The Rundown

A person runs through a pile of burning embers.

The above image (Courtesy of The Atlantic) is a ritual conducted during the Baikho festival at Gamerimura village, along the Assam Meghalaya border in India. A tribal priest runs barefoot through burning embers in order to show his devotion to God with the only rule being, don’t fall.

Um, not for nothing bub but here in the states, we toss the fireworks into the air. And while I’m not the biggest fan of fireworks, our ritual sure as hell beats putting your dogs through literal hell. Just saying.

Let’s get to the lineup . . . .

Deshaun Watson responds to report he had 66 different massage therapists

The Deshaun Watson saga is seedy cinema at its worst: It has lies, deceit, cover ups and celebrity privilege. Because if you think Deshaun Watson- Payless shoe store manager- is skating on the now twenty-four lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct against him, you ain’t been paying attention. There is still the matter of when he will take the field as a newly minted $230 million dollar quarterback, and here’s hoping Watson gets to sit on the bench for an entire season. After which the league best go after the Houston Texans officials who behaved like pimps in creating a criminally complicit crib for their man. This story gets uglier every day, and sadly, more predictable as well.

Brooklyn firefighter Stefon Douglas was on his way home last Sunday when the fates penciled him into the lineup. Douglas came upon a house fire and he jumped into action, retrieving the breathing apparatus he had in his car from a school presentation he had conducted recently. Without hesitation, he moved into the burning building in his t-shirt, shorts and crocs, and while he wasn’t exactly dressed for the job, he was most certainly made for it.

Within minutes, Douglas had saved a three-year old girl and her mother. He says becoming a fireman was the best decision he ever made. Because of his heroism, I get to end this story with a nod to great literature and even greater men.

Thanks to Douglas, a family tree was saved in Brooklyn.

Top Gun: Maverick IMAX Poster Released

I wasn’t a fan of the original Top Gun movie, but the thirty-six year in the making(!) sequel is a completely ‘nother story. I saw it in IMAX, and I think I lost a few pounds every time Tom Cruise rolled a high number with the G’s. The casting is perfect and while the plot is cream cheesy, who cares when it’s being dished up at Mach 10!

APOPO- Hero Rats

Humanity has often been referred to as a rat race, and there’s a place in this world where the term is being used for good. No, I’m being serious! (For now).

Meet Dr. Donna Kean, a research scientist from Glasgow, Scotland, whose team is harnessing the power of the rat. They’re currently training them to help locate survivors trapped in the rubble of earthquakes. The rats are equipped with microphones and a tracking sensor. They’re nimble, diligent and quick learners and yanno, the more I read about these guys, the more I see the future of a Walmart workforce.

The hero rats are also being trained to detect land mines, and it seems like they’re a natural for this dangerous work. The more I read about these guys, the more I see the future of Congress too . . .

Muchas gracias to Dale for this really coot rat’s tail. I mean tale.

Both.

Michael Caine insists WWII was 'one of the best things' to happen to him | Metro News

Jeopardy! contestant Mazin Omer was chugging right along until he questioned an answer with epic fail-icity (Dear Merriam Webster, this is your free word, and you’re welcome). Omer was asked to identify the image above and he went with rock and roller Mick Jagger. What in the blessed fig pie was this guy thinking? It’s Morgan Freeman!

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Apologies to the Dow for not making it out of the Green Room for this week’s episode. That’s what happens when you drop harder than Steven Seagal on a trampoline.

Until next week, this is your host for The Rundown saying good night and good luck?

The Rundown

I was writing up this episode last night when I went to reference something for one of my stories and I came upon Smithsburg, Maryland. It’s the latest town on the map of a fractured country to become synonymous with gun violence. It’s how we learn geography in the states these days, and we’re getting really good at it.

For now, Imma share this thought by Martin Luther King, whose writings come to me as if biblical prose; to hold to and pray on in the worst of times.

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

 

386 Circle Slash Symbol Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

As if the world isn’t already the biggest shit sandwich shop going right now, the CDC announced a new travel advisory for Monkeypox. They’re recommending that travelers wear masks and “practice enhanced precautions”, to which I say . . . Nope. Imma staycation my legs and binge watch the fuck out of anything that doesn’t involve travel. The CDC goes on to say that the risk level to the general public is low but that you should seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit any of the symptoms. They include fever, swollen lymph nodes and pain while swallowing. Oh yeah, lesions on your body too.

I need a few more streaming services anyways . . .

Dave Chappelle Donating Money From Buffalo Show To Shooting Victims – Deadline

Dave Chapelle booked a last minute gig in Buffalo last week so that he could give all the proceeds to the community in the aftermath of last month’s mass shooting that took ten lives. The victims families have a long and arduous road ahead of them, and the only solace they might hold to in these darkest of times is family, friends, faith, and the kindness of others.

Good going Mr. Chapelle.

