The Rundown

A kitten rests on a student's desk

Say hello to Tarcin (That’s Turkish for Cinnamon). She lives in the garden of a school in Tekirdağ, Turkey and is a regular visitor in the halls and classrooms. And so I have two questions. The first one is simply, how freaking cool is this? And secondly, how comes we don’t see more of this going on here?

Bill Clinton, All Gore celebrate their good fortune - UPI Archives

Can you believe it’s been thirty years since Clinton and Gore ushered in a new age of politics? They were gunslingers with charm and they brought classic rock songs and climate klatschs and town hall meetings with them. I happen to think the mostly successful (and at the time, historic) two-term democratic White House was downright quaint compared to this iteration of Washington. And okay, so the Clintonian Era brought us Hilary . . but how were we to know she would author a political career most aptly titled “Sun Tzu For Dummies”? We were too busy spending all that disposable income, hoping Ross and Rachel would get together and wishing there was some way to capture that crazy lady’s rant in the grocery store to concern ourselves with tomorrow.

Oh well . . Dem’s the breaks

Historic flooding in southern B.C., by the numbers | CBC News

Dale is checking in with a reminder as to the brutal force of Mother Nature, which hit Southern British Columbia this week in the form of an “Atmospheric river”. This narrow band of water vapor from the Pacific Ocean landed on Sunday, resulting in rockslides, mudslides and massive flooding to the province.

To give you an idea as to the force of this weather system, it can carry a greater flux of water than the Amazon River. 18,000 people have been displaced and the death toll is expected to rise in the coming days as the military as well as local agencies continue search and rescue operations.

Our prayers are with you, Canada.

Angels' Shohei Ohtani wins more awards, these from his peers – Orange County Register

Welp, it’s unanimous. Shohei Ohtani is your official American League MVP for 2021, and the two-way player was a breath of fresh air for this baseball fan. As a pitcher he was 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while hitting .257 with 46 home runs and 26 stolen bases for the California Angels.

Here’s to the Shohei Kid!

Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Closing Arguments: What We Learned - The New York Times

The Rittenhouse trial is a Netflix series waiting to happen. It’s got race and social justice and guns and a dubious judge and courtroom drama, not to mention a seriously convoluted opinion of self defense, seeing as how Kyle Rittenhouse drove to the scene of a crime while armed.

Thing is, no one will challenge the failed leadership on both sides that caused a riot in the first place because they’ll be too busy shouting over each other. There will be the crazies who target him- whether in prison or pumping gas- and there will be the fools who make him the poster boy for a misbegotten movement. And it will never occur to them that their “call to arms” doesn’t prevent a mob, it simply creates its own.

Weekly Miami Dolphins Report: This week only, Butterball turkeys are .79 cents a pound at Milam’s Markets!

Sara Blakely surprised Spanx employees with plane tickets and cash - Upworthy

You hear a lot of shit about bosses, and a lot of it is with good reason. And then there’s Spanx CEO Sara Blakely, who recently gifted her employees first-class plane tickets anywhere in the world and $10,000 in spending money. The gesture was her way of saying thank you after the company was valued at $1.2 billion; a company she started with $5,000 from her savings account. So the next time your boss comes up short of your expectations, give them the Dolly Parton treatment.

Or just send them Blakely’s bio. Either . . or.

A car that had been parked in the same space for forty-seven years has finally been towed, according to an official in the town of Conegliano, Italy. “It was a slow week and we got around to some housekeeping. I’m not gonna lie, it took everything out of me so do you mind if we cut this short? I feel a nap coming on . . .”

Angelo Fregolent is the original owner of the 1962 Lancia Fulvia. After he retired from running the local newsstand, he just decided to leave his car there in the hopes that one day, Steven Spielberg would make a movie about it. “At the time, I had no idea Tom Hanks existed, but I think I would like him to play me in the movie,”

Paul Gosar Censured, Removed from Committees Over Violent Post About Democrats | Politics | US News

House Democrats voted to censure Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar for posting an anime video of him killing Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and attacking Joe Biden. Stripped of his seats on two committees, Gosar found the time to share a new photoshopped anime image on his Instagram page, sans any murderous hilarity. And please don’t compare Gosar’s stunt to Kathy Griffin’s dumbass photo in which she held Trump’s bloody head in her hand. Griffin is a comedienne who lost her comedic fastball long ago, while Gosar is an elected official.

