The Rundown

A Carl's Jr. drive-through menu is partially buried in a huge snowbank.

It’s hard to believe the Ides of March are quickly giving way to those April showers. Which, I’m good with just so long as it’s rain we’re talking about and not, well . . . that stuff! 

This Carl’s Jr in Mammoth Lakes, California is open for business, I think. But you best have a snowplow and a hell of a craving for burgers if you plan on doing the drive-thru. This surreal looking snowbank was made possible by several big storms and an atmospheric river event, which is every bit as frightening as it sounds. Imagine a river, in the sky. They call these events “the hurricanes of the West Coast”, and it makes for a great excuse to go on that diet you’ve been putting off.

Hey, why don’t we get to kicking it?!

Highlights: Shohei Ohtani leads Japan to dramatic WBC win over United States

The Shohei Kid Strikes Again!- I didn’t watch a lick of the World Baseball Classic and yet I love how things worked out. It was going to suck if Club USA didn’t bring the title belt home- especially after embarrassing Cuba in the semis- but it sucks a whole lot less when the best player in the MLB authored the finale. Because the truth of the matter is, Shohei Ohtani might belong to Japan, but his talents are a gift to every single baseball fan. The Shohei Kid struck out his California Angels teammate Mike Trout to clinch Japan’s third WBC title in a storybook showdown Kinsella might have penned. All Ohtani did was bat .435 while pitching to a 1.86 ERA, which earned him MVP honors for the tournament. Just when you think this kid can’t outdo what he’s already done, he does just that.

Biden is going to Canada: Ukraine is among the topics of negotiations with Trudeau - News Yu

Joe’s “To Do” List While Visiting Canada- 

1- Ukraine
2- Climate Change
3- Migration
4- Haiti
5- Poutine
6- Forget items 1 through 5

The Offer: Release date, cast, plot and trailer | Marca

I’m Gonna Make You An Offer You Shouldn’t Refuse- Because if you have the Paramount+ streaming service, you should really do yourself a favor and check out The Offer. It’s the story of how one of the great movies of all time got- pardon the pun- made. It stars Miles Teller as Albert Ruddy, the producer of The Godfather and a name I never knew in spite of having watched this masterpiece a hundred times. Juno Temple, Giovanni Ribisi, Justin Chambers, Colin Hanks, Burn Gorman, Anthony Ippolito, Jake Cannavale, Dan Fogler and Patrick Gallo all deserve way more than a mention, but that would require an entire post. Matthew Goode as the hall of fame studio executive Robert Evans is simply the cannoli on top of one hell of a fun show.

The FTC wants to ban those tough-to-cancel gym and cable subscriptions | The proposed 'click to cancel' rule would require companies to let you cancel a membership in as many steps as

Breaking Up Just Became Easier To Do- The Federal Trade Commission got something right this week when it brought the hammer down on companies who make it difficult for consumers to ditch them. So now when your gym decides to play hardball with the cancellation process (And please name me a gym that hasn’t pulled that shit?), there’ll be weighty financial repercussions. Same for music services or streaming platforms or basically any product that makes breaking up the hardest part. The “Click to Cancel” provision would make it just as easy for consumers to say I don’t as it is to say I do.

Reos que escaparon de cárcel en Virginia cavaron túnel con cepillo de dientes; fueron capturados desayunando en IHOP - El Diario NY

Dear Coen Brothers, Get to Work!- John Garza and Arley Nemo pulled off the great escape from a Virginia prison on Monday only to get Shawshanked hours later in, of all places, an IHOP! Construction of the medium-security facility is being called into question after these two broke out using a heavily modified toothbrush. You could say the prison had some, cavities. They rooted a canal to freedom and then got nabbed at an establishment that specializes in, you guessed it, more cavities! And now they’re facing a whole new collection of charges so I guess they’re going to have to grin and bear it. Okay . . . I’ll stop now.

College wrestler injured saving teammate from bear attack

The Best Friend Ever Award Goes to . . . – You know you have found a best friend when they will bring the shovel and lime when you call them in the middle of the night with an urgent plea to help get rid of a body. But that’s nothing compared to what Kendall Cummings did for his pal Brady Lowry. And I mean that.

The boys were out on a hike with some friends on the Bobcat-Houlihan Trail, which runs along the outskirts of Yellowstone Park. And yeah, you already know this story is leading to an encounter with a big fanged creature because . . that photograph! In this instance, the creature in question was a mama grizzly. As Leo DiCaprio will attest, grizzly encounters are the worst kind of cupcake party because the human is always the cupcake in this equation.