Former ABC News president helping Jan. 6 committee with presentation of prime-time hearings | The Hill

What’s that? Fox News ain’t gonna provide coverage of the January 6 prime-time hearing? I’m shocked! But no worries, because they’ll be riding tight on the story provided them by Camo Cowboy’s Patriot Page about Hilary killing Hoffa, 8-Tracks and Pet Rocks. And it doesn’t really matter anyway, since CNN and MSNBC will run nothing but trial coverage. They’ll only break in if there’s a high casualty count going on somewhere else. Alas, I realize it’s too soon . . . but it’s also very true.

And not for nothing (because that’s what it’s worth) but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now claims everyone is to blame for the riot at the Capitol. As in all 332,403,650 Americans were complicit in the hostilities.

I have an alibi around here somewhere . . .

If you love LEGO’s as much as I do, then this next story is your jam.

Forty-something newlyweds Richard Whetter and his lovely new bride Anne were honeymooning on the Island of Jersey when the worst possible thing imaginable happened. No, they didn’t run into Snooki Polizzi who was on a European vacation. Okay, the second worst thing imaginable happened to the newlyweds. The new Mr. to the new Mrs. lost his wedding ring after a dip in the ocean.

Yikes!

Enter metal detectorist (Yes, it’s a thing) Steve Andrews, who was called into action by a hotel employee. In ten minutes time, Andrews had retrieved the ring and simultaneously extricated Mr. Whetter from the doghouse. After which he gifted the newlyweds with their ring and his calling card- the pic above shows a mini-replica of our hero. He says it was one of the quickest finds he’s ever had.

And it’ll last a lifetime.

5 Tampa Bay Rays players decline to wear LGBTQ Pride-themed jerseys

Who knew the Tampa Bay Rays could be such a political lightning rod? In the same week certain of their players decided they would not wear the team’s Pride Month logo recognizing the LGBTQ community because of their faith, they also got in a skirmish with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor vetoed funds for the team’s new practice facility in response to their support for gun control legislation.

Agree or disagree, the players who begged out on the pride patch weren’t being political about it. It’s just how they happen to feel. The Governor on the other hand, he’s in line to be the next Grand Poohbah for the GOP. And his move is entirely political, in a time and in a moment when we really need our leaders to be something better.

British Woman Who Fled War in '74 Closes Her Hotel to Tourists–Giving Ukrainian Refugees a Home Instead

Nitsa Michael’s family knows of war. Her family fled their home in Cyprus as a result of a Turkish invasion back in 1974, landing in Britain with no lifelines in place. They had to start their lives over in a foreign country and well, they did just that. And Nitsa, who is an 84 year-old great grandmother now, says she never forgot the fear and isolation she felt as a stranger in a strange land.

So when Russia invaded Ukraine this past winter, she decided it was time to close the doors of her family business- the Seaward Hotel. And at the same time, she decided it was time to open her doors.

Both.

You see, Nitsa was getting ready to welcome the tourist season when something more important than the bottom line came calling. Ukrainian refugees were leaving their homes en masse with no place to go and no lifelines in place. They were forced to start their lives over in a foreign country and yes, she understood this. All of this. Too well. And so she had the two things necessary with which to make the kind of difference this world needs plenty more of: The means, and an open heart.

So far she has welcomed twenty-two Ukrainian arrivals and she plans on hosting more. Because it’s never wrong to lead with your heart.

It’s how you find your way home.

Opinion | Robert Kennedy Was My Dad. His Assassin Doesn't Deserve Parole. - The New York Times

Imma go a bit off script but it’s the Kennedys and I’m still a fool for the dreams they once tilled on a soil in dire need of them. Robert Kennedy was felled by a lone gunman’s bullet fifty-four years ago yesterday. A big thank you to Dale for sending me this reminder, from brother Ted’s eulogy to his brother Bobby.

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'”

Here’s to the better days we have in us all.

 

 

 

 

The Rundown

Uvalde funeral homes overwhelmed — but not alone — in preparing for burialsOutside of this heart wrenching image, I’m going to borrow from our leaders by spending precious little time talking about Uvalde today. I’m not going to ask why it is that our decision makers can be so indecisive on this matter of life and death.

So no talk about Texas. Oh sorry, that was last week. This week is Tulsa.

Don’t you worry, I won’t be rambling on about gun violence or how the long national nightmare of Columbine enters its twenty-third year with no end in sight. I won’t ask how we might actually be able to balance constitutional rights with common sense. But it does strike me as mildly ironic (No, make that downright maddening) that this little mention at the top of my Friday episode is way more than I’ve heard from most elected representatives on the matter. And nope, ‘thoughts and prayers’ do not count.

Let’s get to Friday.

Jackie Robinson opened MLB's doors to people of color 74 years ago on April  15 | Richmond Free Press | Serving the African American Community in  Richmond, VA

I know this story has mold on it by now, but I need to take some time to chime . . .

The White Sox and Yankees got into a scrum a couple weekends back when Josh Donaldson of the Yanks called Tim Anderson “Jackie” as in, the civil rights hero and cultural icon who changed everything Jackie. As in Robinson. On the face of it . . and with zero context, this looks awful, right?

Here’s the filling.

