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The Rundown

2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree selected

Shit if we’re not in December!

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

Let’s get to this thing! . . . .

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

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

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

I folded.

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

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

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

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

Peter Eigner to continue family tradition at BGSU | The Blade

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

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

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

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

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

A chance.

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

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

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

Bullies suck.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Rundown

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

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

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

Let’s get to Friday . . .

What is the Real Cost of the World Cup?

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

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

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

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

They’re proof that actions speak louder than words.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chase the quiet of great things.

 

The Rundown

Swirling lights appear in the night sky above a northern town.

The above snapshot is courtesy of The Atlantic and it shows the northern lights doing their thing across the night sky in Tromso, Norway. It brings to mind the moody sway of that erstwhile astronomer of pen and paper, Jack London. Dig this quote.

With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailings and half-sobs, and was more the pleading of life, the articulate travail of existence. It was an old song, old as the breed itself–one of the first songs of the younger world in a day when songs were sad.

That right there is a high five to the heavens . . it’s a Vitamin Si Si shot to the soul . . it’s our lips whispering in Gods ear. And its how we jump into Friday . . . .

Since the dogs took over this spot last Friday, Imma start this week’s episode with the story of Koda and the magic pumpkin. This special fella was diagnosed with terminal cancer after a mass was found in his intestines. He lost seven pounds during chemo treatments so mom began feeding him cans of pumpkin squash. Hundreds of cans and one scan later, the mass was gone. The family credits the diet regimen, which Koda now keeps to, because why mess with that kind of success?

McDonald's Launches Promotion for McCrispy Ultimate Gaming Chair - The FPS Review

Okay, we are officially screwed.

McDonalds unveiled its very own gaming chair as part of a contest giveaway in the UK. It comes with grease proof leather, dedicated dip holders, a burger “heat zone” and french fry holsters. And if I devote any more time to this monstrosity, my head will explode.

Officer DuChaine visited 1-month-old Kamiyah in the hospital.

The first Christmas gift of the season was delivered to Kansas City when police officers Richard DuChaine and Charles Owen responded to a call and ended up saving a life. One month old Kamiyah Allen had stopped breathing and the two men were able to resuscitate her using CPR. “The baby was so small, she looked like a doll,” Owen said.

Kamiyah was suffering from RSV, a respiratory illness which has spiked in the US over the last two years with children being the most affected. Thanks to these heroes of the week, she’ll get to celebrate the holidays. So I’m sending her the very best of wishes just a little bit early.

Merry Christmas young lady.

Pennsylvania Senate election results 2022: Did John Fetterman or Mehmet Oz win?

I was wrong about Fetterman. The democratic senatorial candidate from PA outlasted Dr. Oz in one of the most forgettable battles since the Jaguars took on the Jets. And unlike an NFL contest, this one actually matters. 600,000 of those Fetterman votes were placed before that ill conceived debate but that’s not what sealed this deal.

Fetterman dominated his blue plate specials while stealing scraps from the red tables across the state. And it didn’t hurt one bit that he was able to draft Josh Shapiro, who nabbed the Governor’s mansion because his opponent Doug Mastriano proved too extreme even for many Republicans. The PA results mirrored a lot of the country in that the big inroads the GOP had promised for the midterms never came to pass: In spite of the fact history was on their side and inflation is the only robust thing about this economy.

Not for nothing (since nothing is what it’s worth) but Trump backed candidates got what they deserved.

A Christmas Story Christmas' Trailer & Poster: Ralphie Confronts The Holidays As A Dad – Deadline

Ralphie is back!

Fans of the iconic A Christmas Story can celebrate the movie’s 39th anniversary this holiday season by feasting on the long awaited sequel. The cast will include five of the original members, including Peter Billingsley in the lead role. I never saw the original and Imma choose Violent Night as my movie going fare, but it’s still cool to see the excitement associated with fans of the classic Christmas tale.

Kyrie Irving Apologized to LeBron James for Behavior When They Were Teammates | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Kyrie Irving posted a link to the film Hebrews to Jews: Wake Up Black America, which portrays Jews as Satan’s best friends. When he was called on it, he pretended he was the smartest guy in the room by insisting he couldn’t possibly be an anti-Semite because of his ancestry. What this coddled dope fails to realize is that a family tree doesn’t give you the right to post hateful content. His refusal to apologize was followed by an apology, of course. This guy is a tired act.

Kyrie’s one time running mate, LeBron James, wants us to know he can no longer root for the Dallas Cowboys. Reason being? Owner Jerry Jones won’t let his players take a knee during the national anthem. Okay fine. I think players should be able to kneel if they want to, but I also know that Jones gets to make the rules since it is his team. Just because I do not agree with Jones doesn’t change this fact. But what lands LBJ here is his assertion that he made this decision for moral reasons. In the same breath, he said he will now root on the Cleveland Browns. The same Cleveland Browns who employ Deshaun Watson; who currently has twenty-four women alleging sexual misconduct and assault against him.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Widow Tracks Down Fallen U.S. Soldier's Old Toyota Celica to Surprise Teenage Son

The Cincinnati Kid is back with this Veteran’s Day special that puts everything in perspective. I usually post a music video at the end of my Friday episode, but for today, it’s Steve Hartman and the kids sending us into the weekend. It’s a story that happened back in 2017, but the message is right on time.