We went full on Hemingway in this week’s episode, huh? I mean, the old man did say the world breaks everyone before too long. And so just when you get to wondering what in the blessed toll of the bells are we supposed to hold onto, along comes a story like this to pull you back.

Ryan Benton is a firefighter in Billings, Montana who doesn’t just do a job every day. This guy writes a chapter of his best self inside every shift, because like every uniform who stands in harms way, he understands the risks involved. And when you own that kind of perspective, great things come of it.

So it was that Benton’s team had responded to a two-vehicle accident, and that’s when he came across a little girl from one of the vehicles. She was shaken up and scared and he could see from her little eyes that the great big world was getting ready to do a number on her. So while his crew and her parents busied themselves with tow trucks and police reports, Benton pulled a book out of his truck and sat down with her to read.

And there, right in the middle of a forgettable night, it was raining the kind of sunshine that pushes back at the idea that this world is screwed beyond redemption. Because there was a curb in Billings Montana where the rest of Hemingway’s thoughts on the world were on full view.

. . . and afterward many are strong at the broken places. 


58 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. Wow …. the fireman story is a fantastic ending to this week’s Rundown. Cheers to the good side of humanity.

    Gosar is a pathetic being & his Republican minions are no better. Then again, the Dems also circle their wagons to protect their flock. All of us deserve better, unfortunately, we the voters elected them. On a related note, a recent Kathleen Parker column was about someone suggesting elected officials should get mental competency tests. She addressed the issue in the column but concluded it could be better to require the tests for voters.

    The Spanx CEO is getting a lot of positive press, but your recognition is the cherry on top of the sundae.

    It’s autumn moving toward fall, a time when the Pacific Northwest is known to be rainy – but hey – that amount is over-the-top. Stay safe out there!

    Gotta love Fleetwood Mac. Thanks for the throwback.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And salud to boot!

      Gosar is being defended by the rank and file, because they’ve sold out to Trump. And yes, the dems most certainly do it as well, but for a party to be THIS submissive to a one term phony who oh by the way, attempted a coup! . . . That’s beyond the pale.

      As for that test? That’s hilarious, and sad and true and hilarious . . .

      Hey, she is a true Boss Woman.

      It was amazing to read how strong these rivers are. Unreal.

      Back to 1992!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Clinton until he ruined Welfare. I’ll never forgive him for that. He ushered in the era of poverty that we all live with now, regardless of our income status. At that time, I was a single mother on Welfare … my son had just been born … I couldn’t work because of health issues … before Welfare reform, I could have taken it easy until my son was three years old … then gotten state-funded daycare for him while I went to college FOR FREE … & then went on to have a nice life with a decent career. BUT NO … that’s not happened. It was years of struggle, living in poverty, fighting for the right to get a college education … fighting for help … fighting for everything.

    I wish I had known that Hillary was on the board of Walmart before I voted for him. Funny how there weren’t any Walmarts up here in the north before those two got in the White House. Now there’s Walmarts everywhere … & Dollar Generals, Family Dollars, Dollar Trees … all southern companies … & our local businesses are GONE. But it makes sense that ending “Welfare as we know it” was part of their shtick … he saw a way to reduce the overall budget, thereby endearing himself to the GOP & she saw a way to get a bunch of new workers for Walmart & other places who paid next-to-nothing.

    But that cured me of voting for candidates based on their good looks & charm. I pay a hell of lot more attention now & I do a shitload of research.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Silver Apple, yours is the story that doesn’t get told nearly enough. And it’s remarkable to me how politics has really always been that, but now it seems, even more than ever. American Idol at the ballot box, if you will.