In an interview with SI in 2019, Tim Anderson boasted “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson”. His ridiculous proclamation was based on the fact that he was going to bring fun back to the game. Oh, and in the same interview, Anderson spoke of how he once called a player “a weak ass f—— n—–,”.  Yeah, that word. The word Jackie Robinson heard every single day. The word that Tim Anderson glories in hurling at others. And because stupid always finds more stupid, Sox manager Tony LaRussa called Donaldson’s reference “racist” and of course Anderson agreed with that.

Was Donaldson being a wise guy? Yes. Was he looking to get under Anderson’s skin by calling him on his shit? Absolutely. But that’s all it was. To call it more than that is about as dumb as, well, I don’t know . . .

Calling yourself the new Jackie Robinson?

When is the Johnny Depp trial verdict? How long jury has to make its decision in the Amber Heard court case

Johnny Depp was awarded $10.35 million dollars in his defamation case against former gal pal Amber Heard this week. The actress received a paltry sum of $2 million. And I didn’t watch a minute of it. Not because I possess a guilt blockage in my dark heart over having watched too much of the OJ trial back in the day. And not because Johnny Depp didn’t deserve the right to clear his name.

Nope, I didn’t watch a minute of this trial because it’s . . . and please stay with me on this . . . It’s not my fucking business. And it’s not yours either. The only people whose business it is were in that courtroom; and it’s them and theirs who have to face the truths and the lies and the accusations.

And them alone.

Hey, some May/December marriages do work and I have proof.

Nine-year old Peanut and three-year old Cashew tied the knot at the San Antonio Humane League last week. It was love at first bite for these two smooch pooches, who met after their respective dental surgeries. So they tied the knot at a mini wedding chapel after walking down the aisle, which was followed with some wedding cake, of course.

Here’s hoping they find furever together.

Platinum Jubilee 2022: How 70 Years of Queen Elizabeth's Reign Will Be  Celebrated | Vogue

I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard about the Platinum Jubilee, I totally would have shit the bed if I had been given a multiple choice question with which to provide my answer.

A) Dolly Parton’s latest album
B) A recipe from Ree Drummond
C) A Celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne in 1952
D)The name of Kim Kardashian’s next child

If you guessed C, you win. For now. Because I guessed D and Imma stick with my answer because I’ve got a feeling this one might end in a tie.

Marjorie Taylor Greene hostile in testimony over eligibility | AP News

You have to accept the fact that the government totally wants to provide surveillance on every part of your life . . .They want to know when you are eating, they want to know if you are eating a cheeseburger which is very bad because Bill Gates wants you to eat his fake meat that grows in a peach tree dish, -Marjorie Taylor Greene

What’s most frightening is that more than thirty thousand people voted for Ms. Greene in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th district. So let’s make sure we’re all on the same sheet of music with this one. Are we going to direct our pointed questions at Greene? Or the people who made her possible?

Hey, I’m just asking what y’all are thinking . . .

Quotes About Guns and Gun Control - Awesome Quotes About Life

I promised I wouldn’t write about Uvalde, or the pandemic of gun violence in this nation that is still going strong almost a quarter century after Columbine. So instead, I’ll leave you with this impassioned speech by Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. The man knows first-hand the horror of losing a family member to gun violence. He was a freshman at the University of Arizona in 1984 when his father Malcolm was assassinated by a militant group called Islamic Jihad.

Malcolm was a college professor as well as an expert on the Arab world who was the President of the American University of Beirut at the time of his murder. It was during a time of civil unrest in Lebanon and Kerr knew the risks, but he considered Beirut to be as safe as any major American city. To which his wife quipped, “That isn’t saying much,”

So in lieu of yet another prepared speech by another elected official whose job it is to stick to this losing game plan of ours, Imma go with the coach today. Because he knows of what he speaks, and he supplies something they won’t.

He actually gives a damn.

The Rundown

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

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

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

allengetty.jpg

My Hero(es) Of The Week! 

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

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

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

They’re here to stay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It ain’t a doorway.

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

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

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

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

Mitch McConnell doesn’t get any.

Life don’t play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop the presses.

Ahead Of The Rest

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

We’ve stopped counting all the losses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answers are more frightening than that.

 

The Rundown

Russia to develop a new 'doomsday plane'

Vlad Putin was all set to roll out his Doomsday Plane at Moscow’s Victory Parade on Monday but the flight was grounded because of weather. The modified plane, referred to as the “Flying Kremlin” would house the country’s leadership in the event of a nuclear event. The plane has no passenger windows in order to protect its passengers from the after effects of a nuclear blast and it can be refueled in mid-flight, allowing the power brokers to remain airborne.

Sounds impressive, right? Okay, now let me repeat what happened to this powerhouse last week. A plane that was built to endure the effects of a nuclear event . . . was grounded because of rain.

The Wicked Witch of the West called. She wants her punchline back.

A Pill Available in Mexico Is a Texas Option for Abortion - The New York  Times

The insufferable hypocrisy of American politics is coming home to roost.

