with China?

Do you remember Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story? Did you know he was the Executive Director of Iron Man? See him now as Peter Billingsley’s Note to Self from CBS.

Because today starts a new month, it’s time for an overview of some of the celebrations December has to offer. Here is the complete list of December celebrations.

Monthly celebrations for December include bingo, pears, ties, pharmacists, buckwheat, and safe toys.

December is also a month to increase your awareness about AIDS and human rights.

Weekly toasts in December include cookie cutters (1-7) hand-washing awareness (4-10), Halcyon Days (14-28), Cookie Exchange (19-23), and It’s About Time (25-31)

Day celebrations in December include cookies (4th), bathtub parties (5th), toilet paper appreciation (8th), Kaleidoscopes (11th), Chocolate-Covered Anything (16th), Sangria (20th), Solstice and Orgasms (21st), Festivus (23rd), Bacon (30th), and Make Up Your Mind Day (31st). Here’s the complete list of celebrations for December.

December Moons: Full (Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon) 7th/8th Dec – New Moon 23rd Dec

Back in the day, the holiday season wasn’t official until I saw this commercial.

The Army-Navy football game annually demonstrates how the game is supposed to be played: hard, team-oriented, and not bringing attention to self. The tradition will be on December 10th

Beware: McRib’s Farewell Tour at McDonald’s is a setup for a Reunion Tour.

My Combo: Uber driver wearing long parachute skirt carrying invitation to vulnerable man with rocket to inspect mannequin’s reproductive system entry point (but I admit adding an apostrophe)

December is the month for what I say is the best 2 hours of network-televised entertainment. For me, the Kennedy Center Honors show is must-see television. Mark your calendars for Wednesday 28th December. This year’s honorees are George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, Tania Leon, and U2.

Enjoy this great Kennedy Center Honors performance from the past. Have a good December everyone. I’m out of here. Happy Antarctica Day!

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Das Reboot

The club dining room at Mar-A-Lago is opulence on crack; gold leaf trim adorns every loose corner and cornice. Painted frescoes drape every wall. Persian rugs swim snugly along the floor and million dollar chandeliers float above the space as if silent witnesses to the grandiose pomposity of its owner. Tucked behind a velvet rope so as not to be bothered by club members, former president Donald Trump, Kanye West and white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes dine together. As we catch up with the terrible trio, Trump and Ye are embroiled in a heated conversation about a chillingly dystopian scenario. 

Trump: You can’t run for office! There is no way in hell the American people are going to vote for a reality show celebrity who says crazy, hateful shit. Hashtag DISASTER!

Ye: It worked for you! Once!

Trump: Fake rebuttal Ye! I was winning in a landslide in 2020 until they kept counting the votes. Totally illegal!

Fuentes: Boy, boys, boys . . . you’re carrying on like a room full of Jew lawyers! And Ye, our Leader is right about winning the last election. I was at the Capitol on January 6th and every single person I talked to agreed that it was stolen.

Trump: And there were millions of Americans there that day, but the liberal media wouldn’t show THAT. My people tell me there were 75 million fans in Washington that day! How many votes you think Sleepy Joe got?

Ye: Not 75 million?

Fuentes: It was reported Biden got 81 million but after you take into account the ballot stuffing, the twice counted votes, the dead people votes, the immigrant votes and all the lost votes for Trump, it was more like twelve thousand votes for Biden.

Ye: I ain’t here to stir up no shit, Boss. I’m fighting the same brainwashing socialist devil worshippers you are! All I’m saying is we should be working together. Hell, I’m Nikola Tesla, Jeff Bezos and Elvis all wrapped up in one mighty mutha! What if we ran as Co-Presidents? You take the Oval Office Monday through Friday and I’ll work it on weekends. I’ll turn the Lincoln Bedroom into a nightclub, I’ve been working on the plans.

Trump: Lincoln didn’t have a Co-President and I’m better than Lincoln so the answer is no. Maybe I can fit you in my Cabinet.

Fuentes: Well you know what they say Mr. President, the enemy of my enemy . . .

Ye:  . . Is a Jew!

The three crack up as the appetizer is served.

Ye: Is this what I think it is?