Justin Rozier was nine months old when his father Jonathan- an Army 1st Lt.- died in Iraq in 2003. As a boy growing up without a father, there were countless times when he was reminded of the tremendous void in his life. When he was fifteen, he told his mom Jessica what he wanted more than anything; he wanted to find a car his dad once drove. Any car would’ve been fine with him but the way he talked about his late father’s ’99 Toyota Celica convertible made the ride seem like a winning Powerball ticket.

Which is the kind of luck it was going to take for mom to track it down since she sold it after her husband’s death in order to make ends meet. She posted the vehicle information on Facebook in the hopes of getting a bite. Before long, some people in Pleasant Grove Utah became the other end of a magical line when they found the car. Kyle Fox who runs a non-profit called “Follow the Flag” decided to double down. So they bought the car and then got to work on it.

I’m not gonna give everything away, but let’s just say their labor of love was a great big thank you to all the brave men and women who serve as well as the families that keep them strong.

Here’s to our heroes.

The Rundown

A replica of the Statue of Liberty made of illuminated pumpkins

The townsfolk on the Hudson know their business when it comes to getting down at Halloween time. The above capture is called The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze and it’s a collection of lit pumpkins hand sculpted into a righteous replica of the Statue of Liberty. You don’t have to be Ichabod Crane to lose your head over this brilliant piece of boo-yeah. Props to the ghosts and goblins in the 914 for doing it up the fright way.

Let’s get to this thing . . .

It’s not heaven. It’s Iowa on Halloween. Check out the above video, which takes the top prize for being monstrously creative. A family in the Hawkeye State came up with the diabolical idea for a door and in the doing, they transformed their crib into the place to be this weekend. Boo? Meet Hahahaha!

Biggest Takeaways from the Fetterman and Oz Debate | Time

Dr. Oz . . . United States Senator.

Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous. But celebrity politics taught me to never say clever, and Oz is as close to a slam dunk proposition as you’re gonna get right now after this week’s debate with John Fetterman. The former Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania put in the kind of performance that will live on YouTube until cats rule the earth. It was disjointed, confounding and in the end, it was sad. Fetterman had a stroke earlier this year and I’m giving him a bowl of Mulligan soup because of it. This was a tough watch.

2022 MLB World Series Dueling Pin - Astros vs. Phillies

The World Series starts tonight and I have to agree with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon when it comes to the timing. Both Houston and Philadelphia wrapped up their business on Sunday, so common sense (which hasn’t been seen since hot dogs met mustard) would dictate a Tuesday start for the Fall Classic. Four days of an unimpeded spotlight, at least two games worth of grabbing the attention of fans outside of Houston and Philadelphia. But nope, the MLB is going right into the belly of the football beast by plunging head first into a college/professional football weekend in the deep get of fall. Which means that Rob “Fan Friendly” Manfred will be able to personally call every fan outside of the two cities involved in the series to thank them for tuning in.

The baseball poohbahs still don’t get it.

Actor Russell Crowe has earned his share of forgettable headlines over the years. The guy loves him some fisticuffs, I understand this. But he’s making this episode for helping to save a business that was fighting for its very survival.

Dan and Leanne Fridd opened the doors to their new business, Bookbugs and Dragon Tales Bookshop in Norfolk England, in 2019. And then came, well . . . you know. Things were keeping on but barely and so the couple started a Crowdfunder campaign in order to stow some flow. Neighbors, friends and regulars helped plenty. And then the star of Gladiator chipped in with a donation that would’ve had made Marcus Aurelius proclaim No he di . . int! 

Crowe did, and the bookstore’s keep on is looking more hopeful than ever as a result. And it’s always a special thing when people like the Fridds, who have done such great good work with schools and the community at large, receive this kind of payback.

They asked for some help and they got Maximus.

David Gordon Green seems like a genuine fan of the Halloween franchise so I ain’t gonna heap my creep into his trilogy. However- and as the Snake Charmer in Kill Bill would say, there’s always a however- the last two installments of the reboot should be evicted from the Michael Myers estate. I dig ambitious fictional swings just fine but when it comes to gold standard expectations, you gotta connect on a couple or you might as well play golf.

Editorial Side Order: That’s my capture of a life-sized Michael Myers I happened upon at Party City this week. If you have a couple hundred Bennies, you can be the proud owner of this tall, dark and murderous chap. Until the Fed Ex guy bogarts it.

Frankenstein (1931) - IMDb

If you haven’t seen the final (for now) Michael Myers picture show yet, save your cash and go with the original Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff instead. This 1931 classic is what popcorn was made for. And if you wanna binge, go with Bride and Son and you’ll be digging into a worthwhile trilogy. And not for nothing but the story it was based on, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley still holds up, two-hundred and four years after it was written.

Why haven't Spotify and Apple Music pulled Ye's songs? - Los Angeles Times

Kanye West lost two billion dollars in net worth (That’s a B for Bozo), after his anti-Semitic rants, which means he’ll probably throw his hat into the ring for the 2024 Draft Kings Presidential Octagon Match. Hey, Trump ran and won in 2016 after freely admitting that he sexually assaulted women. Why wouldn’t Kanye- sorry Ye- get right by going all in for the cast iron throne?

