The Rundown

Russia to develop a new 'doomsday plane'

Vlad Putin was all set to roll out his Doomsday Plane at Moscow’s Victory Parade on Monday but the flight was grounded because of weather. The modified plane, referred to as the “Flying Kremlin” would house the country’s leadership in the event of a nuclear event. The plane has no passenger windows in order to protect its passengers from the after effects of a nuclear blast and it can be refueled in mid-flight, allowing the power brokers to remain airborne.

Sounds impressive, right? Okay, now let me repeat what happened to this powerhouse last week. A plane that was built to endure the effects of a nuclear event . . . was grounded because of rain.

The Wicked Witch of the West called. She wants her punchline back.

A Pill Available in Mexico Is a Texas Option for Abortion - The New York  Times

The insufferable hypocrisy of American politics is coming home to roost.

Scores of women along the southern border of Texas have been scouring pharmacies in Mexico for abortion pills since the state whose motto is Friendship passed a strict anti-abortion law last September. To make matters worse, we’re talking about unregulated pharmacies here. Sadly, these women are not privy to the options afforded all those holy rollers who want to flip the script on Roe v Wade. Because for all the proselytizing these peeps dish up, they’re going to play a game of hush when it comes to them and theirs. They’ll find the avenues that privilege affords them and to hell with everybody else. It brings to mind the words of Sister Joan Chittister in an interview with Bill Moyers, when discussing the truth of abortion.

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

That says it all right there.

Patron the mine-sniffing dog is capturing Ukraine's hearts

Hail Patron! This two and a half year old mine sniffing Jack Russell Terrier who is my Hero Of The Week! here at The Rundown. The dude is so much more than just another pretty face, as evidenced by his prolific resume when it comes to saving the day. Patron has sniffed out more than 200 (You read that right) explosives since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

For his tireless efforts in saving lives and educating the civilian population, Patron was awarded a medal for “Dedicated Work in the Ukraine Army.” He’s got a trophy case and an online following and that’s all well and good. But all he really cares about is doing the job, every single day. Because in life, some may want to write the lessons and others may want to teach them. But the ones who change the world?

They live them.

New Mexico | Bureau of Land Management

It’s Day 37 of the raging wildfires that have engulfed 237,000 acres in New Mexico while enlisting more than 1,800 fire and rescue workers to battle it and officials say there is no end in sight. The devastation began when two smaller fires merged and laid waste to more than fifty square miles in one day.

High winds and drought ravaged forests have pushed these men and women to the brink, but somehow they’ll keep moving. They will always have a reason to keep fighting back, because that’s what service looks like.

God bless them all.

Long-shot Rich Strike wins the 148th Kentucky Derby - CNN

80-1 underdog Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby last week, and I was grateful to have the space of a week’s worth of time to deliver up this news. Because in horse racing, every result is a dubiously fitted fairy tale these days. The sport is rife with rich creeps who are expert when it come to writing up regrettable endings to feel good stories. But for now? Rich Strike turned the gambling books upside down and shook their pockets clean.

Okay, so the trainer Eric Reed has come under fire for some coarse things he may or may not have tweeted about Vice President Kamala Harris. And jockey Sonny Leon was suspended for careless riding in the race before his Derby win. But so far, no evidence has been presented that someone doped this beautiful creature.

It’s probably safe to celebrate the upset win now. Probably . . .

Corrections Officer Vicky White, who helped inmate Casey White escape, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds: authorities - ABC7 Chicago

“On the Run with the Whites” is the working title for that guilty pleasure limited series that will be coming to a streaming service near you (And maybe it won’t be Netflix after all, but I’ll get to that in a moment).

Because the worst? Happened.

Okay, not the worst, since Casey Cole White fought the law and the law won, catching up with the runaway couple in Evansville, Indiana after a nearly two week manhunt. And now the man who fatally stabbed a fifty-eight year old woman in 2020 is no longer a menace to society.

Vicky White wasn’t going out like that. She knew she was facing hard time and so she put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. And now the network vampires won’t get their day in court with a woman who threw it all away for fleabag hotels with shitty room service. Instead we’ll get the fictionalized version of these two.

You can put money on it.

Netflix Q4 Earnings: Why The Stock Is Tanking - MavenFlix - TheStreet StreamingBut don’t go putting any money down on Netflix, because they’re looking a hell of a lot like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. And the other streaming services are Clubber Lang, intent on teaching the former champ a lesson in humility. Netflix stock has plummeted by 75% in just the last six months and the memory of their pandemic mighty has given way to plugging leaks with measures that won’t promote the growth they have come to expect. It happens to every heavyweight champion sooner or later.

