O down the drain.

If you grow up in Columbus, it doesn’t seem weird to have at least three friends whose parents have turned their rec room, or guest bathroom, or whatever, into a shrine to the Ohio State Buckeyes — the buckeye wallpaper, the block-O toilet seat lid, maybe a framed picture of the coach of the moment. When a baby girl is born to Mr. and Mrs. Gray, and they name her Scarlett Ann, netting them a cute story in the local media, it just seems…normal.

It’s a measure of how far I’ve come from Columbus that when the Free Press did a story last week about all the businesses along High Street had covered any Ms in their signage, I was able to finally say JFC these people. (Borden and I used to hang out at a High Street club called Crazy Mama’s, which I suppose would have to be called Crazy Xaxa’s. The basement place next door would be Xister Brown’s Descent. Down the Street? XcDonald’s.)

This is stirring up memories of working as a reporter in Columbus, and how it intersected with OSU. In Michigan it’s the couch blazes in East Lansing, but in Ohio, it can be anything. My favorite was the two city council members whose romance went sour: The spurned boyfriend drunkenly broke into her apartment in the middle of the night, and rousted his ex and her new lover out of bed. I believe he threatened them with a barbecue fork he found in the kitchen. He made them do Script Ohio stark naked, then stabbed their waterbed to death before fleeing the scene. This prompted a city editor, a legendary drunk himself but one blessed with a Shakespearean actor’s voice and diction, to crow to the newsroom at large, “Ah yes! Miss Coleman’s companion swung his baton while she enthusiastically dotted the I!” Newsrooms were fun places, back then.

I usually don’t take a side in sports contests, because it seems to be an E-ticket to misery. But man, I have to say: When Michigan put the smackdown on Ohio State on Saturday, it felt…wonderful. Underdogs, in hostile territory, all the sports yakkers calling them sacrificial lambs – and then they not only win, but win decisively? It was nice.

The chips and dip weren’t bad, either. I see why people get into this.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, and I apologize for being absent. There was work to do, my back is still KILLING me, and ever since I got this new laptop, your comments are no longer coming to my email. A few will slip through, but it isn’t a steady stream rolling across my desktop. I have to check the dashboard, or just dial up the site like anybody else. It’s no biggie, but I get behind from time to time.

Anyway, it was a good weekend for me — holiday, birthday, OSU-beatdown day.

How about a meme, then?

Ha ha.

OK, enough gloating. Occasionally, I surfaced to check out the news. And whaddaya know? Nothing changes:

Republican lawmakers have largely remained silent in the wake of former President Trump’s dinner with antisemitic rapper Ye and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, reviving a tactic they frequently relied on during his presidency.

Wonderful. Just wonderful. I should go back to bed.

Hope the week ahead is good for everyone. I’ll be here more frequently.

Posted at 5:44 pm in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

41 responses to “O down the drain.”

  1. Brandon said on November 27, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Regarding the letter substitution: It sounds a little, but not quite, like this.

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  2. FDChief said on November 27, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    The lowly Oregon State Beavers did something similar this past week; came back from something like 20 points down in the fourth quarter to win the annual Oregon derby (I think we’re not supposed to call it the “civil war” anymore. Dunno) against University of Oregon.

    I’m not a fan of the bumptious rubes that swarm around Corvallis, but the pretensions of the Oregon football fans are an order of magnitude more irritating, so, fine. Go, you Beavs.

    And why in the name of Newt Gingrich would Tubby feeding Nick Nazi Fuentes make a Republican so much as blink?

    I mean, the guy had fucking the Steves (Bannon and Miller) and what’s-his-face…Seb Gorka…sliming their way around the West Wing coming up with innovative ways to help him put old Nazi wine in new GQP bottles.

    You think a bunch of groypers are going to derail the Trump Train? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha(gasp)hahahahahahahaha…

    Nope. Nazi gonna Nazi.

    No, I’m more intrigued to see what his new top, Margie Taylor Greene, is gonna make Kevin McCarthy do to prove he’s gonna be a good little bottom this January. Bark like a dog, Kevvy! Sit or mommy spank! Gooooood doggie!

    Now THERE’S an image that makes you want to bleach your brain.


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  3. Suzanne said on November 27, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Speaking of laptops, my 10 year old one is on life support. Any suggestions for a basic easy to use, nothing fancy laptop?

    Indiana U did not work a miracle and beat Purdue on Saturday. It doesn’t matter who coaches IU, they are always bad. Always have been since I went there in the 1980s.

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  4. alex said on November 27, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    My dad told a good joke today about college basketball. Michigan usually has five players a year who go professional. Alabama usually has about seven. Indiana has about one every five years.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Suzanne, IU football was no good when I was there in the 70’s either. They won the Rose Bowl in 1964 so must have had a few good seasons around then. But since I despise football, I don’t care!

