The Rundown

A small dog wears a costume during a parade.

I conducted a science experiment the other day and the results were uglier than a Kanye West bank statement. My test involved scrolling through my browser history to check out how many of the stories I was culling for today’s episode landed on the minus side of the ledger. I found eleven stories and all of them were sunshine bandits, so I trashed them. But the thought remained steadfast.

The struggle for good news is real.

It’s why humankind should appreciate cats and dogs more. They don’t ask for much and they give back everything. If they wanted to charge for their services, the price would be steep, and a bargain at that. Which is why I chose that handsome little fella above for the marquee. He was taking part in the Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park, NYC. In a world full of dirty rotten tricks, there are treats to be found if we look hard enough.

Let’s stroll the grounds . . .

I’ve had it up to here (I’m holding my hand over my full pint glass) with these car companies and their electric boogaloo mission statements. But this story mellowed that harsh temporarily and for good reason.

The peeps at Honda have designed an electric vehicle for the kids at Children’s Health in Orange County, California. The ride you’re checking out is called Shogo and it was made with the express intent of bringing smiles for miles whilst delivering the kids to their treatments. It leaves gurneys, wheelchairs and those hospital blues in the dust, and that’s the point.

“To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding,” said Hundy Liu, manager of national advertising at American Honda Motor Co.

That’s a full tank right there.

As the inimitable Dan Lafontaine would’ve said, in a world where any and every good movie and television series is imitated and duplicated into meatloaf, leave it to the Rocky franchise to punch its way out of the cookie cutter conspiracy. Because from the moment they cast Michael B. Jordan as the protagonist for the Creed universe, I scored this refresh knockout win.

The initial installment proved me right while the sequel might’ve lost something on points. But the trailer for Creed III tells me we are back in business and badder than ever. And this fan cannot wait.

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico got married! Meet LGBT beauty queens Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín who just tied the knot in a private wedding after a two-year secret romance |

Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentin are more than just a couple of pretty faces. They’re also married, having tied the knot recently to the surprise and delight of fans and guys with too much time on their hands everywhere. The former Miss Argentina, Varela met Valentin, the former Miss Puerto Rico at the Miss Grand International competition in Thailand in 2020 and from there, love punched their dance card.

On a stage full of Misses, these two are a hit.

Astros pitcher Cristian Javier's dad saw him pitch for first time |

If you’d have put the twelve MLB teams that made the 2022 postseason in a casual fan wish list of must see World Series clubs, the Houston Astros would’ve battled the Tampa Rays for last with the Phillies not too far behind them. And yet, these two have provided a compelling Fall Classic to this point- what with the Phillies coming back from a 5-0 deficit in the opener to win it, to their home run derby performance in Game 3. The Astros moved to the brink of a title last night with Justin Verlander winning his first ever World Series game, and I had no idea this HOF dude was even on such a schneid!  And I’d be remiss and totally recalcitrant if I didn’t mention how Cristian Javier made like Nolan Ryan with his six no hit innings on Wednesday night. The Houston bullpen kept the home team hitless the rest of the way, delivering the first no-hit game in a World Series since Don Larson’s perfecto for the Yankees all the way back in 1956. I didn’t see that one since I hadn’t been born yet and I didn’t see last night’s game either since I was sleeping.

It still counts.

John Ramer (@johnramerphoto) / Twitter

My Hero of the Week! for this first episode of November is John Ramer, the executive director of Kindness Ranch. This guy was one of the integral point guards for the largest animal rescue effort ever recorded last month. Thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of agencies and thousands of people, more than 4,000 beagles were freed from their not so happy home.

Envigo is a testing facility in Virginia whose business was breeding dogs for testing. With all the low down dirty business of a news cycle we have coming at us on the regular, here was a story that found new lows: Dogs bred for big business pharmaceuticals, raised in awful conditions and treated like commodities whose only value was the bottom line.

Animal rights advocates and legislators and the Department of Agriculture and PETA and the DOJ and the Humane Society and so many countless others put an end to all that. And now all those thousands of beagles do not end up at a lab somewhere else. And now they get to run on real grass and sit in the sunshine and walk in the park and eat real food and yeah, maybe even steal some. But that’s okay because they’re going to get hugged. Lots.

And all those stories, forgettable and worse, don’t matter nearly as much as the stories that are gonna be told from every corner of the map. In forever homes that beat back at the struggle for better news by finding their very own.

Every dog gets its day.




52 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. B,

    It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to go digging deep to find feel-good stories. Eleven… eesh. But you persevered and we get this wonderful post as a result.

    How adorable is that put in his costume?

    I’m with you on the “up to here” with the electric car shtuff. I’m in NO rush to get me one, tell you what. I cannot picture a drive down to, say, Prattsville, worrying if I need me some ‘lectricity to make it all the way! However! Honda just got muy points from me for this beautiful story. I can just imagine the joy these kids are experience between crappy treatments.

