Peace And Love Is All I Got

The Victims of the Uvalde, Texas, School Shooting | Time

I was planning on a Rundown for today and then Tuesday happened.

We don’t even get to catch our collective breath before the next slaughtering of innocents punches us in the gut all over again. It seems a hopeless effort to hope and pray that maybe the world will go quiet for a spell, and it leaves me wondering if anything is ever going to make sense ever again.

I sat down and tried to write something about those twenty-one souls as I watched the news footage coming out of Uvalde. And then it hit me, the madness of it all. Here I was writing about yet another lost day, not even a week removed from my last post about a mass shooting. And then I wondered if a post about Texas would even make it to Friday before the next horrible moment arrived. After that, all I had left was the crying.

Life is so incredibly fragile as it is without provoking the fates. We don’t stand a chance so long as we allow hate and ignorance to matter as much as they do. We lose the value of ourselves when we accept the worst as a matter of course. We need to be doing better than this. As a neighborhood, a town, a city, a state, a country. As a whole.

We need to be better. As parents and neighbors, as strangers and as friends. And we need to expect better of everyone who is entrusted to serve their constituency. They do not answer solely to those who vote for them. They have to answer to us all.

Our children deserve better.

The Annoyances Post . . . Back and Butter Than Ever!

Inappropriate Construction and Traffic Signs That'll Make You Look Twice

As the legendary Ella Fitzgerald once crooned, into each life some rain must fall. Of course, the Queen of Jazz presented this unfortunate reality with the kind of elegance that made  heartbreak seem like a stroll through Paris Hilton’s walk-in closet. The quixotic heft of her brilliant lie left our simple minds believing that clouds were a cursive weep that helped ease the pain of bad whiskey and even worse decisions.

Regrettably, Ella never did get around to explaining why it is that we have to live with annoying shit. Cosmically speaking, the lack of such a nope-us of an opus is a missed exit that can never be undone since it never was done done in the first place.

Which is pretty annoying in its own right . . .

I watched Happy Gilmore 40 times in one summer holiday. It has lessons for us in lockdown | Culture | The Guardian

  • Golf. Having played it, I can honestly say it’s a sport tailor made for those with infinite patience. Oh yeah, and sadists too. As for viewing? I watched the last few holes of Tiger’s first win at the Masters. Because, history. And I watched Greg Norman go from hero to spiro at the Masters the year before, because I love disaster flicks. And that’s it. Because to me, watching golf is right up there with watching flies paint.
  • Last night I planned on staying up to watch Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between my Heat and the Celtics. I hadn’t watched a single minute of a Miami Heat game this postseason and what did I get for my time? A 20-1 start for the Boston Celtics, after which I turned on something else. I’m a penny stock investor when it comes to my sports portfolio and I’m not ashamed to admit as much.
  • Circus Peanuts. How in blessed hell are these marshmallow monstrosities still breathing our air?
  • There is no messing with the serrated edges on a roll of aluminum foil. I’d sooner be stuck in a phone booth with zombies.

A Phone Booth Was Just Put on the National Register of Historic Places | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

  • And that reminds me. You know what really annoys my ass? The total liquidation of the public phone booth. I mean, for aesthetic reasons alone they should bring them back!
  • Miller Lite commercials that still have the audacity to peddle flavor, forty-seven years after their introduction. The science of our taste buds ruled on that shit back in high school and it came back with a verdict of As Fucking If
  • When did they pass a law that most every contemporary female musical artist has to sound as if they just woke up? And every male artist has to whine the lyrics?
  • Youtubers who post rants while sitting in their car.

A Floor Art Piece: Project 62 Abstract Mountain Framed Canvas | Best Modern Decor From Target 2021 | POPSUGAR Home Photo 5

  • Target art. As if the masters ain’t dead enough.
  • This idea that every last popular (and in many cases, even the not so popular) flick needs to get a reboot is absurd, not to mention lazy. Fresh ideas people! Find ’em!
  • People who turn their car radio up so that everyone knows about their shitty taste in music. And they think it’s cool, even though it’s the exact opposite of cool.
  • Hoverers.
  • Amazon. Every time I dial up their tunes, I get prompted to sign up for their Unlimited plan, which I have zero interest in. All I want is to randomly plug into some shit I may or may not have jammed to previously. I don’t do playlists because, like everything else in the world, it has become so repulsively cliché.
  • Airbnb commercials.