    A family member dropped off Consumer Reports with an article about laptops, and I’m happy to share. Since you said basic, nothing fancy, that means a PC, right? CR says first to think about screen size and weight, bigger screen is heavier but maybe you don’t carry it around much.

    Next is chips: Intel Core i5 or i7, or Ryzen 5 or 7 will be plenty. 9 is overkill, 3 may mean you can’t watch video. Look for storage of 256gb-512 gb, and memory of at least 16gb.

    There should be some good deals tomorrow for Cyber Monday–happy shopping.

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  6. Peter said on November 27, 2022 at 10:53 pm


    The Indiana Hoosiers winning the 1964 Rose Bowl will come as quite a surprise to the Immortal Dick Butkus – seeing as he was one of the captains of the Fighting Illini team that beat Washington.

    Indiana has only been to the Rose Bowl once – in 1968, when they lost to Southern Cal and the Immortal OJ Simpson 14-3.

    The coach of that team was John Pont, and it went all downhill for him after that. After he was let go by Indiana, he took over the program at Northwestern, and it got so bad there that I still remember the jokes about those teams: Heinz 57, Northwestern 0; World War 2, Northwestern 0; Fahrenheit 451, Northwestern 0, Boeing 747, Northwestern 0; you get the idea.

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  7. Mark P said on November 28, 2022 at 1:09 am

    The University of Georgia’s former coach Vince Dooley died a few days ago. He was not content with his reputation, so, as one of his last acts, he endorsed Herschel Walker. I hope to visit his grave one day so I can piss on it. The governor has now endorsed Walker, which he conspicuously did not do before winning re-election. I think he realized that Walker was poison to the touch, but now that he (Kemp) has been elected, he’s immune to it.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2022 at 4:27 am

    Pissing on graves…when I was drafted by Richard Milhous I vowed that when that fucker died I would spit and piss on his grave. I am back from Vietnam 3 years now, it is 1974. I am driving down to San Diego with family from Los Angeles. I repeat my vow, then wait 20 years until he died. Yorba Linda on the freeway sign, years later, and I am again in a vehicle heading towards San Diego from LA. I ask my son-in-law, the wheel man, to pull off and find Nixon’s grave. I had a little business to attend to.
    “No, hell no, we don’t have time for your bullshit which would get you locked up!”, he said. I must have told him years before what I had in mind. No piss on Nixon’s tomb.
    A few of you may have seen my running account on Facebook of the M-OSU game. I was pounding strong black Bustelo espresso blend and shaking as M trailed at half, 20-17. Then late in the game, M went nuts. 19 year old QB JJ McCarthy and running back Donovan Edwards, also 19, just made my day, big time. OSU blitzes backfired as JJ set a school record for yardage for 3 passes in a game. Then , two times, Donovan blasted down the field, all the way to glory land.
    My daughter Vanessa graduated Summa Cum Laude from OSU in 2000. I got VIP seating for the 2000 Big Game as a parent of a senior. That day was the last time M won down there in Cowtown. Richard Lewis, the big time OSU donator, sat 10 feet from me until the verdict was apparent and he and his entourage split.
    Hanging out some in Columbus , much more in Ann Arbor, it’s easily apparent the OSU fans make much more the big deal of it than M fans. I doubt any OSU fans were threatened by M fans on the streets of A2 over the years, like I was in my Volvo with an M sticker on the bumper in Columbus 20 years ago; a carload of teenagers pulled up beside us screaming and throwing shit at us and the goddam driver swerved over towards us like he was big-time stunt driver. I pulled into a video store lot and called the cops and they never showed. Served me right, I reckoned. Fuck them, and fuck their fucking football team.

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  9. David C said on November 28, 2022 at 6:03 am

    I stomped the dirt down on Joseph McCarthy’s grave. Mary and I were walking in a cemetery in Appleton. If it had just said “Joseph McCarthy”, I would have passed it by, but it said “Senator Joseph McCarthy”. They should have added disgraced but must have forgotten. Anyway, I saw it and did the deed.

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  10. Jeff Gill said on November 28, 2022 at 7:52 am

    Purdue had a good weekend all around, football & basketball. Counterbalanced a grim & foreboding Thanksgiving nicely, and I thank my Boilermakers for doing so! Now I have to go out into the county and work, which is going to be punctuated by discussions of Buckeye football whether I want to or not. It’s like buffer conversations about weather, only with more emotive overtone.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2022 at 8:08 am

    Peter, I got the right decade they played in the Rose Bowl; two out of three ain’t bad. I really don’t give a hoot about football but should have fact-checked my memory. Sorry, Butkus et all.

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  12. ROGirl said on November 28, 2022 at 9:57 am

    Beatdowns of OSU are a joy to behold! Go Blue!