      Clinton needed to cozy up to the GOP after Newt took the House by storm in ’94 and was being hailed as the next big thing. Which lasted five minutes but got him book deals and speaking engagements ad infinitum.

      Lots to think about beneath the sexy veneer, and thank you for supplying.


  3. Tarcin: Okay, I’m an animal lover, but cats are my animal spirit and that is super cool! Considering how therapeutic pets can be___yes, why aren’t we seeing more of this?

    Praying, Canada.

    Rittenhouse: People be crazy!

    Blakerly: It is nice to see a boss who appreciates that it is the hard work of employees that get you there. Bosses everywhere take note.

    1962 Lancia Fulvia: Sad to see the car get towed. After that long it’s no longer a car, but modern art. However, lol!

    Gosar: I think Frank covered that.

    Ryan Benton: Heart strings tugged! We need that kind of innate understanding and compassion in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ella!!!

      I don’t get it. We see cats in bookstores ALL the time. And why? Because they create a soothing, chill atmosphere. So it only stands to reason that schools NEED that kind of good stuff, right?

      Yes we are.

      Insane! In the membrane!

      Here’s the blueprints Bosses. . . on your mark, get set . . Bonus!

      Right? And it did become a focal point of the town as tourists would visit and take pictures. It was even listed on Google Maps.

      Schmuck. Gosar, not Frank.

      Amazing capture, I mean, you really wouldn’t even need the story to be like “Damn that is beautiful!”.


  4. You are the best Pilgrim. Your coverage of Ryan Benton was like a sonata well played. Every time I hear the name Clinton I think of robber barons. Gore is the inventor of the internet, so he gets a pass (not). I wish I could wear Spanx. I would go buy more. She knows about giving back. I just hope all her workers don’t just buy a one-way to Tahiti like the rest of the US subsidized workforce. Gosar is an idiot, and so are his supporters. Loved the MVP choice. Rittenhouse is toast in any case of the outcome. I am so sorry for the folks in Canada. They are going to have a long road and prayers to those taken by the water. Thanks for a great set of stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No . . YOU’RE the best, Sheriff.

      Benton . . that image of him with the kid on the curb, reading. THAT got me right away and I knew I had my last story of the day. And of course we were on the same page.

      Clinton was always a charmer and Gore was always the too smart for his own britches fella you couldn’t stand. Still, he lost 2000 before Florida took it away. He lost 2000 when he didn’t canoodle more with Clinton. Dig him or not, Bill still had enough pull to have mad Florida irrelevant, I think. But Gore played keep away. And while I get it, he also lost because of it.

      Here’s to the Boss of all Boss Women. She deserves all the kudos she gets.

      Gosar had to go and make another image after the censure vote. Like . . THAT was the most important order of business?

      Shohei All Day!

      Well, as a free man (kid) he’s going to be a target, I would have to think.

      Pray for Canada.

      I appreciate the love, Boss.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A great many of the nursing homes up here do actually have cats that roam their halls. The cats learned who like them and who is willing to pet them. They make great companions. My police department carries teddy bears in the back of their cars just for a situation like this. I don’t know if it’s all across the country but it should be. This young man proved how important it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I love that, because it is shown to work for people. Pets in general are a good thing to have in these places.

      Yes! And the story does say that the crew in Billings totes around toys and books for these types of situations.

      Amen to that, Pam. And thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. N-i-c-e closing video! This has been quite the week. The Ranch Hands and I watched in horror at the flooding in the Vancouver area. We didn’t however mind the win by the Avalanche on Wednesday.

    Omedetō to Shohei Ohtani (congratulations). The rest of the league could take a few notes from this guy.

    With comments by biased judge tipping the scales of justice in a state that seems to favor gun wielding teens, the Rittenhouse verdict came as no surprise. One more disappointment on the common sense of people in the US regarding guns. We’re gonna need a lot more cats and dogs to provide comfort to shell-shocked kids in places like that as well as Turkey.