Netflix got punched in the mouth. Now we’ll see how they respond.

I began this week’s episode in the air, and that’s where I’m gonna end things. The only difference being, Vlad ain’t got his hands in this mix so yeah . . it’s a story that worked out beautifully.

You know the action movie scenario where the pilot loses consciousness and one of the passengers is called on by air traffic control to land the plane even though they have no blessed idea how? Welp, Darren Harrison is the passenger I’m talking about and guess what? He actually lived to tell that harrowing tale.

Harrison was on board a single engine Cessna Caravan that was headed back to Florida after a Bahamas jaunt when the shit hit the fan or in this case, the propeller, when the pilot became incapacitated. It was a Jesus take the wheel moment with the only problem being that in spite of his beard, Harrison ain’t that guy.

This was the intersection of heaven and earth and the guy who had no idea how to fly a plane wasn’t ready to let the cosmos have the last word. Not so long as he had a chance to grab that winning lottery ticket more commonly referred to as terra firma. And then he was becoming fast friends with Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor with over 1,200 hours of flight time. And then Harrison was focused on an A+ from his teacher, since the results of this particular excursion were pass/fail.

Morgan summoned every bit of his calm and cool and he gave a master class to his new pupil whilst pulling up images of the plane he was shepherding and also coordinating with Palm Beach International for the emergency landing. Which happened, without a single other hitch. After which Harrison got to thinking on the miracle of life. No, not this one. The one that will be happening later this year when he becomes a father.

I bet you he nails that landing too.

 

The Rundown

The Enormous Consequences of Overruling Roe v. Wade | Time

Nothing is sacred.

Lost in the hue and cry of the Supreme Court’s initial draft to reverse Roe v Wade is the fact that someone leaked these inner workings, including Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on the nearly fifty-year old decision. This isn’t business as usual, far from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I vehemently disagree with Alito, whose rhetoric was filled with the kind of thinking that got us 2016. This idea that a woman’s right to an abortion shouldn’t be federally protected is as much of a breach of the public trust as the fact that someone decided to share it. I don’t agree with the leaking just the same as I don’t agree with Alito or his four other conservative compadres. Because it speaks to just how far we have fallen as a society, on both counts.

We keep waiting for better but we keep getting worse.

No Mow May' Gives You a Reason to NOT Mow the Lawn: Leave the Weeds to Feed the Bees

If you’re like me, the thought of mowing your lawn is right up there with dentist appointments and doing your taxes. Welp, now you can take the rest of the month off from those duties if you so choose thanks to a really great cause that will serve to help your local bee population. We are smack dab in the middle of “No Mow May” and as the kids would say, I am here for it.

By cutting this chore out (pun intended) of your May calendar, you won’t pillage a bee’s village of dandelions, clover and violets, thereby giving them ample time to grub and in turn grow their colonies for the coming summer months. So if your next door neighbor accuses you of being lazy, just tell them it’s all about bio-diversity. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to buzz off. (Big thank you to Dale for this bee-licious get).

When it comes to the defamation trial involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I feel as if you can add a “Way” to the acronym TMI. Please make them stop.

Cheers to the Toronto Blue Jays . . . fans. You didn’t think I was gonna dish props to my beloved Yankees’ young and ridiculously talented rivals to the North, did you? Of course you didn’t. But when it comes to their fan base, I can bring the love because well . . they started it.

Missing Alabama inmate, corrections officer had 'special relationship': Sheriff - ABC News

It’s been almost a week since Corrections Officer Vicki White and inmate Casey White went on the lam in Alabama. On a completely related note, Lynyrd Skynyrd called and they want their song (all of them) back.

Anyways, officials have concluded the two were in cahoots and needless to say, her fellow officers are shocked and devastated. It’s an all around bizarre and regrettable story and you know what my takeaway is? Jon Hamm will play the inmate in a movie with the over/under on the release of the streaming masterpiece being two years.

You’re welcome.

Someone rushed the stage during a Chapelle appearance at the Hollywood Bowl this week, attacking the comedian before getting his ass beat by security. After the episode, Chris Rock comforted Chapelle on stage. You cannot make this shit up and really, why would you? 