Trump: Chicken McNuggets.

Fuentes: The McNugget proves that whites know chicken.

Ye: I wanted to name my youngest McNugget but Kim wasn’t cool with it.

Trump: We raise our own McNuggets here at Mar-A-Lago. I have been assured it is a completely humane process, not that I asked!

Ye: But I thought they came from some kinda pink paste.

Fuentes: That’s the narrative the Jews and the media would have you believe, but it’s just not true. The McNugget comes from aborted chicks whose bloodlines were compromised by interbreeding. The poultry industry has an exclusive arrangement with McDonalds for this tainted but delicious product. The left has suppressed this information since the menu item was introduced in 1981 by creating this mythological pink paste. They would never admit that interbreeding is responsible for the downfall of mankind.

Ye: Damn, I wonder if that’s why my kids ain’t good at sports!

Fuentes: Your kids are an anomaly Ye, because interbreeding is usually a precursor to athletic prowess. It’s why I believe sports leagues should be abolished. They create the false impression that black people are superheroes while lining the pockets of the Jews who are only too happy to profit off this illusion.

Trump: Can you pass the honey mustard boat?

Ye: My man! How many McNuggets can you fit in your mouth at once!?

Trump: Fifty one. It’s a world record but they won’t recognize it! Just like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Fake Sciences refused to give me an Oscar for Home Alone 2! I have people come up to me all the time who say I’m a better actor than that Hanks guy. If I would have gone into acting, I would’ve been HUGE!

Fuentes: Hanks is a fallen Christian who sold his soul to the Jews, which is why he is exalted in Hollywood. They fall all over themselves when he plays a retard or a Jew.

Ye: My last manager was a retard and a Jew!

Trump: Hanks is completely overrated. He got paid not to talk in that Castaway movie!

Ye: I got paid not to talk by a lot of sponsors.

The main entrée arrives on a solid gold platter: Big Macs and French fries with a variety of milk shakes. Trump scarfs down the rest of the McNuggets before grabbing a couple plates worth of burgers and fries. 

Fuentes: How often do you eat like this?

Trump: Whenever I want a home cooked meal.

Ye: So who you gonna pick for your VP?

Trump: Marjorie is out, she’s too gassy. Sarah was dating her gardener, who’s Mexican, so I can’t take a chance with her. Boebert’s damaged goods with that whole foot fetish movie career she had going. I can’t understand what the hell that Herschel Walker is saying . . .  I’m suing De Sanctimonious for turning against me, Haley said something not so nice about me somewhere so I’ll probably sue her too, and I’m gonna murder Pence . . figuratively? Which one is that again?

Fuentes: It means not literal.

Trump: Oh, I mean literally.

Ye: What about that Kari Lake chick? She’s hot as fuuuu. . .

Trump: Voters think she lost . . she would just drag me down.

Ye: Hell, then Ima be on your short list the way it sounds!

Fuentes: What about me?

Trump: I don’t know you, (winking) remember?

Ye: Okay, how ’bout this? I’ll be your consiglieri, with the understanding that when you decide to step down I take over.

Trump: You might be onto something . . .

 

 

 

In The Darkness Came A Light

Imma take the wayback machine to the winter of 2020, before we reckoned there would be such a reckoning as what happened across a calendar year and more. This post happened after I watched a video of people singing in a small town 4,300 miles away from me. They took the void and filled it with a sound that reached through the darkness and filled it with light. And all that song asked of us was to find the greatness in simple things . . like kindness and understanding, and most of all, gratitude.

This post was born of 4,300 miles worth of string, and two tin cans. 

Kim Kardashian called. She wants her first world problems back.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as dreadful or hopeless as Vladimir Putin was hoping it might turn out. Unless you hang out on the Twitter or Reddit sites, which I do not recommend you do unless dystopian soap opera plots are your jam. And just so you know, I’m not saying Vlad the Impaler of Hope had anything to do with this virus. His powers are limited to horse back riding without a shirt, eating cinnamon encrusted beef jerky without need for water and fucking with our elections.