    Oh man. I really must rewatch Creed I and somehow I missed II but I am definitely going to make an effort to go see III. It looks like it will not disappoint. Sly must be pretty proud that his little movie, that he worked so hard to make has become a pretty decent franchise.

    I don’t doubt a lot of men’s hearts broke as these two beauties found each other. How lovely to meet someone and fall in love.

    It was still 2-1 when I went to bed last night. Damn! I was hoping the Phillies would rally. It ain’t over.

    I am still reeling from that video you sent me. 4000!!! What in the blessed fuck is wrong with the people who are willing to breed these pups for such a heinous reason? I cannot believe there still exists animal testing facilities. Disgusting. But John Ramer is a Hero with a capital H. And all the people who helped to liberate these puppies – breed chosen because they are so docile and friendly, to boot. Makes me shudder. I am sure they will manage to find forever homes for the lot.

    Norah is always a great choice.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      It was the Mariana Trench staring me in the face as I checked off six, seven, eight . . . eleven?! Yeah, it’s why I trashed them all. Said g’bye to the AZ Gov, Kyrie, LBJ, Musk and all the lousy rest of that news and got me some ‘o mine! Gracias!

      He’s a gem.

      This is good use of an okay alternative that in real life should be offered but not shoved down our throat. For all the reasons you’ve listed and plenty more. Let the kids have fun in the most trying of times. Let them be kids.

      This Creed-verse (See what I did there?) is brilliant. It stands on its own while taking a page from the Rocky franchise. I love it. And this third installment looks gooood.

      The ladies have the stage, and good for them.

      It ain’t over, but the fat lady is warming up in the bullpen . . .

      They walk among us, these people who find it A-Okay to treat defenseless creatures like this. Judge those who prey on the voiceless, that’s what I say.

      Norah’s ode to her dog hit the spot.



      Liked by 1 person

      • That is such a bummer and I’m not sad you said g’bye to the lot!

        I definitely do not want this shoved down my throat – as they are trying to do. These kids need to have some fun.

        I like it! Creed-verse. It looks very gooood.

        Love is love 🙂

        It’s all or nothing tonight!

        It really did. What a huge “man of the hour” he is!

        You know it.


        • Next week, they’ll be Bach. Well maybe not the AZ Gov as there’s news that she was sent a suspicious letter in the mail. I’ll lay off as a result.

          The ad push for the EV is really laying it on thick. And then to double down with talk of a time in the not so distant future where everyone will be driving them or else? Why would they do that to people?

          In retrospect, the franchise had one way to go if it wanted to keep going. That one way was Creed. And then they got the storyline right and the lead actor right and well, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

          It sho nuff is.

          Congratulations to the Astros. They were at their best when it counted the most. And kudos to the Phillies for fighting their way to the last dance.



          Liked by 1 person

          • Next week, who know who will capture your attention?

            They’re pushing hard up here, too. A friend of mine posted that he had just returned from a 2500 km car trip: 6 (30 min) stops to charge for a total driving time of 26 hours. I dunno, man. 30 minutes to charge your car? How long to fill ‘er up with gas? I’m not ready and don’t fucking force me.

            This is true. It had to be a next generation thing. Hmm… kinda like Star Trek and the Next Generation… It was so well done.

            That it is.

            They really played well. Phillies were doing so well until the 6th. Not that they didn’t do well after; just the Astros did better. I cannot believe I watched the whole thing!



            Liked by 1 person

          • Some of everything mebe.

            That doesn’t many any blessed sense whatsoever. If they want EV for every single form of service and public transportation vehicle, have at it. But to believe they’re going to be able to wrangle everyone into this? Totally impractical.

            It was, is.

            Both clubs acquitted themselves like the champs they are. One team just did it a little bit better is all.


            Liked by 1 person

          • For shizzle. You go with what you find 🙂

            I, for one, wonder just how good for the environment they really are. What happens when the batteries die? Where do they go?

            My favourite of the franchise.

            Exactly. It was a really good game. Well played. Definitely not an “ugly” game, as you would call it.


            Liked by 1 person

          • We will do the deed.

            Well that’s like . .. where do they make these things? Unicorn factories made of pie? Nope. So yeah, lots of counter arguments could be made.

            And my favorite too 😉

            No, that’s football. There’s been a glut of ugly going on in the NFL this year.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Indeed 🙂

            Riiiighht… And I’ve heard tell of some of these arguments. Gotta figure out the true pros and cons. I’m in no rush.

            With good reason 🙂

            Baseball ain’t never ugly? Okay then, I stand corrected 😀


            Liked by 1 person

          • I figure they can use EV for everything else first. Let the technology catch up, because right now it’s impractical and expensive.

            Uh huh!