Scores of women along the southern border of Texas have been scouring pharmacies in Mexico for abortion pills since the state whose motto is Friendship passed a strict anti-abortion law last September. To make matters worse, we’re talking about unregulated pharmacies here. Sadly, these women are not privy to the options afforded all those holy rollers who want to flip the script on Roe v Wade. Because for all the proselytizing these peeps dish up, they’re going to play a game of hush when it comes to them and theirs. They’ll find the avenues that privilege affords them and to hell with everybody else. It brings to mind the words of Sister Joan Chittister in an interview with Bill Moyers, when discussing the truth of abortion.

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

That says it all right there.

Patron the mine-sniffing dog is capturing Ukraine's hearts

Hail Patron! This two and a half year old mine sniffing Jack Russell Terrier who is my Hero Of The Week! here at The Rundown. The dude is so much more than just another pretty face, as evidenced by his prolific resume when it comes to saving the day. Patron has sniffed out more than 200 (You read that right) explosives since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

For his tireless efforts in saving lives and educating the civilian population, Patron was awarded a medal for “Dedicated Work in the Ukraine Army.” He’s got a trophy case and an online following and that’s all well and good. But all he really cares about is doing the job, every single day. Because in life, some may want to write the lessons and others may want to teach them. But the ones who change the world?

They live them.

New Mexico | Bureau of Land Management

It’s Day 37 of the raging wildfires that have engulfed 237,000 acres in New Mexico while enlisting more than 1,800 fire and rescue workers to battle it and officials say there is no end in sight. The devastation began when two smaller fires merged and laid waste to more than fifty square miles in one day.

High winds and drought ravaged forests have pushed these men and women to the brink, but somehow they’ll keep moving. They will always have a reason to keep fighting back, because that’s what service looks like.

God bless them all.

Long-shot Rich Strike wins the 148th Kentucky Derby - CNN

80-1 underdog Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby last week, and I was grateful to have the space of a week’s worth of time to deliver up this news. Because in horse racing, every result is a dubiously fitted fairy tale these days. The sport is rife with rich creeps who are expert when it come to writing up regrettable endings to feel good stories. But for now? Rich Strike turned the gambling books upside down and shook their pockets clean.

Okay, so the trainer Eric Reed has come under fire for some coarse things he may or may not have tweeted about Vice President Kamala Harris. And jockey Sonny Leon was suspended for careless riding in the race before his Derby win. But so far, no evidence has been presented that someone doped this beautiful creature.

It’s probably safe to celebrate the upset win now. Probably . . .

Corrections Officer Vicky White, who helped inmate Casey White escape, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds: authorities - ABC7 Chicago

“On the Run with the Whites” is the working title for that guilty pleasure limited series that will be coming to a streaming service near you (And maybe it won’t be Netflix after all, but I’ll get to that in a moment).

Because the worst? Happened.

Okay, not the worst, since Casey Cole White fought the law and the law won, catching up with the runaway couple in Evansville, Indiana after a nearly two week manhunt. And now the man who fatally stabbed a fifty-eight year old woman in 2020 is no longer a menace to society.

Vicky White wasn’t going out like that. She knew she was facing hard time and so she put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. And now the network vampires won’t get their day in court with a woman who threw it all away for fleabag hotels with shitty room service. Instead we’ll get the fictionalized version of these two.

You can put money on it.

Netflix Q4 Earnings: Why The Stock Is Tanking - MavenFlix - TheStreet StreamingBut don’t go putting any money down on Netflix, because they’re looking a hell of a lot like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. And the other streaming services are Clubber Lang, intent on teaching the former champ a lesson in humility. Netflix stock has plummeted by 75% in just the last six months and the memory of their pandemic mighty has given way to plugging leaks with measures that won’t promote the growth they have come to expect. It happens to every heavyweight champion sooner or later.

Netflix got punched in the mouth. Now we’ll see how they respond.

I began this week’s episode in the air, and that’s where I’m gonna end things. The only difference being, Vlad ain’t got his hands in this mix so yeah . . it’s a story that worked out beautifully.

You know the action movie scenario where the pilot loses consciousness and one of the passengers is called on by air traffic control to land the plane even though they have no blessed idea how? Welp, Darren Harrison is the passenger I’m talking about and guess what? He actually lived to tell that harrowing tale.

Harrison was on board a single engine Cessna Caravan that was headed back to Florida after a Bahamas jaunt when the shit hit the fan or in this case, the propeller, when the pilot became incapacitated. It was a Jesus take the wheel moment with the only problem being that in spite of his beard, Harrison ain’t that guy.

This was the intersection of heaven and earth and the guy who had no idea how to fly a plane wasn’t ready to let the cosmos have the last word. Not so long as he had a chance to grab that winning lottery ticket more commonly referred to as terra firma. And then he was becoming fast friends with Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor with over 1,200 hours of flight time. And then Harrison was focused on an A+ from his teacher, since the results of this particular excursion were pass/fail.

Morgan summoned every bit of his calm and cool and he gave a master class to his new pupil whilst pulling up images of the plane he was shepherding and also coordinating with Palm Beach International for the emergency landing. Which happened, without a single other hitch. After which Harrison got to thinking on the miracle of life. No, not this one. The one that will be happening later this year when he becomes a father.