Europe currently has a “Do Not Disturb” sign up as it has been hit especially hard. Tom Hanks and his lovely wife Rita are literally castaways as we speak. The Utah Jazz have gotten more pub than if they would have won the NBA title simply by having a couple of players test positive. Americans of all stations and status from coast to coast are providing an ever expanding face to this virus.

You know things have gotten serious when sports get shut down, because nothing gets in the way of our sports. Not two World Wars. Not the assassination of a President. Not even September 11th. But the dominoes which began with the cancellation of March Madness has crept into the NBA and NHL suspending play while the MLB has scrapped spring training and is moving back opening day.

Without benefit of games, ESPN has had to rely on journalism. Which is another way of saying that ratings have plummeted. Casinos are closing. Retailers are posting limits on toilet paper and hand sanitizer purchases. Web MD is currently a more popular site than Porn Hub.

If you’re young, consider this a vacation from the every day. Your immune systems are assembly line peach in comparison to us folks of a certain age. I’m in that notoriously provocative middle earth population of peeps who consider sneezing a four letter word. And if this tunnel doesn’t start giving us a little sunlight, we may have to resort to punching anyone who coughs inside our bubble. Nothing personal, of course.

And really, that’s the whole thing right there, isn’t it? This isn’t personal, unless we really want to make it so. Because right now, as a species, we still have the ability to stoke that fledgling spirit inside us that believes humanity is a pretty okay place to be. Even on its shittiest days, the world usually gives us something to latch onto. Hope really is riding shotgun, idiomatically speaking. And now more than ever, this is happening if we extricate ourselves from dark web searches for toilet paper and hand sanitizers. If we just let ourselves consider that human beings have been through a hell of a lot worse than this. Hell, we somehow survived the election of 2016, after all.

Let’s just sit back and take a deep breath, and let’s consider someone who has tested positive. Let’s think about what their families and friends are going through right now before we whine about not having picked up extra beer and chips in the event we’re holed up for a couple weeks time. Let’s just put ourselves in someone else’s head for a simple moment, and do something novel inside a time when looking out for yourself has become status. Let’s pray for them. That they make it through this thing with nothing more than a lousy t-shirt. Humanity is the only inventory we should be concerned with right now. Because to my way of thinking, the darkest of times is when the light is needed most. So it’s okay if our grocery list consists of a little humility, a little compassion and a whole lot of gratitude.

There’s a town called Siena, tucked inside a hilly region of Tuscany between the valleys and the clouds. Italy has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and so the residents of this charming little medieval arrangement of castles and cathedrals have been relegated to their homes as a result. But rather than bemoan this solitary existence fraught with ever more daunting scenarios, the people of Siena fixed themselves on a different approach. On the night of March 13th, one of the quarantined residents let loose with a song that floated from one window to another to another . . until the entire street was draped in music.

So this one little song from this one little town, I gotta think maybe it was telling us something. Maybe it was telling us that to dwell on the bold font headlines of gloom and doom is to miss the point. Maybe instead of focusing on what we are inside these moments, maybe we should focus on something much more powerful.

What we can be.

 

Going Halfsies On The NFL Season: Now Streaming On WordPress!

The Three Stooges Football 8x10 Glossy Photo | eBay

We’re at halftime of the 2022 NFL season and what have we learned?

Player safety still matters to the league, the network talking heads and the players . . even if it’s more lip service than a Botox clinic. Meanwhile, instant replay is the biggest oxymoron since reality television was invented. Officiating resembles a pledge drive for Kim Jong-un, Jerry Jones should marry the sound of his voice and for such a quarterback driven league, how comes I only trust Mahomes and Burrow at winning time?

Colts Punt

As for what yours truly learned? Not much.

I predicted the Arizona Cardinals wouldn’t be the third team in as many years to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium and at 4-6, it looks like a pretty good bet. But really, saying the Cardinals won’t win it all is like saying Vladimir Putin won’t win a Nobel Peace Prize. There’s no limb to go out on here.

I agreed with Vegas on the Bills, Bucs, Chiefs, Packers and Rams because I am a simple man. How’d that work out? Glad you asked . . .