Dodgers drama looms as no one 'wants to stand' with Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is a major league pitcher with a million dollar arm (Actually, it’s a $102 million dollar arm) and not much else going for him . He’s been on the bench since last July after MLB suspended him over allegations of physical and sexual assault by a San Diego woman. Since the suspension, two more women have stepped forward with their own stories to tell. So Bauer becomes the latest major league creep to get found out but this time there’s a twist. The league office handed down a 2 year suspension at the conclusion of their investigation. That’s some heavyweight shit crashing down on the prime of his career and hopefully it’s a message from the league that enough really is going to be enough.

You listening Roger Goodell?

You know what the difference is between your drunk uncle and all those so called NFL “Draft Experts”? Neither do I . . .

I want to thank Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for filling in last week here at Sorryless. And as it turns out, there’s just a little bit more Cincy where that came from. Yesterday he sent me the amazing story of Denis Estimon, whose family immigrated from Haiti when he was in the first-grade.

In high school, the young man started a student group called “We Dine Together” with the idea being to give every kid a chance to belong. As a boy living in a new country, he had to overcome a language barrier and a completely uprooted existence. He understood first hand the challenges of feeling isolated and alone and he wanted to do something about it. So he did.

In a world that seems to provoke the sum of all our many fears on a daily basis, it’s important to remember just how much a simple kindness really can mean. The world is a complicated place, full of hits and misses, rights and wrongs, wins and losses. So the idea is to add to the win column, best we can, however we can. And it helps to know that beautiful outcomes are entirely within our means, because that’s how kindness works.

It’s a choice.

 

 

 

Still Perfectly Frank: 01 May ’22

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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

While spring rolled in during April in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere embraced autumn. Meanwhile, April provided the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice, Russia’s continued assault on Ukraine, the return of Coachella, a new Masters champion, a physical altercation at the Oscars, and another COVID variant on the loose. 

We also remember those who departed us in April 2022: George Costanza’s mother,  the longest-serving Republican senator (retired), the world’s oldest woman (119), a Tony and Emmy award winner, a star country singer, an MLB batting champ, 2 NHL Hall of Famers, an NFL Hall of Famer, and the quarterback known as The Mad Bomber. 

In case you missed it, here are a few April headline gems from The Onion: Airlines announce it is safe to fly indoors again, Mayonnaise label warns product for external use only, Man shopping for cheap sunglasses troubled by reviews calling sunglasses cheap, and K-Y introduces new drowsy nighttime lube. The Onion also provided an infographic of Putin’s inner circle.  

In April I did a beach walk about containers. In her comment, Eileen mentioned a George Carlin segment. I adore his brilliance! 

May is here, so it is time to celebrate. Monthly celebrations include drums, vinegar, barbeque, Mediterranean diet, Sweet Vidalia Onions, and Latino books. Weekly celebrations include craft beer (16-22), foul balls (16-21), root canal appreciation (1-7), and clitoris awareness (1-7). Daily festivities include paranormals (3rd), tubas (6th), Moscato (9th), limericks (12th), belly dancing (14th), taffy (23rd), and brisket (28th). For a complete list of monthly, weekly, and daily celebrations in May, check it out here.

Baseball season has started. For the first time in my personal history, I don’t give a shit. While Reds ownership wants to save money, I’m will one-up them by saving time and money. I proudly say I have not watched or listened to one pitch yet. Meanwhile, the team is on pace to fall short of the number of games won by the 1962 Mets. Now that’s pathetic!

On the football side of life, I’m still amazed how the NFL has turned the annual draft of college players into a marketing event.

I came close in a recent lottery drawing for over $400 million. After getting 18, I was just off my a few numbers: 10 instead of 12, 21 instead of 20, 36 instead of 39, 55 instead of 60, and 7 instead of 10. 

I love the great perspective of scientist Neils Degraff Tyson. When asked how far into space public trips go, he said think of the world globe in the school classroom. The trip goes about the thickness of two dimes.  

There is a movement in the US (at the state level) to ban something from being taught that isn’t taught … and led by the party proclaiming to be about less government in life. I find that interesting. 

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen receiving over 40% of the vote is another sign that the world is in trouble. 

Ohio has a primary election in early May. Five Republicans are vying for the open senate seat. Interestingly, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and the retiring senator endorsed different candidates. We’ve been seeing TV ads since last fall … and thankfully, this round will be over soon. 

Thank you, April … and cheers to starting the month of May. Enjoy the music and Happy Bubba Day! 

The Rundown

Pope Francis Calls for Peace on Easter | Time

Pope Francis looks out over St. Peter’s Square where more than 100,000 pilgrims gathered to hear his speech celebrating Easter Mass. The Pope prayed for peace in Ukraine while praising all of the people around the world who have opened their hearts and minds, their wallets and their homes to aid refugees of the war torn country. He called these acts of charity a sign of the hope that still exists in humankind.