I bet you he nails that landing too.

 

The Rundown

The Enormous Consequences of Overruling Roe v. Wade | Time

Nothing is sacred.

Lost in the hue and cry of the Supreme Court’s initial draft to reverse Roe v Wade is the fact that someone leaked these inner workings, including Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on the nearly fifty-year old decision. This isn’t business as usual, far from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I vehemently disagree with Alito, whose rhetoric was filled with the kind of thinking that got us 2016. This idea that a woman’s right to an abortion shouldn’t be federally protected is as much of a breach of the public trust as the fact that someone decided to share it. I don’t agree with the leaking just the same as I don’t agree with Alito or his four other conservative compadres. Because it speaks to just how far we have fallen as a society, on both counts.

We keep waiting for better but we keep getting worse.

No Mow May' Gives You a Reason to NOT Mow the Lawn: Leave the Weeds to Feed the Bees

If you’re like me, the thought of mowing your lawn is right up there with dentist appointments and doing your taxes. Welp, now you can take the rest of the month off from those duties if you so choose thanks to a really great cause that will serve to help your local bee population. We are smack dab in the middle of “No Mow May” and as the kids would say, I am here for it.

By cutting this chore out (pun intended) of your May calendar, you won’t pillage a bee’s village of dandelions, clover and violets, thereby giving them ample time to grub and in turn grow their colonies for the coming summer months. So if your next door neighbor accuses you of being lazy, just tell them it’s all about bio-diversity. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to buzz off. (Big thank you to Dale for this bee-licious get).

When it comes to the defamation trial involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I feel as if you can add a “Way” to the acronym TMI. Please make them stop.

Cheers to the Toronto Blue Jays . . . fans. You didn’t think I was gonna dish props to my beloved Yankees’ young and ridiculously talented rivals to the North, did you? Of course you didn’t. But when it comes to their fan base, I can bring the love because well . . they started it.

Missing Alabama inmate, corrections officer had 'special relationship': Sheriff - ABC News

It’s been almost a week since Corrections Officer Vicki White and inmate Casey White went on the lam in Alabama. On a completely related note, Lynyrd Skynyrd called and they want their song (all of them) back.

Anyways, officials have concluded the two were in cahoots and needless to say, her fellow officers are shocked and devastated. It’s an all around bizarre and regrettable story and you know what my takeaway is? Jon Hamm will play the inmate in a movie with the over/under on the release of the streaming masterpiece being two years.

You’re welcome.

Someone rushed the stage during a Chapelle appearance at the Hollywood Bowl this week, attacking the comedian before getting his ass beat by security. After the episode, Chris Rock comforted Chapelle on stage. You cannot make this shit up and really, why would you? 

Dodgers drama looms as no one 'wants to stand' with Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is a major league pitcher with a million dollar arm (Actually, it’s a $102 million dollar arm) and not much else going for him . He’s been on the bench since last July after MLB suspended him over allegations of physical and sexual assault by a San Diego woman. Since the suspension, two more women have stepped forward with their own stories to tell. So Bauer becomes the latest major league creep to get found out but this time there’s a twist. The league office handed down a 2 year suspension at the conclusion of their investigation. That’s some heavyweight shit crashing down on the prime of his career and hopefully it’s a message from the league that enough really is going to be enough.

You listening Roger Goodell?

You know what the difference is between your drunk uncle and all those so called NFL “Draft Experts”? Neither do I . . .

I want to thank Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for filling in last week here at Sorryless. And as it turns out, there’s just a little bit more Cincy where that came from. Yesterday he sent me the amazing story of Denis Estimon, whose family immigrated from Haiti when he was in the first-grade.

In high school, the young man started a student group called “We Dine Together” with the idea being to give every kid a chance to belong. As a boy living in a new country, he had to overcome a language barrier and a completely uprooted existence. He understood first hand the challenges of feeling isolated and alone and he wanted to do something about it. So he did.

In a world that seems to provoke the sum of all our many fears on a daily basis, it’s important to remember just how much a simple kindness really can mean. The world is a complicated place, full of hits and misses, rights and wrongs, wins and losses. So the idea is to add to the win column, best we can, however we can. And it helps to know that beautiful outcomes are entirely within our means, because that’s how kindness works.

It’s a choice.

 

 

 

The Rundown

Jackie Robinson's final words send powerful ripples decades later | Sporting News

Next week will mark the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. When he stepped out of the dugout and onto the grass of Ebbet’s Field on April 15 1947, Jackie took on sixty-seven years of segregation in major league baseball. His journey transcended the sports world and it served notice to everyone who insisted on looking in the rear-view mirror to find the greatness of America. He proved that we find the best in ourselves by moving forward.

When asked about his decision to bring Jackie Robinson to Brooklyn, general manager Branch Rickey said that “Some day I’m going to have to stand before God, and if He asks me why I didn’t let that Robinson fellow play ball, I don’t think saying ‘because of the color of his skin’ would be a good enough answer,”.