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  13. basset said on November 28, 2022 at 11:33 am

    I met a Native guy years back who was part of a horse & wagon caravan from somewhere in the southeast to Oklahoma in memory of the Trail of Tears. We were on the edge of Nashville at the time, near Andrew Jackson’s former plantation home, and his intention was to slip over to Old Hickory’s grave that night and piss on it. I assume he did, never followed up on it myself.

    And on a totally different topic… some friends just gave us a set of DVDs, every season of “Parks & Recreation.” We have never seen even part of one episode. Is this a journey we should undertake? Any thoughts or comments?

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  14. Dorothy said on November 28, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    The absolute childishness and overkill of this Michigan/OSU rivalry around here is just so sickening to me and Mike. Yes we cheer for OSU. Our son and daughter-in-law graduated from the Scholars program. We’re very proud of them. Neither of them behave in an obnoxious way about the game.

    This past week was beyond ridiculous. The female news talent only wore red. No one said ‘Michigan’ etc etc. Next year I think I’ll leave the tv off all week.

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  15. jim said on November 28, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    basset: Parks and Rec is hilarious!

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  16. jcburns said on November 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Just now voted in Fulton County Georgia for my Senator, Raphael Warnock.

    LONG line (by my standards.)

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  17. Icarus said on November 28, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    When Michigan wins a football game, my wife is happy so I win. When Michigan loses a football game, my BIL is unhappy so I also win.

    I really enjoyed my visit to Chicago last week. Good weather for November. I wish we trusted the weather report enough not to pack coats and boots because we were overpacked but better safe than sorry.

    My mom wants to be buried instead of cremated and I told her that without a will, her next of kin gets to decide. She still refuses to get her estate in order. So cremation it is!

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  18. Deborah said on November 28, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    I don’t get the weird rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State. I did experience it first hand when I worked briefly for a Design firm in Chicago. We went after a project at Ohio State to “brand” the new student center that they were going to build. We were notified that we won the project and then during the negotiations for the contract they learned that our project manager was a graduate of Michigan and they took the job away from us. We had no official word that it was for that reason but that is what the firm I worked for eventually assumed was the real reason.

    And then again, while employed by a different design firm (my last) in Chicago we were working with a Michigan developer who wanted to be involved in building train stations for some high speed trains that were being considered between a hub in Chicago and Detroit and other midwestern cities (wishful thinking). The developer was a Michigan alum, meanwhile I was designing some graphics for use in marketing for this initiative for the developer. I inadvertently chose the colors maroon and gray (or burgundy and grey) for some of the marketing materials because I thought they were good, solid train colors. The developer rejected the colors because they were Ohio State’s colors and only for that reason, he clearly admitted that. I was astounded.

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  19. Dorothy said on November 28, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    Isn’t the pettiness mind-blowing, Deborah?! My husband’s a Pitt alumni – their colors are blue and gold. Coincidentally that was his high school’s colors, too. We both own many more Pitt shirts than OSU shirts. Maybe there are ‘levels’ of acceptability when it comes to what we can wear.

    If people didn’t have this kind of stupid sh** to carry on about, they’d find something else. Sigh.

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  20. David C said on November 28, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    It must be something about D1 colleges. I don’t think Ferris alums care a rats ass about the old school colors or any of that crap.

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  21. basset said on November 28, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Mrs. B doesn’t, that’s for sure. Nearest we’ve come to anyone caring about it was when I wore a Ferris t-shirt at the mall and some total stranger came up asking why it had a bulldog on it rather than a Native warrior, Florida State and Ferris State both having the same letters, FSU, and colors, red and gold.

    I went to IU Bloomington and never felt like sports there had anything to do with me, no connection at all.

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  22. David C said on November 28, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    I saw a guy in here in Oshkosh wearing a Ferris sweatshirt. I asked if he went there and he said no he got it at the outlet store because it was cheap. That’s Ferris.

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  23. ROGirl said on November 28, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Woody Hayes was an object of deep and fierce hatred by Michigan fans, and the Big 10 was pretty much the Big 2 for a long time, so that was a lot of the beef back in the day. It’s always the last game of the season held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so everything before that game set it up for the big event and the post-season games and Bowl invitations.

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  24. Sherri said on November 28, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Having grown up in SEC country, these piddling little rivalries like Michigan-Ohio State seem pretty mild. Jim Harbaugh would have been run out of Knoxville had he lost to Alabama as many times as he lost to Ohio State before finally winning. Tennessee is the place where fans expressed their displeasure with a coach’s record by sending a moving van to his house.

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  25. Jenine said on November 28, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    @JC: so glad you were able to vote for Sen. Warnock. I have hope

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  26. Jeff Gill said on November 28, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Columbus has long standing issues vis-a-vis Cleveland & Cincinnati which I could outline at length but will outline briefly. Major league sports are the tip of that inferiority complex iceberg.