  • Bills- They’re a Netflix docu-series in cleats, which means that falling in love with them might kill you.
  • Bucs- Tom Brady looks forty-five years old and so do his teammates.
  • Chiefs- He is to contending status what Tom Cruise is to box office.
  • Packers- I’m glad Miami didn’t trade for Aaron Rodgers because that would have been SO Miami.
  • Rams- They won it all last year after which they turned into a Dario Argento flick.

I thought the Bengals would have a tough time getting back to the big dance after last year’s near hit. A hat tip to the inimitable George Carlin. . . yes that’s right.

After Cincy sent me a ton of threatening emails, I backed off on doubting the Bengals . . pretty much. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t right about the Dolphins and Ravens being in their way. Rather than leaving well enough alone, I tinkered with the idea the Jags, Broncos, Raiders and Colts would be . . . wait for it . . . good! You’d have been better off pushing all your chips into FTX. And I haven’t mentioned the Jets surprising 6-4 record until right now because I believe in Elvis Santa more than I believe in New York.

American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: The Wizard of Oz - The Cowardly Lion on Courage

In the NFC, I really didn’t like anybody. A half season’s worth of games hasn’t changed my mind either. The Eagles are solid if not spectacular, the Cowboys are the kind of product you would peddle on Shark Tank, the Seahawks are more fake than a Florida Man tan and the Vikings and 49ers have great uniforms . . but I feel as if the conference is Reservoir Dogs to the AFC’s Pulp Fiction ; fun to watch but not my first option. If I had to choose my favorite, Imma go with my Wizard of Oz meets Jimmy the Greek fever dream wager and place exactly no money on the Lions to shock the football world. And I haven’t mentioned the Giants surprising 7-3 record until right now because I believe Tupac is tending bar at the Tropicana more than I believe in New York.

How to Watch Chargers vs. Dolphins on November 15, 2020

If you thought I’d conveniently forgotten my pick to win it all, don’t be silly. In spite of their lackluster performance thus far, I’m sticking with Justin Herbert and his dreamy hair to carry the Chargers to the promised land. This phone conversation might explain why . . .

“Hello?”

“Yo, it’s Miami!”

“Hey baby, wassup?”

“Who’s LA to you?”

“Just a friend baby . . just a friend . . . I promise,”

“That ain’t what I’m hearing. I heard you’re talking about LA all the damn time!”

“You know who my bae is, so why mess with the stress?”

“Can’t you see I’m breaking my back out here!”

“And I love that about you. Don’t you know that?”

“I don’t see LA beating Buffalo. Hell, I don’t see LA in first place but guess who is?”

“You are,”

“Damn right. And Imma prove everybody was wrong about me . . .”

“You do that baby, you do that,”

The Rundown

Silhouettes of people standing on a high observation deck in front of the full moon

Welcome to the last Rundown of November, as Santa gets to stepping on all his propers while shoppers bargain and retailers put the peddle to their year long mettle. Meanwhile, the temps here in the East are finally catching up with the date on the calendar, which is kitschy for cocoa but not so much for those of us who appreciate flip flops.

The above capture comes to us courtesy of The Atlantic, and if I gave you a million guesses to figure out where this meeting of earth and outer space was taking place, you would only need the first one. New York City, of course; from on high at the EdgeNYC Observation Deck on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. The shot was snapped in Hoboken, as if Sinatra was writing the lyrics.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

What is the Real Cost of the World Cup?

I don’t want to be obstinate about not watching the World Cup, but shit if they don’t make it impossible to do so. Once every four years, I give a flip about the sport for more than ten minutes, and it’s the World Cup’s fault. Until now. This has nothing to do with those silly Christmas wish list commercials starring Jon Hamm as Santa Claus in which Fox Sports pretends the US Men have a chance of grabbing gold (They don’t). No, the reason I can’t watch is because the dirty business of Qatar is starting to make the IOC peeps look like boy scouts. FIFA sold its soul to a filthy rich country that treats women, laborers and gay people like criminals. Read up on how many workers died in the leadup to the games and you’ll be saying thanks but no thanks right along with me.

Division III Football: Gallaudet Wins ECFC Title, Clinches First Playoff Bid | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

There’s another football field in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where a Division III college team will take the field to play Delaware Valley University in the opening round of their playoff tournament tomorrow. The Gallaudet Bison are in the postseason for only the second time in school history and the first time in a decade. This small private school outside of Washington D.C. is special in a way none of those big league FIFA teams can match.