I would like to thank my special guests Ella Fitzgerald, Douglas Adams and Ayn Rand for being the inspiration for this post. And my since apologies to Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson for never making it out of the Green Room. But rest assured Imma have them back later this week because I simply cannot allow their level of stupid to go unpunished.

Until then, remember kids. Keep your friends close and your beverage of choice closer.

The Rundown

The total lunar eclipse is seen on May 26, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. / Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images The night sky produced the kind of show network executive can’t touch earlier this week when the Super Flower Blood Moon (Say that four times quickly) took the prime time stage. Shutter bugs and moon freaks alike got their heaping helping of the moon pie. Somewhere out there, Carl Sagan is jotting it all down on his cosmic scorecard.

Tom Brady's historic $375m Fox Sports deal shows familiarity breeds content | Tom Brady | The Guardian

How did I forget to mention this guy last week? Tom Brady inked a deal with Fox Sports to be their lead football announcer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. The deal is for 10 years and $375 million, and not for nothing but . . when was the last time you tuned in to watch a game because of the announcer? Anyways, the Brady deal was front page news last week. When Fox Sports cuts a bunch of staffers as a result, well, good luck finding that story.

allengetty.jpg

My Hero(es) Of The Week! 

The Buffalo Bills will field a championship contending team this season and maybe . . just maybe, they’ll bring something special home to the good folks of upstate New York come next February.

And while it is illegal (In Florida, of course) for a Miami Dolphins fan to root for their rivals to the north . . let’s just say I wouldn’t be upset in the least if they do break on through to the other side and put the legend of Scott Norwood to bed for good and forever. Because these guys have come together for their community with everything they have. They have shown a mettle and a spirit that transcends athletic competition and speaks to who these men are and what they’re about.

This week it was announced that the organization and the NFL have donated $400,000 to local charities. But they didn’t stop there. Not even close. The team decided to visit the site of Saturday’s mass shooting; they laid flowers, visited with neighbors and distributed food to those in attendance. And then they let their town know their outreach was only just getting started. In an age when celebrity athletes come and go like tech stocks, these guys pulled an audible.

They’re here to stay.

The Boys' Creator Calls Out Trump Supporters Dressing as Homelander | IndieWire

Homelander’s attempt to take over the world was thwarted by Sen. Chuck Edwards, staving off a cataclysmic showdown between the archvillain and Thanos for galactic domination . .

Oh shit sorry, I got my comic book characters all mixed up. It was US Representative Madison Cawthorn who got shown the door in his bid for re-election this week. Which means North Carolina will not be serving as a pipeline of comedy fodder to late night shows anytime soon.

Donald Trump insists he was really never that into him . . .

NASA picture of Mars 'doorway' spawns conspiracy theories - this is what you're really looking at | Science & Tech News | Sky News

The Mars Curiosity Rover captured an image of what appears to be a doorway on the planet Mars earlier this month, and lemme tell you . . . it was magical. Until the experts chimed in with the bad news.

It ain’t a doorway.

What looks like a doorway is actually a fracture in the ancient sands that hardened over millions of years, taking on the appearance of a doorway without actually, yanno . . being a doorway. No welcome mat will be needed after all. Don’t bother clicking “Buy Now” for that doorbell camera on Amazon. And there’s no reason to be sending a motion sensor light to NASA. Of course, I could always do like the average American and just ignore the truth. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.

You know what? Ignorance is a hell of a lot more fun!

Baby formula shortage: Changes Abbott made ahead of Michigan plant restart | Fox BusinessThe US is in the throes of a major shortage in infant formula after U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide recall in February after complaints of bacterial infections were reported. And while the news that Abbott has been given the green light to resume production is welcomed news, it’s gonna take a double dipped effort to get back up to speed.

That’s why President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act, to assist manufacturers in obtaining the necessary ingredients, toot sweet, in order to ramp up production. As part of the order, commercial airliners will also be importing baby formula from overseas to fill in some of the gaps.

Mitch McConnell doesn’t get any.

Life don’t play.