    While I’m no fan of AOC, Paul Gossar’s tweet and his defiance after being called out by the House has no place in politics or social media in fact. And we wonder why things are so broken. *sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  7. B,

    I love that in Turkey they are smart enough to bring cats into the classrooms. Why don’t we do that?

    Thirty years? That’s not possible. Funny how we can look back now and think, hell… things were good compared to now.

    British Columbia is being hit by floods, rain AND fire. Scary. Mother Nature’s fury has been unleashed with a wrath we can’t do a thing about.

    Shohei is what it’s all about!

    I am just disgusted with this whole Rittenhouse situation. A 17 year old drives TO the scene of a crime,,, unloads his weapon into five bodies, killing four of them and they have the nerve to call it self-defense. That the riot was happening is a whole other situation. You’re right, though. I can see the Netflix series being created as we speak.

    Sara Blakely is from another galaxy, surely. No one does such fantabulous things as that? What? Her company will be worth double that in no time…

    I read this car story and I can’t help but hear a scene in “Under the Tuscan Sun”. When Frances wonders if getting the paperwork done for her house was ever going to get going, she gets the response: “È normale”. They put mañana to shame but even this is extreme!

    Censuring is not enough for Gosar.

    And so it has finally happened. You and John were on the same page this week for this beautiful Ryan Benton story. I love it. And it deserves double-billing. Beauty.

    Love your choice of song.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Yeah, I mean, what is NOT to love about an idea like this? Pets are mood stabilizers, and our schools definitely could use them.

      Thirty years, and we never knew how good we had it. Or, COULD have had it, if only we had paid attention to all the stuff that was going on at the time. Interestingly, in the late 90’s Trump began his chatter about maybe running for political office . . .

      Mother Nature always wins. We have to be cognizant of this fact with our approach to weather systems, as well as doing everything in our power to keep her happy. Because like you say, when she wants to take something from us, she can.

      He’s the breath of fresh air the MLB needed.

      It’s the “call to arms” crowd that wins a day here and there- of course, these ‘wins’ are oftentimes soaked in someone’s blood, so there is that.

      She is the Boss Woman of all Boss Women, and yes, hopefully her company keeps on growing.

      Yeah, things move a little more . . casually in places like these. I mean, can you really blame them though?

      It isn’t, but it’s all that will happen.

      I knew there would come a week when that happened. So I’m glad it was with this story, because it’s a keeper.

      It’s ALL the way back to the 1992 anthem of the minute . . .


      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s nothing not to love.

        Right! Jeez… no one was really paying attention to what he was saying, eh?

        She does. She is a force to be reckoned with.

        He really is! I’m going to have to try to watch him next season 😉

        Call to arms… Everyone wants to be a hero, it seems.

        She is! And how can it not? When you treat your employees right, they work harder for you.

        That they do! I bet peeps are gonna miss its presence!

        I know.

        Of course it had to and what better story to read about twice than this one?

        Do you realise that next year that means 30 years ago? Bloody hell…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let’s go pets!

          Trump was different then. He actually was lucid and practical. Mostly. Something changed in the interim. Maybe it was the Obama roast in 2011 that led to his villain origin story.

          She da Boss.

          Ohtani and Soto. can’t go wrong.

          Sadly, the kid got swept up in the rhetoric of his peeps in the same way the rioters looking to do harm got swept up in theirs. And now we wait . . .

          They do. Treat your people . . like people.

          They will.

          It was worth it, don’t you think?

          Uh . . yes.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Woot!

            This is true. I actually enjoyed his show, back in the day. OK, only the first season, but still.

            She is!

            I’m thinking you are correctomundo!

            Yes. He is young and naive and easily led down this path.

            So many companies could learn from this.


            Cray-cray, I say.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I watched bits and pieces of the show, but I just couldn’t stand the participants most of the time. So I wasn’t much for it.

            I can be correcomundo now and then.

            Well, now what? Are his ‘fans’ going to protect him from harm? Hardly.

            Will they? Learn from this?



