Heroes Of The Week!

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Another week, another cold front on the old news cycle . . bringing with it more (im)peach pie recipes, Antonio Brown police visits, sports brawls, royal fallouts, celebrity Instagram idolatry, pandemic panics, Putin power grabs, Catholic church abuse crises and Super Bowl coverage which proves we are living in a modern day “bread and circuses” empire.

Good thing we have some heroes, and here they go . . .

Imma start things off by giving you two heroes for the price of one aaawww with this story about a very special dog named Eddie and Carin Brown; the Benton County animal control officer who rescued him. When Carin found this beautiful boy, she feared he had been hit by a car because he was listing to one side. The prognosis for Eddie came back differently, but every bit as heart wrenching. It turned out Eddie has an inoperable tumor and doctors surmise he has anywhere from six to twelve months to live.

So Carin created a bucket list for Eddie, teaming up with the Pasco PD to get him sworn in as a K-9 officer. He got his swag on and spent the day on patrol. Well, other peeps in town caught wind of this bucket list and decided to toss their ideas in. So far Eddie’s gotten pictures with Santa as well as a pool filled to the brim with stuffed animals. Next up? Being the star of a kissing booth at an adoption event. Oh . . in case you were wondering, Eddie’s favorite snack is donuts. Of course.

Six-year-old Owen Colley has made about 55 clay koalas so far.

Owen Colley knew he had to do something after talking to his mom about the Australian bush fires. But really, when you’re six years old and all you’ve got is a wish and a dream . . how much of a difference can you make? Welp, this little artist from Hingham, Massachusetts can do plenty.

So far, Owen has made fifty five clay koalas. In conjunction with the Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue group in New South Wales, the Colley family sends a koala to every person who donates $50 or more to the relief efforts. And if you’re asking how much wallop a wish can pack, consider that in a week’s time the kid has raised more than $20,000. Proving once again that the skies are full of wishes, but it’s the work we put into these wishes that provide the light.

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Good plumbers are hard to find, so Imma hit you with the gold standard. His name is James Anderson and he hails from the UK. He decided to start a non-profit company in his hometown of Burnley a while back, offering free or low cost service to those in need. Of course, every good deed usually comes with debt. Not that it keeps him up at night. “To me, debt is debt. I would rather owe some money to somebody and another person be alive and happy and safe,” he says.

He’d been doing this beautiful thing without fanfare, until he provided service to a 91 year old woman with acute leukemia. When he presented her with a bill totaling zero dollars, her daughter made sure his deed went viral. And thanks to his heart and thanks to her appreciation, his non-profit is no longer operating in the red. Far from it. Which is a good thing, because Anderson plans on keeping at it until “the day God calls me”.  Let’s hope heaven can wait. (Big thank U to that Canadian beauty Dale over at A Dalectable Life for this get).

Another week, another cinematic superhero gone real life superstar. This time it’s that stud of the sea, Jason Momoa of Aquaman fame getting all righteous on us. The star of land and sea took time out from filming to stop by UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh to say aloha to some very special kids. The dude is filming a Netflix thriller called Sweet Girl and I know I’ll be tuning in. Because the world needs more peeps like him, whose heart is mightier than his brawn. Mahalo, Jason.

If you ask me how I figure out this weekly lineup of good and better, Imma tell you the truth. I have no blessed idea. Because I never really know what I’m looking for until I come upon it. And the stories do not have to involve donating a million dollars or preventing a school bus from going over a cliff (okay, the latter is probably gonna score with me). I don’t know the story when I see it, I know it when I feel it.

So it goes with Kevin Lindke of Port Huron, Michigan. Because it was inside the quiet of just another evening when his actions spoke louder than any words I could muster. He was driving home when a car passed him going in the wrong direction, so Lindke did what most of us would’ve done in the same situation; he dialed up 911.

But see, Lindke’s heroism ain’t content with retail when it can provide a wholesale change. So he followed the driver, who sideswiped another car before ditching the ride and making a run for it. And of course, Lindke followed, running after the driver until he caught up with her. Turns out, the girl was suffering from a mental breakdown and had stolen the car, but Lindke was undeterred and he got her to stay put until police arrived.

did mention how Lindke provides dollars on the pennies he finds, right? Good. Because when he learned that the car this girl had totaled belonged to a pizza delivery driver who had parked it outside of a school whilst dropping off some pies . . he gave the kid his minivan.