One minute Brady Lowry was turning to warn his friend not to step in some bear scat and the next minute the poor kid was in danger of becoming bear scat. The grizzly knocked Brady a dozen yards in the air, after which she began “dribbling” him like a basketball. Now if it was me witnessing this gruesome encounter, I would have been back at the car writing Brady’s obituary. But Kendall Cummings wasn’t having it. The college wrestler, get this, actually jumped on a mama grizzly to distract her after she had pinned his friend against a tree. Then he took off and ran as fast as he could, which ain’t as fast as a grizzly can run so it was only a matter of seconds before she caught up with him and gave him a most gruesome round of what’s what. He played dead, which was becoming less and less difficult with every swipe until the bear lost interest. After which he made his way back to his friends. I can only assume they made plans to move to a state with no bears.

Kendall had this to say when asked about the horrific ordeal. “I would have rather died than have gotten away and known I could have helped,”

That right there? It’s the best of us.



The Martini

Martini glass cocktail glass martini household kitchen glasses clip art - ClipartixWhen General Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, it was all about making sure the enemy wouldn’t get high on his massive supply. His plan was peach in that it knocked the old railroad town on its ass while achieving a symbolic victory for the Union; but it didn’t cancel out a return engagement.

Atlanta came back.

Like most American cities, Atlanta collected plenty of bruises in its journey to modern times. The arduous road included a transient collection of facelifts and a personality shift whose sea change spoke to the mighty strengths and curious flaws of our most imperfect union. From Sherman to Margaret Mitchell, Martin Luther King to Ray Charles, Little Richard to James Brown, Hank Aaron to Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner and Tyler Perry. The town exemplifies the struggle and its sacred worth.

On my first trip to Atlanta on business, I pinched the remnants of late afternoons into tourist trappings the likes of which included the CNN center tour, Centennial Olympic Park, Underground Atlanta, World of Coca Cola, The Varsity and Sylvia’s Soul Food. On my final day in town I woke up with a head cold from Hades that canceled my libations playlist for the evening. I would catch up with the Martini a year later, or more to the truth, it would catch up with me.

At the turn of the millennium, I had engaged in a handful of dalliances with the Martini. Each gallivant had one common denominator; it was cheap on substance. Because the reality is that not every bartender is a scientist dedicated to the craft, and I had come across a collection of short order cooks up to that point. The only thing I knew full well was that my tastes ran counter to the traditional gin version made famous by Sinatra. Old Blue Eyes’ remedy was gin with a splash of vermouth, on the rocks with a twist of lemon. My method was vodka in a straight up spill with plenty of starch (Yes, extra dry), and olives for the win.

This particular crush wasn’t the standard, so I guess it was only right that my first serious dance with the Martini happened in Atlanta, seeing as how the 404 understands full well how to turn second place into a win. And so it was Morton’s Steakhouse on Peachtree Center Ave where I gained an audience with the stuff of legend.

The provocation was patiently sublime as my senses were ministered by the rhythmic flow of a mathematical equation whose gravity was borne in the thick of a cold and moody darkness. It was proverbs meeting original sin, with three olives tucked inside its harmony for safe keeping. Each sip was an exquisitely structured lesson on how atoms become snow storms.

I was halfway across the finish line when my clams arrived, after which I grubbed like a truck driver breakfasting at the end of a long haul. I finished my lap in the pool with a smoke before ordering the second round while waiting for my New York strip. And then I began dreaming up testimonials to the religious experience as my brain achieved hula. And it was inside this hazy shade of a winter’s night that I decided what I would say to Sinatra if I met him somewhere between Jupiter and Mars.

I would apologize for having been right.


The Rundown

How a Chinese 'spy balloon' prompted the U.S. to scour the skies : NPR

It’s been days since the last spy balloon sighting and the world is going cuckoo for cocoa puffs as a result. The cabal news industry is Jonesing for some more and those poor little weather balloons that keep getting shot down in a case of mistaken identity don’t rate, because we don’t care about science! We want to get scared witless over the prospects of China or Russia or ET bum rushing us into a dystopian future, because let’s face it; anything’s better than having to pay ten bucks for a dozen eggs.

Without more spy balloon sightings, Dick Cheney is gonna have to go back to shooting lawyers on his ranch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .

Let’s get down to bi-ness . . .

Nikki Haley Calls Out CNN's Don Lemon Sexist Comments on Twitter - Bloomberg

Don Lemon is aptly named.