  8. Forgive me Marco, there’s just too much here to digest. Some great lines…gunslingers with charm…dems the breaks. The trial setting that boy free with a slap on the wrist. I watched the parade of outraged people march in protest across the Brooklyn Bridge and asked myself…how did I feel about this? My heart that is softer than most, looks at Kyle Rittenhouse as a young boy in the wrong who’s received a devine reprieve hoping he would act differently and wiser the next time, God forbid there was one.

    Yes, that’s the Pollyanna in me talking since, he is just a boy. But then I say, a boy with weaponry like nobody’s business bringing me back to 2012, to Newtown, Connecticut wondering…is Kyle capable of that? Does he have an Adam Lanza leaning somewhere? Things are so out of proportion on every level. Even how they let him go. Will he get counseling? Is he now the hero the way the GOP is hailing him? The NRA punching one more notch onto their belligerent belt. What would Brooklyn Bridge say who’s seen it all?

    Ah, if only a suspension bridge could talk. Lots here my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SB

      I also tend to look at this kid and I ask myself “What in the fuck happened to the right?” Putting his baby face on posters for their 2nd amendment rights, as if driving to the trouble is the same thing as fending off a home intruder . . . my God, how sad for everyone.

      I left the Republican party a while back. Before Trump, even. Because I felt left out. Now? I want a third option, because my faith has been bashed and trashed and smashed by both sides. One side wants to kill the stupid ass kid and the other wants to buy him a brand new suit and run him for office somewhere.

      How do I get to that island Tom Hanks made famous in Castaway?


  9. Hermano! So good to see you breakdown this week’s events. So good to see you here after my unanticipated leave of absence there. But we’re all good and glad you’re putting out the word. The disaster of the justice system on full display with in Wisconsin was just … ugh … is it surprising? No. Sometimes they just don’t do the right thing when the stakes are so high. It was so disgusting. Hoping for something better in the future. But sending good vibes out to Canada and your buddies out there. And dude DUUUUUUUDE Can I tell you how happy I was about that UNANIMOUS vote?! Yes. Totally deserved it. 100% he was so amazing this season! Ohtani rocked it! As for the Spanx … HIGH FIVE to that lady as she knows how to lead and reward hard work. What-what! Staring just from $5,000 to where she is now … inspiration:) thanks for the highlights brother 🙂 I hope you’re doing well and glad I caught you. Sending you good vibrations and salutations. 🙂 Sunshine and waves hermano! Have a great turkey day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything okay, Cali? It’s so good to see your holla.

      Yes, I don’t understand how you travel to the scene of a crime and then get into it, of course, and have it be considered self defense. If they had been in his front yard, that’s one thing. Other side of town?

      Prayers to BC, for sure.

      Ohtani accomplished something Babe Ruth never did. That is what you call Nuff Said!

      High Fives to Boss Lady! It’s how everyone should boss.

      Lemme know you and the kids are all doing fine, coo? And thank you for your signature sunshine and waves.

      You rock.

      Happy Thanksgiving hermana

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks hermano. Just a little funk going on over here. But I’m shaking it off. Thanks so much for asking. I was on a hiatus trying to pick up some pieces here and fell off the writing wagon in the process, got lost there for a bit. But the kids and I are doing fine. Thanks for your thoughts brother. Wish I could have said hey! I won the Lotto and I’m out there shaking and baking and grooving but I wasn’t. I hope you’re doing all right brother. I’m going to have to catch up on all your shaking and baking. Sending good vibes your way and so glad to find you here when I came back. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Shohei Ohtani Yay… I don’t know him from Adam, but YAY!
    Love the Spanx story… although I invented them first. I have a note from Dana Delaney, that can testify,
    However, even though we came up with cutting the legs off of nasty control top pantyhose to use as a girdle of sorts, Sara Blakely ran with it. I just kept cutting off the legs.
    Rittehouse….POO! I see something not good in the future.
    _ Madame Resa 🔮

    Liked by 1 person

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