Imma be taking a break for the rest of April, and while I would love to tell you that today’s post will be all sunshine and rainbows, of course I can’t. That’s not how the world operates, and it’s not going to do us any good to pretend. So instead, I’ll chase all the shower-soaked stories with the flowers we grow when we rise above.

Let’s get to it.

Five to split $50,000 reward in New York subway shooting case

Gun violence is our national seal, but if you’re looking for more urgency from our elected officials when it comes to enforcing tighter gun restrictions, good luck. Why should they be bothered when they can hide behind the fact that a majority of the population is just fine with the status quo? So we’ll keep getting stories like last week’s shooting on the northbound N train in Brooklyn, where Frank Robert James opened fire on morning commuters. James was wearing a gas mask and was carrying two smoke grenades, gasoline, a hatchet, fireworks and a Glock 9-millimeter handgun. At the conclusion of his rampage, ten people were shot and twenty-nine were injured, after which the shooter fled the scene.

Pregnant Brooklyn subway shooting victim recalls 'death trap'

Time stood still on that subway platform as people lay bleeding and dazed while others came to their aid and a few others gave chase. Inside the shroud of smoke and madness, unarmed civilians didn’t sit by and let James go. They tried to stop the man responsible for shattering their sense of normalcy. Ordinary people came together to make the kind of difference that doesn’t pretend away all the forgettable endings this world has to offer. They had a better idea than all those who cower in silence when action matters more than ever before. They didn’t accept what they were given.

Neither should we.

Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter, take it private | Fox Business

Elon Musk’s love affair with Twitter is like something out of a sordid Netflix documentary. You know the plot; Boy meets social media giant, they hook up and pledge their love for each other. And then things start going off the rails and the next thing you know, boy is stalking social media giant and things go from bad to hearse.

Musk agreed to join the board of directors for the San Francisco based company, and then he reversed course. And then he made a bid on the company he already owns 9 percent of. His offer of $43 billion didn’t go over well with the company’s major investors who cried bullshit over what they consider a lowball offer. They also ain’t digging on Musk’s contention that the social media giant has grown stagnant.

Meanwhile, Tesla investors are growing fidgety as they consider what a successful close by Musk would mean for their earnings. And Twitter employees think he’s just playing hit and run with their stock. And let’s not forget free speech advocates who fear what an unhindered Musk might do with an enormous thought engine like Twitter.

Like I said, look for this drama to end up on Netflix.

This is a crazy, unjust attack': Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine | Pink Floyd | The Guardian

Few things in life are forever, other than McDonald’s French fries, protest songs, the Simpsons and rock band divorces. But what happens if you took two great tastes that ended up tasting great together?

Pink Floyd did just that when they got (most of) the band back together again to create a song protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The title of the song is Hey Hey, Rise Up and it’s the band’s first new track in twenty-eight years. David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Guy Pratt join Nitin Sawhney, with Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox contributing vocals. Gilmour describes the song as a show of anger at a superpower invading a peaceful nation.

Big props to the band for letting Ukraine know there is somebody out there.

Here’s to Duke, a three-year old mixed breed whose long strange trip from Kosovo to the states almost didn’t happen.

Of all the Army bases in all the world, this handsome pooch walked into Sergeant Kelsey’s unit looking for some grub. And from there a friendship grew, one day at a time, one meal at a time, with lots of tail wagging and hugs to go around. And it got to where Kelsey decided that maybe it was time for the dog he coined with the name Duke to find a forever home with him.

And then one day, Duke stopped making the scene. When he was found several days later, Duke had been shot and was in rough shape. Paws of War- a New York based charity- sent an emergency veterinary team out and saved the dog’s life after which the Alamal Foundation provided foster care for him during his recovery.

These days, it’s all cake and war stories for Duke. But mostly cake.

It’s easy to believe the end of the world is circling our cosmic drain. We have plenty of reasons to start pricing compounds in the middle of nowhere, what with all the madness has seeped into our everyday.

Think about it. We don’t even slow the news crawl down for mass shootings unless there are a significant number of casualties, and even in those instances, we don’t stay with it for very long. The idea of world peace is a meme. Diplomatic efforts are oftentimes a preamble for bad shit on the horizon. And maybe it always has been this way, but God knows the price to be paid gets higher with each new laundry bill.

If you’re looking for a sacred patch of grass to rest your weary head on, we ain’t supplying. Not in a world where terrorist attacks become political capital and a virus that has claimed more than six million lives is believed by many to have been nothing more than a hoax. How do you even respond to that without screaming?