The CNN talkie made news recently when he claimed Nikki Haley- who is 51- wasn’t fit to run for President because “she isn’t in her prime, sorry,”. According to Lemon, a woman’s prime is kaput by her 40’s. When Poppy Harlow- who happens to be 40- challenged him on the ridiculous assertion, Lemon blamed it on his Google search. Because . . . journalism! And proving once again that no bad idea goes unpublished these days, Haley is now selling koozies on her website which read “Past my prime? Hold my beer.”. Because . . . politics!

  • My early Super Bowl 58 pick is Dolphins over Lions. And no, I wasn’t drinking when I wrote this. However, I might have been drinking when I thought this . . .

Home - Ozzy Osbourne Official Site

Yanno, lost in all the hoopla of the Brady retirement sequel was the fact that Ozzy Osbourne retired from touring on the very same day. The pickled piper just can’t do it any more, but the fact that he was still doing it at 74 is a crazy train of thought. Whereas Brady is a health nut who played in a league that treats quarterbacks the way steakhouses treat the mayor, Ozzy has been at the top of a lot of dead pools over the last five decades.

Now that’s the GOAT!

  • George Santos admitted he was a terrible liar on the Piers Morgan Show and finally! We can believe him!

Putin promotes Russian escalation in annual speech - BBC News

Vladimir Putin keeps showing up at closing time.

The Russian President announced he was suspending his nuclear arms treaty with the United States on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a scathing speech before the Russian Federal Assembly, Vlad labeled the west and NATO as hypocrites whose agenda is global domination. Remember when the most frightening thing about this putz were those clips of him riding his horse shirtless? Okay, they’re still the most frightening thing about this putz. But this latest turn of events is shitty in its own right.

  • I made myself a three egg omelet with bacon and I kinda felt like Paris Hilton shopping for truffles at her boujiee market.

Tár (2022) - IMDb

If music and psychological dramas are your thing, then you best check out Tar, starring Cate Blanchett as a renowned conductor who finds her perfect life coming apart at the seams. It’s a story about the infinite possibilities borne out of genius and the shadowy corners we visit that can steal it all away. I know it’s early, but this very well might be the best film I see this year.

  • Aaron Rodgers went on a four day “darkness retreat” to get away from it all and he taped it. He craves attention the way I crave pizza.

Ohio train derailment vinyl chloride disaster is another painful reminder of PVC plastic's toxic lifecycle - Toxic-Free Future

Nothing is sacred.

The derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials on February 3rd is proving that sad fact all over again. Because every day since then has devolved into a mess of political grandstanding and corporate backpedaling.

Listen, President Biden didn’t have to go to Palestine, Ohio to make what would’ve been little more than a photo op while taking resources away from the myriad issues at hand. But he should’ve canceled his surprise visit to Ukraine maybe? The optics, as they say, ain’t doing him any favors. And what of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg taking more than a week to even address the disaster? Considering all the misinformation coming out of Ohio early on, he has to be ahead of that.

Of course, Florida guy showed up with his own brand of water and a shitload of McDonalds. So not only do area residents have to worry about the air they breathe and the water they drink . . now they have to deal with this toxic act as he tries to capitalize on the devastation. I bet you he didn’t mention all those regulatory rollbacks he orchestrated when he was in office. He let companies like Norfolk Southern skate on requirements for faster breaks on trains carrying highly flammable materials, and he ended regular rail safety audits of railroads. We already know whose side he’s on.

The people of Palestine, Ohio don’t deserve this. Neither do we.

The more things change, the more I believe Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player that ever lived.

I don’t need to debate this. Not after witnessing his brilliance first hand. He turned Madison Square Garden into a Broadway play every time he visited. He transformed ninety-four feet worth of polished maple into a symphony that was equal parts Mozart and James Brown. And when he took matters into his own hands, it was judge meeting jury with the executioner standing by with a hot mic.

And yet, the greatest thing about this American icon is happening off the court these days. It’s happening in hospitals and homes across the country, thanks to exploits that far exceed anything the man ever accomplished on the hardwood. Because as far as philanthropists go, he’s in that conversation too.

Jordan recently donated $10 million to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which sets a record for the organization. That’s how Jordan celebrated his 60th birthday; by giving something back to those who need it most of all. And this latest gift comes two years after he donated $10 million to Novant Health for the opening of two children’s hospitals; a network to which he has now donated $17 million. And he’s done plenty more than that, only we never get to see it because the networks won’t cover it and arenas don’t get filled when charity and kindness is the main event. But it turns out that Jordan’s best work is only getting better.