That quote always gets me.

Volodymyr Zelensky urges UN to condemn Russia, take action on alleged war crimes

President Zelensky says Russia is preparing for a “new bloody wave” of attacks in eastern Ukraine and made an urgent appeal to NATO for more weapons. The idea of any substantive inroads being made as far as peace talks between Russia and Kyiv grow more dismal with each passing day. Local officials have warned civilians that this will be their last chance to leave as Russian forces tighten their grip on the border. More than 5,000 civilians have been killed in he port city of Mariupol, with Mayor Vadym Boichenko calling it the new Auschwitz.

The owners of a sprawling nature resort tucked deep in the pine woods of British Columbia are taking the news out of Ukraine to heart by opening their doors to the country’s refugees. Their goal is to host 100 people on their 81 acre property which was formerly known as the Grouse Nest.

Their new Name? The Ukrainian Safe Haven. Refugees will be provided with all of the essentials as they attempt to piece their lives back together. Inside the darkest of times, perfect strangers are making good on a refrain that never goes out of style.

Home is where you hang your heart.

I would love to tell you my Netflix habits have gotten smarter with time. I really would love to tell you that. Alas, when my evening fare consisted of The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move On, it seems I am a lost cause when it comes to educational nourishment in my streaming diet.

If Tiger Woods Tees Off At The Masters, He'll Be Playing To Win | FiveThirtyEight

It might not be the popular opinion of golf geeks or sports talkies but I’ve had my fill of Tiger Woods.

In present day, he is arguably the greatest golfer of all time but in 2009 there was no argument. Back then he was destined to surpass Jack Nicklaus for the title belt before his star crashed, literally and figuratively. We came to learn he was even more prolific as an adulterous jerk than he on the links. His personal life and his career spiraled from there as a result of his self-destructive arrogance, but you’d never know it from listening to the talking heads gush about his return to Augusta this weekend. They wax poetic on the former king of the sport as if he wasn’t the sole reason for his demise. I’m sorry, but Tiger Woods ain’t giving me a reason to watch the Masters.

In fact, he’s giving me yet one more reason not to.

Eric Church is a new age country singer and I never planned on knowing that much about him. And then he canceled a concert last weekend so he could attend the Final Four and watch his beloved UNC Tar Heels and I felt as if I knew too much about him. He is trying to mend the fences by staging a free concert now but I have to wonder how many people will decide they don’t want to go back to Church. You knew I was going there, right?

NEA statement on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Senate Judiciary Committee vote | NEA

The Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Ketanji Brown yesterday by a vote of 53-47, making Brown the first black woman to serve on the highest court in the land. This result was as bi-partisan as things get in these times with three Republicans crossing the aisle to ensure the confirmation. It’s a much needed win for Biden as well with the mid-term elections just around the corner.

Father Says Homeless Man Saved Daughter And Her Friends During Sacramento Shooting – CBS Sacramento

Last weekend proved once again that we have no rock bottom.

When it comes to supply chains, there is no disruption when it comes to the carnage humankind is capable of. There is no line we will not cross, no sacred place we will not desecrate. Saddest of all is the realization that people killing people has become a routine part of our everyday.

Tim Langer doesn’t own a television or a computer and he doesn’t get to read the newspaper all that much. You can excuse his ignorance when it comes to our other pandemic seeing as how he is living on the streets. His ‘home’ is a tiny space off K street in downtown Sacramento, where he is invisible to the rest of the world most days. And then an eruption of gunfire roused him from his sleep, thrusting him from the shadows and directly into the line of fire. That’s when he came across a couple of panic stricken young women and he made sure they would live to see morning.

“From what I could see, the state of war, I was just trying to calm them down and keep them reassured that everything was going to be all right.”

When faced with a moment where actions mattered more than words ever could, Langer made his way through the darkness that was busy stealing six more souls. He placed himself in harm’s way, shielding the women with his body as he raced them to cover. And to that never ending pit of hopeless outcomes that was hunting for more lives to take his message was a resounding one.

Not today.

The Rundown- April 1st Edition

FUNNY SIGNS | Learn Hot English 230 | Pocketmags.com

I caught some flack (not named Roberta) for last week’s downer of an episode, which I didn’t think was all that dark . . but whatever. I do understand these are tough times we’re wading through, and so in honor of the day that makes fools of us all, Imma fool ’em right back.

My regularly scheduled programming will return next week with more stories of death and destruction, as well as how to write off that purchase of Madden NFL 22 as a business expense. But for this week, we make party.

Welp, let’s get to it.

Hillary Clinton to voice 'Into The Woods' role in Little Rock

She’s baaaaack!

No, Hilary Clinton isn’t running for office again, no matter how hard Sean Hannity prays for that ratings winner. And seeing as how she has an allergy to winning elections against anyone not named Rick Lazio, it’s probably a good thing for whatever is left of the Clintonian legacy.