Too soon?

The Oklahoma nonprofit that serves the homeless needs Halloween costumes - Oklahoma News

The City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City currently houses more than 100 children. These kids are either homeless or at risk so when it comes to frightening propositions, they don’t need October 31st to provide. They’re living it. It’s why we have places like the mission; to provide a safe haven for families who need a helping hand.

Tonight the place will celebrate the kids with a trick-or-treat event. The kids get to dress up before venturing through several immersive sets constructed by the good people whose labor is all about love. There’s going to be a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory and a Candy Land as well as a scene by scene set from The Wizard of Oz.

The President and CEO Erin Goodin says the mission currently has the largest number of families it’s ever housed and that the event helps to bring everyone together in a community setting. “We want to build them up so everything we do here, we don’t do scary. We do fun and uplifting,”.

Goodin and her colleagues will play characters from the movie and she’ll be dressing up as the Wicked Witch of the West for tonight’s event. But when she taps her toes, she will be singing a familiar and much needed refrain.

There’s no place like home.

The Rundown

An aerial shot of dozens of swimmers competing in a race.

October is running away from us faster than a trick or treater in Haddonfield. That’s a Michael Myers reference for those of you who are not familiar. In spite of the negative buzz surrounding the final (yeah right) movie in this terribly tacky trilogy, Halloween Kills is lapping the field at the box office. Remember this the next time some pain in the ass brags about their iPhone. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it worth your time. Sorry Michael.

The above capture is the swimming portion of the 2022 Ironman World Championship which took place in Hawaii earlier this month. Gustav Iden of Norway took home the gold in a time of 7:40:24. The guy swam two and a half miles, biked one-hundred and twelve . . . and then ran a marathon in less time than it takes me to watch a Godfather marathon. After reading about it, I had to take a nap.

Let’s get rolling . . .

The Other Victims of the JFK Assassination - HISTORY

What we know about the inner workings of the halls of power is akin to Pepperidge Farm icing; thin and insubstantial in relation to the heavy shit it’s covering up. So when President Biden refuses to release the more than 16,000 records related to the JFK assassination, he’s just repeating the same playbook as his predecessors. President Clinton signed off on the release of the documents by 2017, and then Trump passed the buck to Biden who is now calling for its release by December 15. And umm . . . don’t hold your breath. This isn’t about finding a vast conspiracy beyond Oswald as most believe he was the lone shooter. And let’s face it, this isn’t about national security interests at this point either. This is about our federal agencies not coming clean after more than a half century of promising to do so. It’s no longer about what they’re hiding.

It’s about why.

Tom Brady drew inspiration from Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian's $3.2 billion company to launch his own clothing line - The SportsRush

The thoughts in my head are akin to those angry birds in the classic 1963 Hitchcock film, only much more pissed off than that. And while I wish my brain would just shush most of the time, I might as well invite company for the misery that resides within. So when I imagined a new celebrity pairing of Tom Brady and Kim Kardashian, I deserved all the trash talk that was heaped upon me for going there. But you have to admit . . . as nightmare scenarios go, Eli Roth ain’t doing better than this one.

Liz Truss warned she has hours to save her job as British prime minister | CNN

The fact that Liz Truss was Prime Minister of the UK for only forty-five days is indicative of the microwaveable nature of our global politics. That’s the shortest term served by a prime minister in the nation’s history. The electorate is a crucible of unreasonable expectations by the peeps who got you there and merciless courts of vitriolic opinion that oftentimes turn bad into worse. I’m not defending her train-wrecked agenda which had financial markets running for cover, but less than two months? And it’s not as if the fast tracked selection process for her successor is littered with slam dunks. Hell, when Boris Johnson’s name comes up as a possible replacement, you have officially entered the eye of a shit storm.

Where have you gone Harry Potter?

Reuters

Rorie Woods of Longmeadow, Massachusetts pulled a dangerous weapon on deputies who had come to serve her with eviction papers and Imma give her some major style points for creativity.

For the record, I ain’t condoning violence against law enforcement (or anyone for that matter). But when the weapon in question is a box full of bees, I have to admit, that wouldn’t have made my top 100 list of ways to get your ass arrested. Woods is a professional beekeeper who wasn’t content with minding her own beeswax and so now she’s got a new home as a result.

And yes, I have a top 100 list of ways to get your ass arrested. What of it?

Some marriages are just made to last.

Mind you, David Squillante and Doran Smith have a long road ahead of them seeing as how they just finished celebrating their honeymoon in Europe. But when the inevitable challenges do crop up, they’ll be able to borrow from their experience on that honeymoon to see them through.

The Rhode Island newlyweds were on their way to a park in Barcelona when they spotted trouble in the form of a group of women standing outside a burning building. Communicating with the panicked ladies didn’t work since none of them spoke English. Having no idea what awaited them on the other side, the lovebirds entered the building anyway.

When they made it to the other side, they were standing in the middle of a nursery. As in, the kind stocked with newborn babies. Yeah, you read that right.