They’ve battled illness, which swept through a quarter of their roster last month, and they only have three full-time coaches on staff presently. And yet, here they are and these kids believe here is just the start. Their head coach Chuck Goldstein hasn’t used his whistle since he got to campus. That’s because Gallaudet is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. They rely on a big bass drum and sign language since words carry no weight. And that’s more than okay with this group, because they’re winning with a most novel approach in this day and age. By leaning on each other.

They’re proof that actions speak louder than words.

 

Leave it to Jon Stewart to encapsulate the Kanye/Kyrie imbroglio with his razor sharp wit. His interview with Colbert is pure genius as he deftly weaves between comedy and honest social commentary. I was a fan of this guy thirty years ago, but I have to tell you, he’s gotten so much better with age.

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle sent me this one. It’s how people in Michigan deal with subfreezing temps and a shit ton of snow. They make buff snowmen whilst attending football games. This young lady’s work is impressive as all get out, but her gloveless “ain’t no thing” attitude leaves me whatting my whats! The only person more shamed than me is that fat bastid, Frosty the Snowman.

There was an announcement from some guy down in Florida that took place on Tuesday but for the life of me I can’t remember what in the blessed hell it was about. I even left a reminder to myself in my draft folder which read “Address the HUGE announcement by that guy in Florida on the Rundown this Friday!”. . . . and while you would think that would be enough to jog my memory, nope. The front page of the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post was having just as much trouble as I was remembering who this guy was and what he was going to be announcing, so they went with Florida Man.

I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do.

How to win at Scrabble: tips from two world champions | News Review | The Sunday Times

The peeps at Scrabble have updated their word count by more than 500 of the little buggers, and it’s sure to lead to mayhem across the land as players get used to the new normal. I am here for that!

A top five favorite ‘o yours truly? Sure why not . . .

1- Thingie- It was only a matter of time
2- Verbing- They understand me
3- Bae- Mmm Hmmm
4- Fauxhawk- My submission in that contest to rename Washington’s football team
5- Welp- It’s about damn time!

Len Johnson is never going to own the front pages or score the top spot on the cable news shows, and it’s a good bet he’ll never trend. Never mind that he’s earned a Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Presidential Unit Citation. No, all he’s ever going to be remembered for when his time on this planet comes to an end is the positive difference he made in the lives of so many people on a daily basis.

A former Marine, Lance Corporal Johnson was sent home from Vietnam after suffering multiple wounds in a firefight. He was all of eighteen when he lost the use of his left foot while staring death in the face at a time when many kids his age were preparing for college. But what the war took from him pales in comparison to what the man has given back to the world ever since.

He’s been a volunteer for the organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for fifty years now. This involves checking in on veterans in and around the Philadelphia area and lending a helping hand. Sometimes it’s groceries and sometimes he’s driving them to a doctor’s appointment and sometimes it’s just a conversation. Johnson does the little things that mean so much and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. And as Saint Vincent is my witness, he also visits veterans who have been incarcerated and drops off toys for the children at the Catholic Workers Orphanage.

So what do you give the man who has given everything?

A group of local veterans along with the folks at TrueCar answered that question when they gifted Johnson with a brand new Chevy Traverse. It will replace his twenty-year old minivan that had logged more than 300,000 miles. They presented him with his new ride at a small gathering of family and friends, far from the spotlight and the headlines and the crush of a madding crowd. The smiles provided the answers to all of life’s big questions, the hugs were the most finely written of scripts and the words were simple ones, full of love and honor, gratitude and service. The lesson was simplest of all.

Chase the quiet of great things.

 

Unbelievably, This is True

The facts in this story are real because I couldn’t make this stuff up on my best day or under the influence of alcohol. Marc is capable, but not me.

Several years ago, I decided to seek something that I’ve thought about for most of my life – dual citizenship in Italy. I scheduled my 1st Sept 2022 meeting at the Italian Consulate two years earlier. I drove over 4 hours to hear, “The person you need to see left early due to a personal emergency.” After waiting two years, I was stunned, but they took all my documents. Then came my encounter with the United States Postal Service (USPS).