In a hundred years, maybe they will have forgotten about Michael and the Bulls at the Garden. Maybe those six world titles he brought to Chicago will have gone rearview to the accomplishments of future generations. And maybe there will have been another maestro who made those ninety-four feet feel like outer space. But if there’s a time capsule for Jordan and the only thing in it was that photograph up top?

That’ll work just fine.


The Rundown

Welcome to the first Rundown of the year, which is made possible by the generous donations on the part of Wolf Blitzer, Jim Belushi and Carrot Top. And while I don’t have a Trump conviction to chew the fat on in this week’s episode, I do supply some thoughts on why we should stop talking about an ending to this farce until we actually have one. Plus! Are classified documents the new Facebook posts? . . . The human brain wins a round against AI . . and Curious George Santos past shows no signs of slowing down.

Let’s hit the ground running . . .

Defending national champion Georgia pounds TCU in college football title game - The San Diego Union-Tribune

We start with the top college football team in the land. The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Kirby Smart became the first team to repeat as champs since the Nick Saban led Alabama Crimson Tide a decade earlier. The Dawgs lost 15 players to the NFL last offseason (which is a dozen more than some actual NFL teams currently possess), and they didn’t miss a beat. They’re my choice to win it all again next season because the idea that a team not named the Tide three-peats is . . . wait for it . . peachy with me.

  • Aaron Rodgers makes an awful lot of noise for a guy who hasn’t played in a Super Bowl since the Obama administration. Hey man, just saying . . .
  • Lebron James is done winning titles. There, I said it.
  • Twenty-five days until pitchers and catchers.

Garage Storage Tips: 10 Things You Shouldn't Keep In Your Garage | The Lakeside Collection

Anything you can do, I can do dumber. Well, in Joe Biden’s case maybe not dumber since that would be damn near impossible. And sorry Gym Jordan, but as the Washington Post correctly pointed out, this isn’t a case of “Whatabout?”. But Joe’s classified docs turning up in his garage ain’t great optics. And it’s even worse news for those of us who wanted to be done with the other guy. Because the MAGA minions are going to use this fuel to fire up their fledgling run.

  • Speaking of the Mar of Lago, can the news outlets chill some with their Cannonball run coverage until the Federalis actually (hopefully) pull that lasso? As he showed us time and again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
  • Now George Santos was a drag queen in Brazil too? Tell you what, if this cat told me I had a day to live, Imma buy me some green bananas. And a puppy.

And now for the We’re All Doomed! Photo of the Week! 

Displaying IMG_1339.jpg

I cut back on my egg intake last fall and really, not a minute too soon.

Exclusive: Who is Edward Tian? He wants to keep his GPTZero app free for users to take on ChatGPT | South China Morning Post

Princeton senior Edward Tion is dishing up the kind of smarts we need to be paying more attention to. He’s majoring in Computer Science with a minor in journalism, but his current passion is all about harnessing the increasingly powerful influence of artificial intelligence.

Like most college kids, Tion has used ChatGPT, which is basically an advanced chat bot that can write up everything from poetry to essays. While the results are still beset with factual inaccuracies and can be formulaic, the fact of the matter is the technology has improved greatly from its predecessors.

Tion got to thinking about the challenges associated with this tool. The online world is already an environment fraught with complications. What might a locked and loaded version of this AI mean to public discourse in the not too distant future? And what of the songs and poems and stories that once were the purview of the human soul? Might they too one day be replaced with an artificially enhanced reproduction?

The kid has developed an app called GPTZero that can distinguish between work done by humans and AI, and he’s getting lots of attention from journalists and educators alike. Tion doesn’t want to ban the software he’s working to identify. “It doesn’t make sense that we go into that future blindly,” he says. “Instead, you need to build the safeguards to enter that future.”

Amen to that.

  • Elon Musk exaggerated Tesla’s self-driving capabilities? I’m shocked I tell you! Shocked!
  • Netflix exceeded Wall Street expectations by adding 7.66 million subscribers during the fourth quarter. And they didn’t even need Tom Brady to do it.

A representation of vulnerability and security': Memorial honoring the Kings opens on Boston Common | WBUR News

Yeah, I have no idea either . . .

Lisa Marie Presley Dies after Possible Cardiac Arrest: What We Know

The untimely death of Lisa Marie Presley is still under investigation more than a week after her passing. Deferring a cause of death is not uncommon if the initial autopsy doesn’t provide an obvious answer. Lisa Marie’s end came much too soon and here’s hoping she finds peace on the other side.

  • The Menu starring Ralph Fiennes and Ana Taylor-Joy is great fun if you’re into cheeseburgers and dark comedy horror flicks. You’ll thank me for the tip.
  • I’m two days into my breakup with Amazon Prime and I feel better than I have in a long time. I’m even seeing a new streaming service- Paramount Plus- already!