“Instinct took over,” Squillante said. “I found myself looking at 15, 20 babies sleeping, and immediately just kind of lined everyone up and we started grabbing them. . .  It was like probably like ten minutes, but it seemed like an instant, but it turned out to be OK.”

After everyone was safe and accounted for, the hero couple bid the gathering crowd adios and headed for that park. Because there was still a walk to be had and their adrenaline was kicking into overdrive, what with having saved the tomorrows of a couple dozen souls whilst dreaming on the prospects of their own. And so yeah . . . I’d lay a handsome wager that these two will be going long on their ever after.

They already wrote one hell of a happy ending.

 

 

 

 

The Rundown

A man carries a dog he recovered in hopes of reuniting it with its owners, two days after the passage of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

The Rundown is going the USA Today route this week with quick bite news grabs that will go lightly on the scroll whilst giving you enough nutritional value to get you through your day. I was feeling rather kitschy after talking with someone about the old newspaper dispensers that used to dot the landscape back in the day before the internets made ’em heap-worthy. The USA Today newspaper dispensers were space aged oddities when they came on the scene in the early eighties but now I found myself missing them. So here’s a tip of my (front facing) cap to the not so gray lady.

Let’s roll . . .

When this Friday jaunt was called Heroes of the Week, I’d make a habit of featuring those stories that got us all caught up in the feels. So Imma start off this episode with a look back at the heroes of Hurricane Ian. The above capture shows Eduardo Tocuya rescuing a four-legged friend from the devastation. Tocuya’s heroism was part of a broad sweep of humanitarian efforts across the state as people came together to pick up the pieces of all that was lost.

Florida man rescues frightened feline from Hurricane Ian's powerful surge | TAG24

Man saved cats too. Mike Ross braved those storm waters to make sure this feline gets to live every one of its nine lives. Scores of pets were rescued in the aftermath of Ian and dozens of agencies stepped up to find the owners of the displaced pets or failing that, make sure they were placed in a forever home.

Florida Reporter Saves Nurse Trapped in Car During Hurricane Ian

Tony Welsh is a reporter for WESH 2 News in Orlando, Florida and that’s him carrying a woman to safety after he spotted her in the flood waters. The woman is a nurse who was attempting to get to work and got stuck. Welsh made certain she wouldn’t be a casualty.

Florida Reporter Saves Nurse Trapped in Car During Hurricane Ian

A group of fellas who call themselves the Collier County Cowboys rescued an elderly man whose vehicle was being swept under by the floodwaters. Their Instagram page describes them as “Just 5 cowboys who are going through a phase”. and I’m plenty certain that Superman would approve of their exploits.

Making Putin Pay | Foreign Affairs

President Biden and world leaders from across the globe can agree on one thing this morning: Vladimir Putin is a madman who doesn’t give a fig about anything or anyone but his crazy ass megalomaniacal self. The Russian strongman has crossed more lines than a marathon runner; from his frightening takeover of a nuclear reactor site to his slaughtering of innocents. Plato said you could measure a man’s worth based on what he does with the power he possesses. Putin is a dollar store personality with weapons of mass destruction at the ready and to that end, we should all be on edge.

Prime Day Falls Flat, Black Friday in October Again, Who Cares? - Mish Talk - Global Economic Trend Analysis

With the backlog of inventory putting a big hurt on retailers both large and small, bargain shoppers didn’t have to wait till the last week of November to get their savings on this year. Amazon has been offering a second Prime Days extravaganza in an attempt to jump start lagging sales and everybody else has been following suit; from brick and mortars to boutiques to big box stores, the big push to unload more than three quarters of a trillion dollars in inventory has been going on for months now. And if you still haven’t taken advantage, no worries because there’s plenty more where that came from.

Halloween Ends (2022) - IMDb

Halloween Ends drops today in theaters and on Peacock and I’m thanking Beelzebub for that, because the franchise has to go away for a while. The first installment on the reboots was popcorn slasher flick kitschy and I scored it a win. Halloween Kills was hot garbage nonsense. So now comes the finale and Imma be watching with more trepidation than a drunk teenager who just lost his virginity on a Halloween night in Haddonfield.

Xbox Unveils New Mini Fridge, And It's Cheaper Than The Old One - Xbox News

Ukraine’s teenagers are making like ninjas trained by Mr. Miyagi and they’re showing the world that when they dig down deep, they’ve got plenty of ups. It speaks to desperation, hunger and tenacity borne of living under the specter of an iron boot. America’s teenagers are buying the Xbox mini-fridge for a cool hundo so’s they can game for half a day at a time. If you’re doing the math at home, you understand it’s not the same thing. At all.

Commanders vs Bears | Odds, Predictions for Thursday Night Football

If you gave me the option of being water boarded or having to watch last night’s game between the Washington Commanders and Chicago Bears? I would have been pre-treating my mane with some conditioner before the sharp suits led me into the enhanced interrogation lab for processing.

For families of Parkland shooting victims, awful truth came after hours of waiting – Sun Sentinel

I refuse to write the name of the murderer who took the lives of seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and I won’t paste his image up here either. Instead, I choose to post the faces of all those souls whose tomorrows got lost to the madness. A Florida jury recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the killer yesterday and the decision was met with disbelief and anger by the families of these victims who were pushing for the death penalty in the case.  And while I have moved away from the idea that capital punishment is ever the answer, I won’t disagree with these people. They’ve been through enough.