Chef Imad Alarnab knows all about that, after having been run out of his home after the Syrian uprising in 2012. Up until then, he had translated his passion for food into a string of restaurants and cafes in Damascus. This began a long and arduous journey across several countries and a two month stay in a refugee camp before he landed in the UK.

It’s where he started his life, and his business from scratch.

With his flow being low, he hosted pop-ups for charity. And then he started a GoFundMe page and then the dream started coming into focus. Again. In his new home. And now, his star is shining brighter than ever on the London food scene. Do yourself a favor and check out the video above. And you can thank Cincy “Beach Walks” Angle for it.

HODGES' HEROES: First-grade class honored after saving Limestone County teacher | News | waaytv.com

Did you hear about the serious incident that happened at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Ardmore, Alabama back in January? You probably didn’t. And that’s because it didn’t involve fear or sensationalism, which are the big money makers when it comes to moving the needle for many news outlets.

Tracy Hodges was presiding over her first-grade charges when her vision became blurred.

“I couldn’t even find the door and I couldn’t make out the three children who were sitting in front of me,” said Hodges.

Her body began to convulse and she fell out of her chair, hitting her head. Before she lost consciousness, she asked her kids to get help. And then everything went black and it was up to this room full of seven-year olds to respond. Quickly. And that’s exactly what they did; two kids staying behind in the classroom to keep watch while the rest of them split up and raced down several corridors to expedite the process.

After undergoing a battery of tests, Hodges came back positive for Covid, which resulted in her seizure. She credits her kids quick thinking and calm under pressure with making the very best out of a bad situation. “I was in the right place at the right time,”.

Her students received certificates and medals at a special ceremony held at the school. The town’s sheriff and district attorney, police chief and fire rescue team showed up to recognize “Hodges Heroes”, even if the kids weren’t all that interested in the spotlight. What mattered most of all was having their teacher back. They didn’t much care that the media caravans and the eyes of the great big world weren’t in attendance, because all the people who really mattered to them were already there.

Stop the presses.

Ahead Of The Rest

Buffalo shooting: what we know about the victims so far | New York | The Guardian

We’ve stopped counting all the losses.

There’s no reason to keep score at this point, considering how one tragedy bleeds seamlessly into the next. From Buffalo, New York to Orange County, California to some other town that is doomed to the same fate, real soon. To tell the truth about who we have become would be to admit defeat and that kind of self reflection ain’t in our DNA.

It’s been twenty-three years since Columbine introduced us to the future with a horror movie script that has become commonplace in 2022: The senseless carnage, all the warning signs left unheeded and the political war chests that cash in on the latest tragedy like vampires at the end of the world.

The reality of yet another lost day is that too many people have stopped pretending to give a damn. The media treats each new mass shooting like a severe weather forecast, focusing on the details for a day or two at most before moving on to the next storm front. Meanwhile, our elected representatives will stick to their respective company lines as if a quarter century’s worth of ruinous endings never really happened. What’s left unsaid is that these reckonings have become our national seal. And while we might be trailing the rest of the world in too many areas, we’re ahead of the rest when it comes to lost days.

There is no line in the sand when it comes to this perpetual cycle of violence, just as there is no middle ground when it comes to meaningful dialogue that could help to prevent more of the same. The indivisibility of our republic is being sold for parts by merchants whose menacing narratives feed the public forum with rage while liberty and justice get clobbered in its wake: Without reason, without compassion and without any indication that we’re going to be able to climb our way out of this nightmarish pit before it swallows us.

Ten lives were taken from the world on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Six-hundred and forty seven years worth of living was stolen away to the mysteries of somewhere else. And we can only hope that the somewhere else they find possesses the kind of peace and reason and truth this world never has been very good at. Not even twenty-four hours later, on the other side of the country another soul was lost to the unrelenting madness.

There are questions that seep into my brain if I allow my mind to wander through all the decades worth of unimaginable losses which have gone unanswered. These questions come to me as if I just woke from a Mary Shelley fever dream, but the truth is she probably couldn’t have imagined such darkness inside her most manic of writing streaks. These questions speak to the division we have cultivated as a society and the seeds of hate it has spawned; seeds that have grown into angry redwoods, intent on blotting out the sun and replacing it with a never ending night.

What if this is how it’s always going to be? What if it’s too late to save ourselves . . from ourselves?

The answers are more frightening than that.

 

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.