“I’m not going to lie, I about burst into tears because who does that?” Jones told WDIV TV. “It’s a godsend—that this man, out of nowhere, who I’ve never met, would do this. It’s mind blowing.”

So yanno, I don’t find these stories. They find me.

 

First Draft Horoscopes: Aquarius!

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The good news is, your planets are in perfect alignment. The bad news is they are completely uninhabitable. Nonetheless, you will have a great deal of mental and physical energy to expend so let’s try and channel it into something positive, okay? How about focusing on artistic projects that do not include signing your name in the snow or rodent taxidermy . . .

Your intuition is at maximum levels today, but this doesn’t mean that you’re a mind reader so cut the paranoid shit. All it means is that you are in tune with the people closest to you. It does not mean they should be subjected to interrogations or lie detector tests because if you pull that shit again, you’ll lose the other side of the family as well.

Try to relax and unwind a little, seeing as how you may be feeling more anxious than usual . . as if that’s fucking possible. Maybe you should try working out, since it was a New Year’s resolution and I realize you’re easing into it but come on . . it’s almost February. If you’re going to let your workout resolution roll over into 2021, then maybe attend a concert or sporting event instead. Sans the recording equipment this time unless you really don’t mind the idea of spending twenty three hours a day in a cell with someone named T-Bone.

Sign Language For Dummies

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Baseball went to the mattresses this month in a bloodletting that leaves three franchises in limbo on the heels of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.

As a result, Houston fired its manager and general manager. Boston fired its skipper, Alex Cora, who had served as bench coach for Houston and is suspected of using nefarious means to steal signs while in Boston as well. And the New York Mets Carlos Beltran stepped down before ever managing a single game.

If you’re not down with the latest MLB ordeal, it’s really quite simple. The Astros stole signs, which is something that’s been going on since rawhide was invented. Only difference is, they created an elaborate system of video monitoring, which had been banned by the league prior to these actions. During home games, they had someone watching a video monitor and banging a trash can to signal what pitch was coming for Astros hitters. When world class hitters are accorded that kind of 411, it becomes batting practice. Hence all the heads that have rolled, and all the many heads that are teetering nervously in anticipation of being found out.

So yeah, Houston does indeed have a problem, and you can expect every away game on their schedule to become an episode of American Horror Story. I’m pretty sure they should forfeit their three game series in New York in late September, unless they’re curious as to what Fallujah looks like in the fall.

They had us all fooled, yours truly included. Hell, back in October, I included the Astros in my Heroes World Series edition saying “. . . The Houston Astros have done just about everything right over the last five seasons . . .” Fucking guys.

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Sports is supposed to be an escape from the everyday world of taxes, transit strikes, unpopular general elections and shitty roads. But seeing as how sports is made up of fallible participants, the odds are not always in our favor.

In fact, professional sports has a long and sullied history of scandal and controversy. In basketball, there was referee Tim Donaghy’s game fixing scandal. Hockey saw the Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to America, shortly after which it became illegal for Canadian teams to win the Stanley Cup . . . I think. And in football, you have the New England Patriots.

Baseball’s got all of them beat. There is one hundred years worth of unfortunate events tucked in its seams. From the 1919 Black Sox scandal to Pete Rose being banned from baseball for gambling on games to the steroid era to this month’s sign stealing revelations involving the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.

The truly unique aspect regarding the sport formerly known as America’s Pastime is that time seems to romanticize (or monetize) most of its wounds. Countless books have been written and several movies have been made about the 1919 White Sox fixing the World Series. And while the steroid era will always be a blight to fans of a certain age, the dirty truth is that it produced a tsunami of green. Player salaries grew exponentially as a result of tainted numbers while owners took full advantage of an explosive revenue stream by creating their own television networks. Welp, at least Commissioner Bud Selig fought to preserve the integrity of the game . . .

So even out of worst case scenarios, baseball usually figures out a win. Can you imagine a real life tragedy being romanticized to the tune of billions of dollars? Oh wait . . I forgot about James Cameron.

This latest scandal is already going next gen with crazy accusations about Astros players wearing electronic devices during games. It’s like Bad News Bears meets MacGyver meets The Wire meets Are you kidding me with this shit?  But that’s okay because player agent Scott Boras insists that his client- Jose Altuve- never used an electronic device. Which should put these rumors to sleep since no player agent has ever told a lie about their client, ever.