Pope Francis to canonize 'father of migrants' a saint | The Hill

I’m not gonna lie, I saw a headline from the online publication The Week that read “Pope Francis’ big gamble on ‘sydonality’ and I felt more lost than Marjorie Taylor Greene at a Mensa convention.

Elon Musk denies report that he talked to Putin about Ukraine war

Elon Musk is proposing a Ukraine peace plan this week. This is hard on the heels of President Trump offering his services as an intermediary for the two countries last week. Remember the good old days when celebrities aspired to be the center square on Peter Marshall’s game show? As it is, I can only assume Kanye West is taking his place in the on-deck circle.

 

The Rundown

Aaron Judge hits 61st home run; ties Roger Maris for AL season record

It’s a busy time in this neighborhood as September gives way to the”Damn that feels good!” weather of October. This episode of your mostly weekly Rundown is arriving hot on the heels of the lovely Dale’s wonderfully wordless (almost) Wednesday whilst preceding The Cincinnati Kid’s Ode to October, which is coming up on Saturday. I feel like the peach pie filling of a very tasty treat, and I want to thank my partners in crime for making me look more popular than I am.

Let’s get this party started . . . .

Finally!

I sent out a half dozen texts on Wednesday night using a single word, because it was all that needed to be said. Every single one of my recipients understood what it meant. Seven homerless games gave way to history with one swing of the bat. And now Aaron Judge resides in baseball folklore until the lights go out. He also grabbed a seat at the table of one of the most iconic franchises in sports, right there with the Babe and the Mick, Maris and Gehrig, Reggie and Jeter.

And the best part of all this is the class Aaron Judge brought to the chase. He never once got prickly with the growing media contingent as he closed in on Maris. He handled himself with grace and even gave a tip of the hat to Barry Bonds when he claimed that Bonds remains the single season king. After going yard, he met with Roger Maris’s son deep inside the labyrinth of the Rogers Centre and they shared a private conversation. And while I have no idea what they talked about, I’ve got a feeling Roger’s name came up. The one thing I do know?

He would be proud.

The ways Hurricane Ian is an unprecedented storm for Florida's Gulf Coast | CNN

Nature has been merciless this fall.

Hurricane Ian is following the same catastrophic blueprint as its sister Fiona and reminding us once again that sunny skies are temporary havens we best soak up with humility and gratitude. Because they don’t stick around in perpetuity unless you’re on a movie set, and now Florida is learning this lesson once again as those skies have turned sinister.

The storm, which developed in the Caribbean last week, has displaced millions of Floridians while causing even more damage than its predecessor. The ‘unprecedented’ storm is believed to be the worst seen by the Florida coastline in a century. It reminds me of something the renowned astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson once observed about natural disasters: No matter how much bigger and smarter our technology gets, we will always be at the mercy of nature.

Prince Harry, Meghan's harsh comments and bombshell claims about the royal family: Do they have royal regrets? | Fox News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their royalty rating downgraded after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The couple was once ranked near the top of the Palace list, right below Kate and William, but then they journeyed out on their own. As a result, they find themselves at the very bottom of the list now, just ahead of disgraced Prince Andrew, who is basically the New York Jets of Buckingham Palace. Talk about getting the royal screw! I’m pretty sure even Taylor Swift ranks ahead of them.

White House: Late congresswoman 'top of mind' in Biden flub

No, he di-iiii-nt!

President Biden sought out lawmaker Jackie Walorski during a speech at a hunger, nutrition and health conference on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Indiana congresswoman was not in attendance, seeing as how she died in a car accident last month. I mean, everyone is entitled to a mulligan. But when you start collecting the fuckers, that’s no bueno. And pipe down Trumpers, because this guy beat your guy. 

Trump offers to 'head up' group to negotiate peace between Russia and Ukraine | South China Morning Post

Ooookay, since I’m already here . . . Trump has announced that he wants to negotiate the peace between Russia and the Ukraine, and it’s not an article out of The Onion. He really does want to be Jimmy Carter. But having Trump negotiate a peace accord is like having the Joker organize the Gotham City Thanksgiving Day parade.

Coolio died this week at the age of 59, and so it’s my civic duty to post his iconic video, which just so happened to have been released in the year my son was born, so yanno . . great things and all that. Anyways, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. achieved the damn near impossible with this tune; he made ordinary white dudes feel like badass gangsters for four-minutes at a clip.

Rest in Peace good man.

Imma cap this week’s episode with a September 11th story gifted me by the lovely Dale. It felt divinely sent as we turn the page on another September. And it speaks to how I am always remembering back to the time, through books and songs and anecdotes and street corners and teddy bears and handwritten letters and blue skies and any other thing that makes my soul wander back.

Paul Murdoch is the architect of the “Tower of Voices” monument in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s a 93 foot structure that honors Flight 93- the plane that never made it to its destination. It houses 40 wind chimes- one for each soul taken from the world on that horrible morning. Murdoch talked about how he would like everyone who visits the memorial to just “feel”. Anything, and everything. The way those of us who lived inside that time did.