Instead Ms. Clinton will voice the role of the Giant in Stephen Sondheim’s adaptation of Into The Woods. In the role, she plays the vengeful widow of the giant Jack slayed in his climb down from the beanstalk. Hilary says she prepared for the role by poring over footage of interviews she granted during her time as First Lady.

Rick Madeira, of Fall River, Mass., rides an electric unicycle Monday, March 14, 2022, in Fall River, Mass. Madeira, who has taken to riding his electric unicycle to work, saving on gas and cutting his commute time in the process, says he has the answer for those upset with high gas prices. Madeira's Gotway Nikola Plus electric unicycle, with no seat or handle bars, just places for his feet, can go 70 or 80 miles on one charge, and reaches speeds of up to 40 mph. (Colin Furze/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)

Rick Madeira of Fall River, Massachusetts has come up with the solution to rising gas prices, and while it won’t get him an invite to the White House, I’m sure Jimmy Fallon’s people will be in touch.

Madeira rides his electric unicycle to work and he says it has cut his commute time in half- from eight minutes to four. I’m not sure how an eight minute commute inspires an individual to hop aboard a ride with no seat . . . or windshield, or handlebars, or doors or air bags. His Gotway Nikola Plus can go up to eighty miles on a single charge, and reach speeds of 40 mph. “It’s just more convenient, and it’s obviously more fun,”. If you characterize the possibility of becoming road pizza as fun, you probably hail from New England.

As fun as this looks, I’ll stick to horses.

Coach K retirement: How many Final Fours has Duke's coach been to? - DraftKings Nation

March Madness has almost struck midnight and once again, the tournament that bills itself as the place where Cinderella balls out . . . ain’t that at all.

Okay, props to the Saint Peters Peacocks out of Jersey City for making it to the Elite Eight this year. And big props to the U, as the Miami Hurricanes came up just short of their first Final Four appearance in school history. But in the end, as happens every single year, the bluebloods dominate the final weekend. For all the manufactured upsets in which teams are seeded on a mostly subjective scale, this sport has become a bettors paradise and little more. When the only familiar names in a sport belong to the head coaches, what do you expect? And I’m not just venting because Imma come up short in my office bracket.

But it doesn’t hurt.

PS- Imma be rooting for Coach K to go out on top.

Carrot Top Tickets - StubHub

April 1st BREAKING NEWS . . . .

Former President Donald Trump announced this week that he will not run in the 2024 Presidential election, while offering an apology for his boorish behavior over the last half century. He also accepted full responsibility for his role in last January’s riot at the Capitol and promised to be totally cooperative going forward.

“Also, I lost the election to Joe. Actually, he didn’t just win, he kicked my ass. I was embarrassed so I made up this huge lie about how the presidency was stolen from me. It was really a gag, because who in their right mind would really believe that shit? I was pulling stuff out of my ass . . from vote dumping in the middle of the night to corrupted servers to an army of the dead showing up . . . I didn’t expect many of my followers to play along, but then they all did!”

He spoke to reporters before his morning round of golf, which he lost resoundingly, after which he filed suit to have the results overturned.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (TV Series 2022– ) - IMDb

I dove into Winning Time with tempered expectations, considering how fictionalized accounts of real life events seldom bear any resemblance to the original. And for the first couple episodes, I was right. It was a kitschy dip into the shallow end of sports lore and it was good enough for me. The casting is spectacular, with Quincy Isaiah shooting his shot as Magic Johnson and nailing it. Jason Clarke as Jerry West is inspired, as is DeVaughn Nixon’s turn as Norm Nixon- the point guard who preceded Magic’s Showtime Lakers. And okay . . . John C. Reilly does a great job as Dr. Jerry Buss, even if I can’t extricate Talladega Nights  and Stepbrothers from my brain when I watch him. But that’s a me problem.

And then the show began dishing up revelations that moved the needle. Gems like how Pat Riley wasn’t always the coolest cat in the room, and how Magic’s ascendance was hard earned and how a little known offensive genius named Jack McKinney was responsible for ushering in the up-tempo style of play that transformed a franchise and the league.

Good stuff.

Oscar Statuette | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The 94th annual Academy Awards was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night. With three hosts proving unable to carry the load of one solid emcee, the show was proving to be a rudderless waste of time.

And then it happened.

In a shocking turn of events that left the audience buzzing, The Power Of The Dog did NOT win the Oscar for Best Picture. And thank fucking Christ for that because it would have been a complete mockery of the event. Imagine the memes on social media? The wall to wall coverage all week long? Yikes! When you consider all the great Oscar winning films of the last century, the idea that Power would have joined that legendary list is, well, how do I put this nicely?

It would have been a slap in the face.

The Rundown

An orchestra gathers in a town square to perform in a protest.

The Lviv Symphony Orchestra and Mikola Lisenko Music Academy have been holding open air concerts in the center of Lviv to protest the Russian attacks. Kahlil Gibran wrote that music is the language of the spirit, and as the people of Ukraine are proving every day, their spirit is strong. (Photo courtesy of The Atlantic). 