Of course, as sports scandals are wont to do, this has peeps feeling all sorts of ways . . most of them homicidal. The Astros are the latest Public Enemy Number One to come down the sporting pike, and it doesn’t get any more vitriolic than the text my friend sent to me yesterday morning when we were discussing Sign-Gate. He had some . . uh . . sharply fashioned thoughts as per Houston’s diminutive shortstop, Jose Altuve.

That little fucker should quit baseball and become a jockey. 

I should note my friend is a Dodgers fan. And a gambler. So, yanno . . when he’s hurt he says things he doesn’t really mean. Even though he really means them.

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All kidding aside (for a moment), I really hope the Astros don’t suck this season. As much as the Yankees fan in me wants to see them win eighty five games and miss the playoffs, the baseball fan in me wants to see them make another run at October. Because it would prove how good this club truly was/is, and that it didn’t need to resort to Nixonian tactics. It would serve to remind us once again that no player or team will ever be above the game. And it will provide a much needed respite to Astros fans, who waited fifty five years to celebrate a championship and now are left to wonder what it all meant. They deserve better than what they’ve gotten, I do know that much.

Perhaps the biggest irony is that for all the video recording and trash can banging the Astros were utilizing, their home field advantage meant bupkis in the World Series last October. They became the first team in World Series history to lose all four games played in their home park.

It was as if the baseball Gods were taking out the trash.

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

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So this new old fashioned way of doing Heroes, it works so well that I feel as if the very idea of incorporating a buzzkill into the proceedings is anathema. Now. But I must confess it took me a while to get to here, and I trashed a ton of James Dolan stories in the process. Sooooo, it turns out that using this WP force for good rather than evil has cut down on redundancy by twenty eight percent!

And now your heroes . . .

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This kid got left in my green room for a couple weeks, but that’s alright because he’s still doing his thing and making people’s days just a little bit better. Jeremiah Murrill goes to work every day, doing the thing he was born to do; connecting with people. He is the official drive-thru greeter at a Wilmington, North Carolina Chick-fil-A, and to his way of thinking, there are no numbers . . . only people. Over the last couple years, the twenty year old has learned the names and favorite meals of the thousands of customers that roll on through. Not to mention the fact he’s been deputized and video of him making someone’s day has gone viral as well. Leaping tall buildings and out-locoing locomotives is all well and good, but sometimes heroism comes in the prosperity you gift others with a quaint little thing called human kindness.

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Charles Barkley was the ‘Round Mound of Rebound’ in his playing days, and he has been the mouth that roars as a sports commentator since then. But in his personal life, he refrains from all that high profile jazz. Charles is a philanthropist who recently made a one million dollar donation to Miles College; the largest donation in the school’s 122 year history. He has made it his mission to donate to historically black colleges and universities since his playing days came to an end. And it’s not something you hear much about, because Charles is content to put his money where his mouth usually is.

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Until recently, Latonya Young was trying to keep her dream of scoring a college degree alive- working as hairstylist by day and Uber driver by night. A high school dropout, the forty three year old was determined to not just get back, but to get ahead. But times are tough and an outstanding seven hundred dollar balance was proving even tougher. Until Kevin Esch stepped into her Uber one night and changed that. When he learned that Young wasn’t returning to school because she owed that money? Yep, he paid it. This past December, Latonya graduated with an associate degree in criminal justice. Kevin was in the audience, cheering her on.

To Molly, a two year old Labrador Retriever, life really is a beach. And since she was nine weeks old, this beautiful lady has been making certain that her beach in Scarborough, North Yorkshire is a clean one. Her dog mama, Fliss Cater, combs the beach with Molly on the daily to lose all the litter they come across.

“I taught her different commands to keep her safe, because there’ll be things on the beach that could harm her,” says Cater. “There are needles and sharp objects or just things you wouldn’t expect, so I wouldn’t let her go and pick anything up on her own.”

Except for the sense to know right from wrong, and the ability to do something about it.

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Firstly comes a hat tip to the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life for this capper. . . .

Linda Herring of Johnson County, Iowa is a Guiness Book of World Records superstar. Even if you’ll never read of her accomplishments in this year’s edition, or last year’s . . or the year before that. Because what Herring does so very well, it doesn’t tend to make the kind of headlines that OBJ gets just for handing out cash. Even though, what Herring does would make Wonder Woman have to take a year long holiday in some remote locale that specializes in sun and sand.