The video is a few years old but the sentiment is not tethered to a calendar. It’s for the here and now, joining that yesterday with today and all of our tomorrows. To feel . . to just feel. It means that we’re allowing our hearts and minds to do the one thing that matters most of all.

It means we never forget.

 

The Rundown

Anthony Varvaro, former MLB pitcher killed en route to work 9/11 post, was a hero to Staten Island - silive.com

Another week, another holler.

This week has me attempting to fuse some ELO blue sky to the Monk’s midnight indigo, which is what happens every time my brain returns from its Hoboken getaway. All the same, Imma be righteous in my rundown of the things that scratched my lottery winning itch, in an extra credit kind of way. Think amble with a James Brown chaser and you’re onto something.

The above capture is my Heroes of the Week! hat tip to a young man who was taken from us much too soon. Anthony Varvaro lived the kind of life Pete Hamill used to write into classic love letters about the human condition. The thirty-seven year old worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; this after having lived a major league dream across three cities and six seasons. He was a relief pitcher for the Mariners, Braves and Red Sox in his other life, a champion in the one that followed.

His arm carried him from St. John’s University to the Show, after which he cashed in his chips to make the kind of difference our better angels get fat on. Varvaro was killed in a car crash on his way to work at the September 11th memorial ceremony in Manhattan. As if the day hasn’t taken enough, it took one more.

His was a short lived gift to those of us who want the good stories to matter more than all the rest. Because while his book went short, his chapters prevailed upon us with passages that stick. We will remember how he devoted his life to the service of others. And how his dreams were of a better world for this generation and all the ones to follow. His method involved that most time tested blueprint for big dreams: One that requires rolled up sleeves, a humble heart and a soul with a full tank. And I like to imagine Varvaro is stretching his legs in the Milky Way right about now.

We were simply borrowing him.

Marco’s “Best Quote of the Week!” belongs to journeyman QB Geno Smith. The guy has called more places home than a long haul trucker. But he’s still one of only 1,696 men to earn an NFL paycheck, so he’s doing plenty right. And his quote after leading the Seattle Seahawks to a W on Monday Night Football is the kind of genius Oscar Wilde used to marry on the regular. I might have to put Geno on my fantasy league team for literary sake alone.

Aaron Judge belts 56th, 57th homers as Yankees beat Red Sox

I had to Judge it for a third week in a row here at the Rundown, seeing as how Kyrie Irving scored two straight buckets worth of episodes back when we were doing our bi-ness as Heroes . As interesting as I find that knucklehead, I’m in the market for a new King. There’s a dude who is currently working at 161st Street in the Bronx who fits this bill, to the tune of 57 Big Macs with plenty of menu left to be read. 61 ties Aaron Judge with Yankees legend Roger Maris while 62 paves a new parking space in Yankees- and MLB- lore. This is page turning stuff, especially considering he’s also hot on the heels of a Triple Crown season. So now the question becomes, can Judge make it four straight appearances next week on the Rundown?

Stay tuned . . . .

House of the Dragon: Aegon's Catspaw Dagger Is Even More Important Than We Thought - IGN

I wasn’t gonna do it until I did it. No, no, no . . I’m not talking about some primo OG Kush. In this instance, I’m talking about the newest Game of Thrones remedy now streaming on HBO. The storyline in House of the Dragon is a couple hundred years in the rear view of the seven kingdoms of GOT, and it follows the Targaryen dynasty into all manner of debauchery and dragons. The cast is Valyrian steel and the story turns my page just fine, because it ain’t surfing on the coattails of the show that made it go.

It’s how you prequel.

Where to watch the late Queen's funeral in London: best viewing points and public screens

Queen Elizabeth’s passing last week at the age of ninety-six at Balmoral Castle in the UK marked the end of an era. And what an era it was. Her seventy years on the throne marks the longest reign of any British monarch ever and the only one most of us have ever known. She was Queen for 15 British Prime Ministers, which means she met with the sublime of Winston Churchill to the ridiculous of Boris Johnson. She wasn’t a policy maker, but she was in the loop on all things England.

A thirty-eight minute cortege on Wednesday saw the Queen’s coffin travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. The unease of that crown, even in an age where the weight is mostly symbolic in nature, now passes to the son, King Charles III.

Uvalde High School Teams Wins First Football Game Since Shooting

The Uvalde High School football team is 2-0 after winning its home opener 34-28 in a come from behind thriller last weekend. For this small Texas town with a population of 16,000, good outcomes are hard earned these days.

Uvalde was the scene of an unimaginable horror on May 24 when twenty-one people- nineteen students and two teachers- were gunned down at Robb Elementary School. The students lost in the rampage ranged in age from 9 to 11 years old. And just writing that sentence makes my hands shake.

The Coyotes winning a couple of football games inside the first breaths of autumn doesn’t change what came before. But for a night, it was something good happening inside an age where madness wins too far too often. It was a coming together for all the right reasons. It was kids being able to be, well . . kids. It was smiles and cheers and hugs and it was knowing. Knowing how important it is for the living to tell the stories of those twenty-one souls whose tomorrows never came. And maybe it’s more important than we know, to tell those stories until our lights no longer shine.

I have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, there was something happening from somewhere else to here when the Uvalde high school team won its first game of the season at the end of August by a score of twenty-one to thirteen. You can chalk those twenty-one points up to coincidence if you like.