            Baseball is most definitely ugly. When the Red Sox are playing 😉


            Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly! It is muy expensive. When Chris posted his 2500 km drive, he said it cost him in total $280 CDN for the whole trip. But the cost of the car is another matter.




            Liked by 1 person

  2. A bit of Nora Jones is always a good anytime of day. Two beauties tying the knot … wow … fine with me … and they are stunning! Whew …. A tip of the cap to Honda for bringing smiles to kids …. I know the World Series is going on, but I’ve seen very little – maybe a batter or two. After completing of full season of not watching or listening to one pitch of the Reds, the Series is just a channel occupier. Cheers to the Kindness Ranch guy, but who’s the hottie on the right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe you are correct sir.

      I think those two make quite a pair. And I hope they find their happily ever after.

      Honda did right by the kids, and kudos, big kudos to them for doing so.

      This Series has been pretty fun to check out, even though I have totally missed the last two games.

      I don’t know, but she IS a hottie, isn’t she?


  3. I think we should concentrate on making electric cars for scenarios like you’ve given us here and eliminate all the nonsense about me driving electric cars. I want flying cars. Now we’re getting somewhere. I agree with Eilene that any ol’ Rundown which begins and ends with dogs is a good one. And speaking of endings, the Phillies dream of a season will end one way of the other this weekend. Pretty late in the year for baseball, isn’t it? I mean, my beloved college basketball is firing up on Monday. Yes, I’m one of the sickos who follows it all season long and not just in March. Here’s hoping I’ll have a World Championship baseball team to celebrate come Monday as well. Norah provides a nice tune to go out on…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I want flying cars too! Although according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, we already have flying cars. But I want the REAL ones!

      I remember the first November series was back in 2001, when Jeter homered in extras and they dubbed him Mr. November. And now it’s par for the course.

      Nothing wrong with loving the sport. Admittedly, I only sometimes pay attention come tourney time, if I’m in a pool like I was last year. I won! And I knew next to nothing LOL.

      Here’s hoping we get two more games!

      Thank you Bruce

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your stories today, Pilgrim. All filled with good news and hope. I am amazed by the World Series (I’m not a baseball fan). There is an exciting story every inning. I loved your Beagle story and am so glad they are free. You gave a big smile today. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You got me twice…the pooch at the parade off of 8th Street, and the Beagles. When I start carrying on over animal abuse, a topic I get pretty passionate about, someone always snaps…look what they do to kids, and you’re worried about f–king animals? It’s a hard argument to win, but still I rant on.

    If I had my way, Michael Vick would be hanging by his balls in front of PETA, as an example. Oh shit Bill…you popped a file.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That handsome fella was gonna score the top spot as soon as I spotted him in the Atlantic photos of the week segment.

      Here’s the thing. What they do to kids is wrong, of course. But that doesn’t make what they do to defenseless, voiceless creatures any less wrong as a result. Let me at anyone who has a problem with that.

      Sorry, my Gotti’s showing.

      I believe you and agree 1 million percent. Pop that file lady, give ’em hell. I’m with ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is a sad statement on our society that we have to go looking for good new stores. They should be front and foremost. They should be celebrated and extolled. Instead they are almost an aberration. These are some great stories. Thank you for sharing. As always, I laughed and I cried and I still have my smile on!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I see all kinds of neglect and abuse of animals at my volunteer job, and that’s what keeps me involved, even when I feel like giving up. Someone has to help these animals. I am SO grateful for those who rescued those beagles…the sheer number of them had to be overwhelming, and yet the managed it. Why are we still experimenting on real, live animals when they could accomplish the same things with a few cells in a petri dish? As for EV’s, yeah, the hospital version is great!! And hybrids are great. Total electric is something we’re not ready for, despite what the politicians and car companies keep telling us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bless you Ann. You do the great good work that makes the world a much better place. And yes! This effort was extraordinary in its size and reach. Thank God they got to those beagles before they were shipped out to labs across the country.

      And uh, I had no idea this was a thing!

      As for the EV thing? Let’s do good stuff with it and chill with the EV for everyone campaign, yanno?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dogs and cats heal us with their animal love.
    The dog at the top is as cute as buttons.

    The Shogo is a merciful development. Go kids!!!!

    So, Creed is a movie, now 3 movies?

    I dig the beauty queens!


    Beagles for animal testing? Glad they are rescued! Still, I’d like to see the envigo guys go to a rehabilitation camp/jail where they learn to respect all life. I’ve been boycotting various companies that do animal testing for decades. Also, another reason (of many) that I have boycotted Amazon for going on 7 years now, is that they do carry products that use animal testing. There is a filter to find cruelty free products.
    I’d rather have b.o. Love me or leave me. Good news is that Dove products are cruelty free. I’ve been using their deodorant. I smell like a bar of soap.

    Nora Jones song is cool!


    Liked by 1 person

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