This mother of eight (five biological as well as three adopted kids) has been a foster mother for more than five decades. She did all that on top of running a home daycare and working nights as a custodian. And because I need you to try and wrap your head around this, because I still haven’t . . . she has fostered more than six hundred children over the last five decades. Tell me when you’ve caught your breath and I’ll continue.

“Linda mostly fostered young children and children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender,” read a statement from Johnson County officials. “No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they were wearing.”

Health concerns led to her decision to step away from her role as a foster mother in October. To honor Herring for an amazing life’s work, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and Department of Human Services commemorated her with a resolution of appreciation this week. And hopefully their next order of business is dialing up that remote locale and finding her a bungalow right next to Wonder Woman.

 

 

 

Alec Baldwin Does Shakespeare

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Thank you for joining us for another episode of Monsterpiece Theater. Tonight we have invited the legendary Alec Baldwin to the stage. Mr Baldwin will be providing a refreshing new take on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. We ask that you refrain from taking photographs during the performance, since this would necessitate a 911 call on your behalf.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? You better fucking believe it, sweetheart.

Thou art more lovely and more temperate and way hotter than that heatwave last summer that melted my balls like nobody’s business.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and they can be a bigger pain in the ass than a piece of shit paparazzi chasing me down on a coffee run.

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. A shorter date than most of the dates I went on when I first got to Hollywood. Fucking town . . .

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, but heaven has nothing on the set of boobs I bought you. And yeah . . you’re welcome.

And often is his gold complexion dimmed; dimmed . . like a writers meeting on SNL with a bunch of virgin pricks who act like they invented comedy.

And every fair from fair sometime declines, like this Colbert asshole calling me angry. Me! Just wait until his career’s in the toilet and he’s calling me for help with the rent . . .

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; like my hedges. What? You thought I was gonna say my balls? Get the fuck outta here!

But thy eternal summer shall not fade, but I’m fucking tell you . . Colbert’s popularity will.

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, because you’re more fun than being chased by cops on the BQE.

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, the way I brag about getting you in the sack.

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. And yeah, I got a dick joke but I’m holding onto it. The joke . . not my dick.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, and knees can buckle under the swing of a Louisville Slugger . . .

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. And now I gotta take a piss because this Diet Coke goes right through me.

The Vera Farmiga Invitational

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Imma go back to my old school crush for this lovely episode, with many thanks to the timeless beauty of that man slayer extraordinaire, Sara Michelle Gellar. SMG is so much more than just a sexy stand in, and rest assured she will be booming these pages again soon. But January is for figuring out slumps and what better math to utilize than the geometrical qualities of Ms Farmiga? So here then is my first honeydew list of 2020. Enjoy!

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Elle Duncan: She works for Animal House Sports (Business Name: ESPN), but she’s no keeper of the lame ass qualities perpetuated on the network. She’s funny in the realest kind of way, with no forced soundtrack necessary. She dispenses knowledge without verbiage, facts without fiction and news without the sophomoric slant. Girl’s got a smile that could melt butter and a rap that is all business. She doesn’t need to issue any ridiculous “hot takes”. She IS a hot take.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Phoebe’s got that Headmistress vibe going strong, and it makes you want to score detention on the regular so’s you can be under her pretty thumb. She’s got the endearingly awkward personality that works a Happy Hour jaunt into an after-hours repartee. Quick to cut your knees out from under you, after which she props you up on the sofa and feeds you tequila in particular ways.

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Ashley Graham: When it comes to exhibiting model behavior, this woman schools her peers on the regular. Because she’s what sexy is all about; confidence, fused together with the courage to be who she is, rather than what others insist she has to be. Mistress of the come hither glance, she is a Vegas lock when her eyes come calling on you. Positive proof that coloring outside the lines is so damned hot.

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Skylar Diggins-Smith: This woman has represented at every level- from high school to college to the pros- with a game that never quits, just like her. She came all the way back from an ACL injury without missing a beat, stringing together four straight WNBA All Star Game appearances. She’s equal parts fire and ice- throwing down daggers when left to her own devices while making opponents pay mightily with an ability to dish to the open teammate given the tiniest window. But really . . she had me at the curls.

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Bella Heathcote: She’s got an old school element to her new age filament that makes the screen she adorns go boom, every time. Pouty lips that tug at you and eyes that scratch at all the logic known to Mars with claws drawn up in a Venus playbook. She carries this perfumed swagger that makes you believe in the mystic. And when her hair goes all ramshackle, so do your knees.