I never will.

 

 

The Rundown

An aerial view of more than a dozen hot-air balloons preparing to launch

Wait a minute . . . it’s September?

I knew my pal Linds B was onto something when she complained that time wasn’t real! I betcha Elon Musk has something to do with the stolen minutes of a summer that feels as if it spent most of its time in the sauna. But since he’ll be President in six years, he’s already covering his tracks for the leadup so it’ll remain a mystery.

The above capture is courtesy of The Atlantic and it shows a hot-air balloon launch in Goreme Historical National Park in central Turkey. It brings to mind a quote from Seneca, whose philosophical witticisms would’ve scored him plenty of hot dates on today’s streaming banshees.

“There is no easy way from the earth to the stars”

Hunter S. Thompson approved that message.

Heat Miser & Snow Miser: The Year Without a Santa Claus - See the song and get the lyrics! (1974) - Click Americana

Is 45 still up to something? We are currently sitting on 2,123 days in which this guy has been up to something, so pardon me if I’m tuning him out this week. The thought of jumping back in with a rant about his do-si-do with the DOJ gives me indigestion. Or maybe it’s the McRib I still haven’t digested from 2014. It’s probably both.

In other political news . . .

  • Sarah Palin lost her bid for Alaska’s lone Congressional seat. Her political career may be history while Mary Peltola made history by becoming the first native Alaskan to serve as a lawmaker for the state. Some pundits say this may be a danger sign for the GOP but since these peeps change their minds like the weather, I’ll check back in five minutes.
  • Texas governor Greg Abbott has spent $13 million busing migrants to New York and Washington D.C.. Lemme see if I have this right. He’s spending dollars on the penny to provide free transportation to peeps who were not likely to stay in Texas anyway. And that’s not a ‘big government’ move?

What Is Aaron Judge Worth? - SI Kids: Sports News for Kids, Kids Games and More

Aaron Judge is sitting on 51 home runs with a month’s worth of baseball yet to be played. The goal is 61 or better and regardless of whether he crosses that majestic threshold, all Judge really needs to concern himself with is staying out of the doctor’s office. Because he’s going to a score an “I told you so!” contract, somewhere.

In sports . . .

  • Serena is giving US Open fans one final thrill before she exits stage left and . . .whatever. She’s just the latest all time great whose act has worn thin with this reporter. What? I have to play nice? Since when?
  • The Broncos will be paying incoming star QB Russell Wilson $165 million guaranteed. It’s interesting to note that two-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer John Elway made $45 million over the course of his entire Broncos career.

Browns Fan & His Son Go Viral w/ 'F*** Them H**s' Sign in Support of Deshaun Watson

  • For those of you who think #MeToo is just bum rushing the male population into oblivion, check out this photograph. It shows an ass-hat father teaching his son all the wrong lessons. And he ain’t alone. Not by a longshot.
  • I checked out the podcast The Longest Game this week and if you’re a baseball fan, go there. It’s the story about how the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings made history when they engaged in an epic eight and a half hour contest that went 33 innings and still stands as the longest professional baseball game ever played. If you love Norman Rockwell and W.P. Kinsella, you’ll be crushing.

Global Drought Could Impact More Than 75% of World Population by 2050: UN Report | Earth.Org

Hey man, I’m not that guy who screams “Holy Moses!” when it comes to all the many cracks in the foundation of Mother Earth. But with global droughts and dying rivers and lakes becoming ever more prevalent, Moses wouldn’t have had nearly as much luck parting the waters with his 5 iron. All this dry aging has contributed to something called “Zombie Ice”, where the undead ice becomes, in effect, a weapon of mass destruction in rising sea levels. Yikes.

Why Mikhail Gorbachev is a cautionary tale for the United States

Mikhail Gorbachev passed away this week at the age of 91, leaving behind a world he tried his best to change for the better.

He was 54 when he became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in 1985, and it was apparent early on that his tenure would be a departure from previous Soviet rulers. His reforms won him acclaim here in the states but the reception in his own country was always much more complicated than that. And in the end, his vision went the way of all great dreams.

There just wasn’t enough time.

150,000 tomatoes were lost this week in an accident on Interstate 80 in Vacaville, California. A member of the California Highway Patrol said his team was playing ketchup for hours after a semi crashed into the median, leaving onlookers red faced. “Whether you call them to-may-toes or to-mah-toes, this is a crushing turn of events for pasta lovers everywhere.” All may not be lost however, as Dominoes is reportedly interested in purchasing the leftovers.

The Rundown

Aaron Judge Hit 4 Home Runs in 2 Days to Break the Rookie Record

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is sitting on 46 home runs for the season and his pursuit of the MLB single season record of 61 home runs in a season- set by Roger Maris in 1961- is still a thing. He would need to go on a hot streak to surpass Maris, but at least he’s not playing with Monopoly money the way Bonds, McGwire and Sosa did back in the Age of Bud. Judge has been the lone bright spot for the Bombers since the team woke up from its magic carpet ride last month and started playing like the Kansas City Royals. Those solid World Series prospects have taken a sad turn but at least Judge is still giving Bombers fans something to get excited about. And so what if all it means is that he’s auditioning for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it still counts.