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(Fri 30th Sept) I mailed via Priority Mail additional documents the consulate requested a few days earlier.

(Sat 1st Oct) Following the tracking number, the mail arrived at a Detroit mail distribution center. The consulate should receive it Monday – Tuesday at the latest.

(3rd-6th Oct) The mail is still at the Detroit sorting center, but I can’t do anything because of a USPS timeframe rule for filing an inquiry.

(Friday 7th Oct) The hell with their timeframe! I talked to my local USPS post office, who provided a phone number that didn’t work, and then the postmaster didn’t return my call. I searched online and found a toll-free number for Customer Service. I got a helpful agent. He told me the process but said not to expect action until Tuesday or Wednesday because Monday (11th Oct) is a Federal holiday, which would be the day we depart for France.

I told him I was leaving the country for 2 1/2 weeks and I would be without a phone – so he wrote instructions for further communications with me must be by email.

(8th-12th Oct) I continued to see no change in tracking, and never received a report by email from Customer Service – which also means I have to move the issue to Consumer Affairs to continue the process – not USPS Customer Service – but I’m in France without phone service. Now that is government efficiency at its best!

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(Thurs 13th Oct) I received an email from USPS. “To serve you better in the future, we would like your feedback about the service you received on case number 123456 opened on 10/07/2022.” Really? My response was a reminder they failed to inform me about anything and the mail was still undelivered.

(14th-27th Oct) Not only no response from USPS, I continued monitoring the tracking, which showed no change since 1st Oct. I can’t do anything because I cannot contact Consumer Affairs because I’m still in France.

(Friday 28th Oct) We arrived home at night. Tracking shows no change. Because it’s the weekend, I can’t do anything until Monday.

(Monday 31st Oct) I called USPS Consumer Affairs to initiate their process. (I was on hold for a long time.) Why Customer Service doesn’t automatically pass the problem to Consumer Affairs is beyond me. I explained the situation, and he filed the report and told me what would happen going forward, including hearing from Detroit by Wednesday.

(Tues, 1st Nov) Detroit acknowledged my inquiry by email. That’s a start!

About an hour later, an email from Detroit stated the mailing was lost, but it could be at the lost/damaged mail center in Atlanta. I (of course, not them) have to file an application/request online – which I did immediately.

Shortly after filling the lost mail claim, I received a voicemail from Detroit saying they found it – but it still has to be processed – so continue monitoring the tracking and call if there are any questions. She didn’t state her name but left a phone number.

I called several times – but no answer – not even a voicemail.

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(Wed 2nd Nov) The status has not changed, so I called – but nobody answered again – and again – and again – etc. Then I got lucky – a voice answered. She didn’t sound like the voicemail lady. Oh boy, a chance to repeat the story!

She listened and sounded helpful, but the person she needed to talk to was gone for the day. She would talk to them in the morning, then call me.

(Thur 3rd Nov) I worked that morning and received no phone call. I started calling in the afternoon – and calling again and again. Finally, someone answered – but a different person from the voicemail or yesterday’s talk.

She told me her name, and that she was a supervisor who is unhappy about my situation. She assured me she would personally work on it because she knows the mailing is important because it was going to the Italian Consulate. She said to expect a call from her the next day.

(Fri 4th Nov) No change in the tracking status, which also means it hasn’t been found or processed. The supervisor called to say she contacted the consulate, but they have not answered. Of course, not!

(Mon 7th Nov) – No status change and no phone call.

(Tues 8th Nov) The supervisor called with good news. The consulate received the documents on Monday 3rd October – when I thought they should. They had the documents the entire time, so none of this was necessary!

Weary of the information, I emailed the consulate asking for confirmation. To my surprise, I received a confirmation email within 2 hours. Holy crap! My journey through the postal abyss was unnecessary!

Bottom line: All this happened because USPS failed to scan my mail for tracking. Meanwhile, my patience and persistence prevailed. Yes – patience – I never was rattled.

(Mon 14th Nov) …. and yes, as shown above, my mail is still officially lost. Who you gonna call?