I conclude this tasty episode by writing one more lovely into the starting lineup. This “All That All Star” was scouted by the Cincinnati Kid, the Short Order Opinion Maker, the Maestro of Madcap, the King of the Home Run Swing, the Titan of Tango  . . . none other than Frank from over at afrankangle.

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Robin Meade: This hawt headliner spells the news on weekday mornings for millions of Americans who choose to get their news delivered sans bluster. She’s a beauty who talks kindly, reports fairly and makes you feel as if you’re swapping coffee talk with her and only her. Personal enough to make you blush, and when she leans into the camera . . you will. And it’s what missing in today’s iteration of the Fourth Estate- where expert analysis is oftentimes code for pulpit speak. She ain’t faking her journalistic know how, and it shows.

Welp . . that’s all for this episode of what’s hot. I’d like to thank Vera for being the mostess of a hostess, and to the ladies in my lovely lineup . . thank you for rocking the science with smarts, savvy and plenty of sexy.

Heroes Of The Week!

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In this week’s episode, I delved into great catches, life changing tips, Hollywood giving and, get this . .  the federal government doing some good for a change. I know, it sounds like a work of fiction but it’s true. I mean, I wouldn’t get used to that kind of behavior in Washington. But it’s nice to know that our elected officials have it in them.

And now, your heroes . . .

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A purple haze hung over the New Orleans Superdome last Sunday after Kyle Rudolph came down with a rainbow pass from Kirk Cousins in the back of the end zone that ended the Saints season while keeping his team’s hopes very much alive. After catching the OT game winner, Rudolph gave his game worn gloves to a ‘media member’, autographing them first. So when the dude turned around and sold the gloves on eBay for a few hundred bucks, Rudolph was a little bummed out. Until Jason King tweeted the Vikings wide receiver, informing him he was the purchaser of the gloves and that he would donate them to the charity of Rudolph’s choice. That’s called putting your money where your heart is.

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Danielle Franzoni is a recovering addict who wakes up every day with three reasons to stay clean. The mother of three is a server at Thunder Bay River Restaurant in Alpena, Michigan, and as the new year approached, she received a message letting her know she’s doing things the right way. This message came in the form of a tip from a couple she’d been serving. In keeping with the year to come, they left her a $2,020.00 tip. She says “Things like this don’t happen to people like me,”. But lemme tell you, when people like Danielle happen to things like this? It’s like the world is singing in perfect harmony.

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Chris Hemsworth ain’t just another pretty face. The actor known as Thor to Marvel fans just so happens to be a superhero in real life as well. After watching fires sweep through Australia, Hemsworth and his family have announced they will be donating one million dollars to their native country. Other celebs have taken note of what’s happening on his Instagram page. Elton John will also be donating a million dollars, while Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Pink are doing their part as well. Hollywood can be so much more than a Ricky Gervais monologue when it wants to be.

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And another lampooned entity- our very own federal government- is getting involved in the relief efforts in Australia as well. More than one hundred American firefighters have already been deployed, with a few dozen more volunteer firefighters set to head down under. And to show they are about way more than just NBA titles, Canada has sent eighty seven of its own volunteers to assist in the relief efforts as well. Isn’t it kind of refreshing to see our federal government putting out fires rather than starting them?

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In a perfect world, Ryan Smith would be the starting power forward for the East Stroudsburg University Warriors. A sophomore, he would be improving on a star that has been shining brightly since his days at Lampeter Strasburg High School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

But there are no perfect worlds where cancer is concerned as Smith came to learn last summer. He noticed he was getting more fatigued during his workout regimen, which led to a battery of tests. A full blood panel at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono revealed the sum of all fears: Acute Myeloid Leukemia. So far he’s undergone a few rounds of chemo while taking up residence at University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

This past Monday, Millersville University teamed up with East Stroudsburg during a PSAC Mens/Womens doubleheader. All proceeds from tickets sales of the games to be donated to the Smith family through a fund established by East Stroudsburg. And for the first time in almost a year, Ryan Smith stepped foot inside Pucillo Gymnasium on the campus of Millersville to watch the game he has been in love with his entire life. He received a hero’s welcome as he sat in the stands of a rival arena that was intent on giving him a home court advantage as he battles on.

Ryan has a much bigger victory in mind.