Jay Withey: Buffalo hero breaks into school to rescue over 2 dozen people stranded in deadly blizzard | MEAWW

Jay Withey isn’t going to win an MVP. He’s never going to rush for 2,000 yards or throw 50 touchdown passes or lead the league in sacks. But all that stuff pales in comparison to what he did accomplish during the “storm of a generation” that ran roughshod over Buffalo.

On Christmas Eve, the 27 year-old mechanic rescued twenty-four people who were stranded in their cars. After which he led them to the Edge Academy school, breaking in so as to provide shelter for the group. And then he went and gathered up sustenance and blankets while they waited for help. He even wrote an apology letter to the school in which he promised to make things right. But here’s the thing. He had already made things right, twenty-four times over.

The school refused to press charges or take any money for the damages, and Whitley has become a global rock star thanks to his heroics. He’s gotten letters from as far away as Australia and he received a special delivery from former Bills great Thurman Thomas: Tickets to Super Bowl 57 in Glendale, Arizona. He’s hoping to watch his favorite team bring home a title.

If they follow this kid’s game plan, they just might do it.


The Rundown: Sunday Edition!

Vikings surprise liquor store worker who gave shoes off her feet |

La Teia “Ace” Thomas is the kind of person who will give you the shoes off her feet. Which is exactly what she did recently when she spotted a homeless man wearing cardboard boxes for shoes. Never mind that it was her favorite pair of shoes, because as she says “I didn’t care about the shoes, I cared about him.”

Ever since then she has found herself on the receiving end of individuals who are paying her good deed forward. She was gifted free tickets to the Minnesota Vikings game against the Colts yesterday, where she witnessed her favorite team come back from a 33-0 hole to score the biggest comeback win in league history. And she got a pair of signed cleats from All-World wide receiver Justin Jefferson to boot.

Her employer, Brooklyn Center Liquor, is getting in on the goodness. They’ve set up bins at local liquor stores as well as City Hall in order to collect winter clothes for unsheltered people. Thomas still can’t believe the ripples that her simple gift has engendered.

“I didn’t think it was gonna get as big as it is but I just want to show the world that there are still good-hearted kind-hearted people out in the world,” she said.

Meanwhile, in other news . . .

  • Memo to President Biden: When reading from prompts, for the love of God please stick to the script.
  • Do you think Elon Musk has a GoFundMe page?
  • Actress Taraneh Alidoosti has been detained by Iranian authorities for “spreading false” information regarding the execution of protester Mohsen Shekari. It got me thinking that maybe it’s time for the all these talented and influential voices here at home to practice unity for at least five minutes so we can hold countries like Iran accountable.

As it happened: Messi's Argentina beat France on penalties

Argentina beat France to win the World Cup for the first time in thirty-four years and give Lionel Messi the top bunk in the GOAT debate. In what might have been the best World Cup match, check that, best soccer match, check that again . . Best game. In any sport. Ever. All this happened . . .

  • Argentina blew a two goal lead late in the second half
  • An outstanding save by the French goalkeeper kept things even but the rebound made it over the line in spite of another outstanding save attempt by the French defender. That gave Argentina the lead back at 3-2
  • That was before France’s Mbappe scored his third goal of the match to tie things at three.
  • And then Messi in a shootout, which is akin to Wild Bill Hickok at high noon. His first kick grabbed the back of the net and it set the tone for what would end in a world title.

You could not have written a more dramatic finale if you tried.

And in sports! . . .

  • The Miami Dolphins are more flawed than a sitcom script, but they’ll bring a puncher’s chance to the postseason if they can figure out how to get there. Sure beats being a Cleveland Browns fan.
  • Over the past five seasons, NFL teams spent $800 million Goodells on fired coaches and executives. Yes, you read that right. They shelled out almost a billion dollars for these guys to go away. As Sheriff Ed Tom Bell woulda said . . signs and wonders.
  • The Cleveland Browns remain completely irrelevant. What? Too much? I think it’s about right . . .

Marco at the Movies! 

Amsterdam- Half of Hollywood seems to be in this cast and to its credit, it doesn’t get stuck on its impressive marquee in the least.  To the contrary, it will make you fall in love with great story telling all over again.

The Banshees of Inisherin- And speaking of storytelling . . . wow. Unlike Amsterdam, this one holds court in the quiet but it does so brilliantly. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson shine as two estranged pals in this dark comedy that examines the meaning of friendship and life itself.


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?


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.