This early edition of the Rundown will be the last episode of August and I pushed it up so as to provide an extra day with which to reply to any comments before I D.B. Cooper the hell out of town until next weekend. I’ll be back ‘live’ in September with more of the good, the blah and the gravy.

As for the last Rundown of summer, let’s get to it!

Biden signs massive climate and health care legislation | AP News

Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act this week. The bill aims to lower prescription drug costs, address global warming, raise taxes on billion dollar corporations, reduce the federal deficit and bring back the McDonalds fried apple pie. And okay, I made up that last one about Mickey D’s bringing back my favorite fast food item ever. Even if it is well past time.

The President called the sweeping bill a win for the American people and a loss for special interests. He also took a jab at Republicans by pointing out that not a single one crossed the aisle to side with him on this. Add to this a backdrop where Trump is divulging the names of the FBI agents who conducted the raid on his crib . . . while Liz Cheney attempts to steel Americans against the violent reprisals from Trump Nation during her concession speech in the Wyoming House seat race . . while DeSantis plays like Little Finger down in Tallahassee.

If you thought the mid-terms were going to be contentious before, just you wait . . .

Barbecue Pork Sandwich With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Goes Viral

Marco’s Hell No! of the week goes to the Kansas City Royals, whose horrid performance on the field has seeped into their concessions now. The above menu item was rolled out by the team and while I am down for the mad science of menu mashups, this creation has frenched my fries.

The new BBQ Reese’s sandwich starts with pulled pork being strangled in a bath of barbecue sauce (Strike one!), followed by bacon bits (Strike two!) and finished, literally, with crumbled Reese’s peanut butter cups (You’re out!).

Keanon Lowe, Oregon coach, takes gun, hugs would-be shooter in video

Let’s hope Disney is gonna make good on its plans to make a movie about Keanon Lowe’s heroic efforts to thwart a school shooting back in 2019. Parkrose High School student Angel Diaz had grown so despondent that he intended to shoot himself in front of his classmates. And if you’re of the opinion that compassion has gone out of style, check out this simple exchange that helped prevent a tragedy that day.

“Nobody cares about me,” A sobbing Angel Diaz told Lowe.

“I care about you,” Lowe told him. “That’s why I’m here. I’m here to save you. I got you, buddy.”

Lowe lost his job at Parkrose in the year of Covid, but ever the survivor, he’s bounced back just fine; he wrote a book and he’s currently working on Scott Frost’s Nebraska Cornhuskers staff. His story is one that needs to get told and shared and remembered. Get this done Disney!

Sarah Palin is back? Well, in typical Palin fashion, she’s kind of maybe sort of almost but not entirely back. She’ll be taking part in a special election in her bid to nab Alaska’s one House seat, and if you ask me, I’ve missed Tina Fey so I’m kinda torn on this whole thing.

I’ve included a multiple choice quiz for the occasion. All you have to do is pick out the Sarah Palin gem from the four possible choices below. Good luck!

A) “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke”.
B) “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!’
C) “Polls? Nah . . . They’re for strippers and cross-country skiers,”
D) “Only dead fish go with the flow,”

The answer of course, is all of them.

Two large bears interact in an open-air enclosure.

Marco’s Hell Yes! of the week goes to the good people of Kyiv who are saving bears in the war-torn region of Ukraine. Natalia Popova and the animal protection organization UA Animals have already sent 200 of these magnificent creatures abroad while relocating 100 more west of the city. I’ll leave it to the writer and naturalist Henry Beston to ride this baby home.

The creatures with whom we share the planet and whom, in our arrogance, we wrongly patronize for being lesser forms, they are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the Earth.

Ship salvagers find message in bottle, return it to family of late son

Brian Dahl was eleven years old when he wrote a letter to the future. The sixth-grader from Oxford, Mississippi had mailed the letter inside a bottle as part of a class project. It was during a field trip that the kids launched their words and thoughts into the Talahatchie River. Brian remembered to say “Please” and “Thank you” to the recipient of his message in a bottle back in 1989.

Fast forward to 2022 when Billy Mitchell, a salvage worker in Vicksburg, some 200 miles north of Oxford, happened upon Brian’s message wrapped in a green bottle.  “I always look for stuff that’s unique — driftwood or anything . .” Little did he know that his find would turn into a lot more than anything.

Mitchell and his boss Brad Babb got to work in an attempt to find the author. They had their work cut out for them. Most of the letter had been destroyed so they reconstructed the remaining life in it with precious care: They stayed after work and they called local school districts and then they posted an image of the message and its contents on the company’s Facebook page.

That’s how the Dahl family was reunited with their son Brian, who passed away at the age of 29. Eric, wife Melanie and son Chris made the trek to Vicksburg to meet the people who had discovered the thirty-three year old message. And then Brian’s family shared stories of the man they knew with the people who had re-introduced them to the boy they loved.

A special meeting of new friends, made possible by a boy with a huge heart. One last hello, delivered from the grasp of oblivion to the future he never got to see but one he most certainly has touched, with words that never stopped breathing and a love that never stopped swimming. Billy Mitchell believes the note is proof that Brian is still here, keeping watch.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

 

 

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