This is not the time to brand Vladimir Putin an 'evil madman' | Russia-Ukraine war | Al Jazeera

The theater of war was drowned out by Vladimir Putin and his old Soviet cronies, who amped up the rhetoric this week. As if death and destruction were not enough, why not double down with the kind of provocative talk that will take things from worse to catastrophic?

Putin feels as if he was screwed over by a regime in Ukraine that didn’t just want the keys to its own car, it wanted to drive it too. For all his tough talk, Vlad’s war isn’t exactly going according to plan thus far because wars never go according to plan. So why not harp on his old nemesis to the west . . . Us. Because when a bully isn’t getting his way, create a diversion by bemoaning the failures of his predecessors. And push the nuclear chatter to the center of the table in a gambit that nobody wants to be all in on.

I’m beyond sick and tired of this asshole.

New Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will get away with this

The odyssey that is former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s football life let him off the hook this week when the Cleveland Browns made him the highest paid quarterback in the game. Watson had spurned the Browns in trade talks only days earlier and it seemed nothing was going to change his mind. Until $230 million fully guaranteed somethings did.

Watson was benched for the entirety of the 2021 season after twenty-two women filed civil suits accusing him of lewd and coercive sexual behavior. And none of that mattered once a Texas grand jury decided that no criminal charges would be brought against him, because that’s when the feeding frenzy for his services really got going. No less than six teams were in the race, never minding this sordid mess because big league sports always has room at the table for another bad act, so long as he can still produce at a high level.

Not to be outdone, the Miami Dolphins made Tyreek Hill the highest paid wide receiver in the game on Wednesday after acquiring him in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. So now my club has a high profile bad guy with a record of domestic abuse, but so what? We’re contenders!

The powers that be at the league office know we ain’t buying their tired old company line about how the league is one big, happy family and about how much they value women. But it doesn’t matter, because they have pockets that are deeper than the Mariana Trench and a legal team large enough to have its own zip code.

As a sports fan these days, you best wear shades.

'Halloween Kills' review: old school slasher sequel makes a bloody mess

I used to believe Godfather 3 was the most egregious shit ever taken on a movie franchise, and then they issued the Coda and I made peace with it, for the most part. And while I ain’t ever gonna compare Michael Corleone with Michael Myers, the latter has had an impressive run in his own right. Which is why the people responsible for Halloween Kills now own the award for most objectionably egregious sequel in the history of ever. The film is an abject disaster, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the writers had intended for this to be a spoof of the original. Embarrassing.

Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state, dies - CNNPolitics

Madeleine Albright, who became the first female secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday.

Ms. Albright was the daughter of Czech refugees who were forced into exile after the Nazi occupation of her country in 1938. They fled to Britain a year later, having no idea of the horrors to come. They survived the German Blitz before moving to the outskirts of London until the end of the war. Madeleine was schooled in Switzerland for a brief period where she learned to speak French, but her family’s return to their home was short lived when the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took control in 1948. As a press attaché who opposed communism, her father sent them to America.

From a young age, Albright was a lesson in what Ellis Island means: She believed in the principles of democracy while never taking for granted the freedoms it offers. She was witness to how despots rise to power with manipulative language whose power lies in the fear they can spread.

Madeleine Albright was 84.

First Look: D Light Café & Bakery Opens In Adams Morgan | DCist

There are so many stories of people from around the world contributing to the people of Ukraine: from grass roots fundraisers to booking rooms with no intention of filling them. And here’s one more, because when I get tired of the way the world so oftentimes works against itself, these stories bring me back to a better place.

Anastasiia and Vira Derun moved to this country from Ukraine with the same dreams as so many who have come before them. To make their own special footprint in a country of immigrants. In October of last year they realized their dream with the opening of D Light Café just outside the nation’s capitol. And less than two months later it was up in smoke, literally, when a fire shut its doors. But thanks to a GoFundMe campaign the sisters were able to re-open last month. Right before the Russian invasion changed everything, yet again.

They have spent many a sleepless night since the war began, staying in touch with their family back home as best they can. “We don’t have the power to help them. We cannot visit. They cannot come here. I’m literally watching the news every five minutes just to keep myself updated. What’s going on? Where’s the army moved to? It’s this situation where we look at unknown things and we just pray. That’s the only thing we can do right now.” Anastasiia says.

They started taking donations and well, it’s proven to be their sunshine in the middle of this raging storm. To date they’ve raised more than $7,000. Every morning you can find people lining up outside the small bakery in Adams Morgan to buy pastries and to make donations and in many instances, both.

“We have a lot of Russian people coming in and supporting us, which is so wonderful because we understand that this is not between people—it’s between political individuals” she says. “I want everyone to understand that Ukraine is a country. It’s not part of Russia or part of Europe. We are a nation who has our own culture, our own values.”

I gotta tell you, when I went digging for a feel good story this week I had no doubt I would find plenty of them. Because I always do, because they are always there. This week it was people singing songs in the square and booking vacations they will never take and sending letters and money and clothes across the oceans to complete strangers. Because in the middle of the worst of times, love always finds its way. And so when I learned about these two sisters, I knew I had my story.

It was a piece of cake.