When did the world become one great, big hostile takeover? And how do we respond without losing our sanity? How can we trust ourselves when surrounded by so much doubt? Why do we insist on sticking to the blueprint of Rudyard Kipling, who preached patience and love in the face of an unrelenting storm?

Because maybe he understood full well that the stuff we don’t know is the stuff we can still do something about. The proof showed up last week, in a Times Square subway station of all places. And it filled that unforgiving minute Kipling once wrote about with a song that lets us know hope ain’t done with us just yet.

Not even close.

But wait . . .  there’s (one) more!

My Polonius Has A First Name

Cop Rock,' The Most Infamously Awful Show In TV History, Is Finally Coming  To DVD

I’ll be posting the last Rundown of April early next week. For now, Imma preempt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you something completely stupid. I mean different.

Both.

As Newton Minow is my witness, my television habits weren’t always a lost cause. As a boy, I rather enjoyed the snarky resilience of James Garner in The Rockford Files. I crushed on the comedic genius of I Love Lucy. And then I chased that with Newhart, Moore, Franklin and Burnett. And I was socially conscious, even if I didn’t watch Good Times or The Jeffersons or All In The Family for any other reason than I loved those shows. 

And then adolescence came calling and my sophisticated palette was replaced with a vagabond warrior of the airwaves whose mission it was to kill my brain cells without using illicit drugs. So while I would love to blame the insidious nature of streaming services for obsessing my compulsions, Imma fess to my own mess, considering my long and sordid history when it comes to the entertainment I consume. Want proof? I watched a couple episodes of Cop Rock back in the ’90’s. Or, a couple more episodes than the family of the show’s creator, Stephen Bochco, watched. Clearly, I put the boob in tube.  

Since my therapist isn’t cool with me recording our sessions, I enlisted the Corleone family to dramatize the time I brought up my television viewing to her. 

As far as shows are concerned, I don’t do medical dramas or family dramas or best friends for life dramas. You know why? Because personally, to do so would be masochistically redundant, that’s why. 

  • Minute To Win It- Imagine a game show written by drunk people. With Guy Fieri as host. 
  • Hardcore Pawn- A reality show featuring a family run pawn shop in Detroit. More staged than a Ted Cruz breakfast on the shooting range. Dumber too.
  • Joe Millionaire- I took the wayback machine to retrieve this gem from the early 2000’s for a reason. Because I watched this one with my kids and somehow, did not receive a visit from child services.
  • Cooking With Paris- Ms. Hilton in the kitchen will never be confused with a Julia Child special.
  • The Punisher- Not completely horrible, but if you were to create a Superheroes League Division, this show would be the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Tiger King- The streaming equivalent of voting for Donald Trump. 
  • Rock of Love- 25 women compete with the prize being Poison lead singer Bret Michaels. I watched this without having a gun to my head. 
  • The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move On- So THIS is what purgatory looks like! 

You’re probably thinking my movie diet can’t possibly compete with that level of stupid. Actually? This is where things really get nuts.

If you make the regrettable decision to keep on reading, you have to promise me you won’t judge. Okay . .  who am I kidding? Of course you can judge me. Hell, I would be disappointed if you didn’t. 

  • Killer Sofa- If you’re under the impression this was a documentary studying the link between obesity and television viewing? Nope. This is a movie about a killer sofa. 
  • Power of the DogOf fucking course Imma mention this flick. It wasted the talents of a star-studded roster- Jane Campion, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch. And then it hid behind a losing personality by showing up with a stunner on its arm- in this instance, the backdrop of New Zealand. And none of it mattered because I’m dumber for having spent a couple hours in its company.
  • Bolero- Bo Derek was in it, okay?
  • Showgirls- Yep.
  • Catwoman- If you’re sensing a trend, welp, this is what happens when a guy doesn’t dig on porn.
  • Birdemic- I think the writer James Nguyen was trying to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I think it’s a very good thing Nguyen is a writer and not a brain surgeon. 
  • Cats- Oooooookay, I’m no longer in denial. 
  • Jason X- The tenth installment of the Friday the 13th franchise in which Jason goes to space. Yes, you read that right.

I could go on but instead I think I’ll heed the advice of that Polonius fellow I mentioned in the title to this post. The dude believed that brevity was the soul of wit. Which is one of my all time favorite Shakespeare quotes, even if Hamlet didn’t think so since he ended up killing the guy. 

If only Shakespeare had been a screenwriter.