    I’m pretty sure I posted this before some years back, but to be fair to central Ohio, of which I’m only an adopted son, the NYTimes Magazine ran a long feature on Les Wexner (who deserves a thread of his own, and whose demise is going to create all kinds of signage removal & reputational triage in this area someday) and his new mega-development of New Albany, starting with his Epstein designed mega-mansion with built-in Epstein-in-law suite, and the story noted New Albany was “two and half hours southwest of Cleveland.” It is, but it’s also surrounded on two sides by Columbus, the capital & largest city in the state — it’s actually bigger than Cleveland and Cincinnati put together, in terms of municipal population. That’s the kind of overshadowing which feeds the anxieties expressed through the fervent Buckeye-ism cult.

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  27. Sherri said on November 28, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    SEC football.

    Auburn, in its never ending quest to beat Alabama, has hired Hugh Freeze as its new football coach. Freeze used to coach in the SEC, at Ole Miss, until he was caught using a school issued cell-phone to call escort services. How was he caught? Well, the NCAA was about to hit Ole Miss with all sorts of violations, and he was lying to recruits and telling them it was all the previous coach’s fault, and that coach got tired of it and had his lawyer do a public records request, and whoa, look at these phone numbers.

    For his sins, Freeze went to Liberty University, where he’s won a lot of football games. Not that being at Liberty made him a better person; last summer he DM’ed a sexual assault victim who was being critical of Liberty’s handling of sexual assault and their hiring of a former Baylor AD. There was also accusations of inappropriate behavior during his NCAA-imposed year of exile before he went to Liberty, when he coached at a Christian high school.

    But if he wins the Iron Bowl, all will be fine.

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  28. Peter said on November 28, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Basset and David C – I made a similar vow in 2017 to visit Trump’s grave after eating a bushel of asparagus, but my bride had a better idea – don’t risk getting arrested; just bring a dog. You can’t arrest a dog. Bad boy! Bad boy! You missed a spot!

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  29. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Peter, I had a Communist Pomeranian with me and the ex on a trip out to Nantasket beach and environs, in 1973. We visited Plymouth Rock, which was encased inside a wrought-iron cage. That little Pompey doggie stepped right through and pissed a quart on The Rock. I laughed my ass off, for sure.
    “…piddling little rivalry…” We really feel it here. It’s strong. Some people just like having a team to root for, and a team to hate, a rival. The series about Wrexham of Wales really demonstrates it more than I can write it. Do I really hate OSU and Columbus, or Dallas and their Cowboys, or the goddam Yankees, or Jim Irsay and his pitiful Colts and the city they play in, why no…it’s just a sports thing. It’s like the Bustelo I brew, it keeps me goin’. Actually, Irsay? Fuck that asshole.

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  30. FDChief said on November 29, 2022 at 10:03 am

    When I was stationed in North Carolina the locals were pretty heavily invested in the UNC-NC State rivalry.

    My favorite was the light-blue bumper sticker that read “Honk if you’re from Carolina. Moo if y’all from State”.

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  31. Deborah said on November 29, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    When I was still on Twitter I followed a young Ukrainian woman who described her life in a war zone, she lives in Kiev with her son and her cat. She writes in slightly broken english which is endearing. When I quit Twitter I lost her and was trying to remember her name so I could reconnect in some way. Then I remembered she often talked about “war coffee” so I googled that and lo and behold I found her blog. If you’re interested here’s a link https://www.buymeacoffee.com/warcoffee, you can donate $5 (or more) and buy her a coffee, she gives half of her donations to an organization that helps the Ukrainian military and the rest she is using to pay for a world trip where she hopes to meet in person many of the people who follow her and give her emotional support. Also she spends money on things she buys locally from people on the streets who sell this and that and then gives what she buys away. For instance she buys knitted bags from an elderly woman, the bags are quite lovely actually. Her name is Yaroslava, her son is Vlad and she named the cat she got after the war started, Victory. I like reading what she writes because it gives such a personal perspective of an ordinary person surviving during a war rather than just the stories in the press about military strategies etc.

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  32. susan said on November 29, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Deborah @31— That reminds me of “Riverbend”‘s blog, Bagdad Burning, a diary written by a young woman in Bagdad during George Fcuking Bush’s horrid invasion of Iraq. I’ve always wondered what happened to her. Her last entry was on Tuesday, April 09, 2013, ten years after that $h!† show began.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on November 29, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    One of the truly galling parts of Columbus’ obsession with Ohio State football was the role of the local newspapers and especially the Dispatch, from which Ms. Nall and I are alumni. Dear dog, Woody Hayes himself couldn’t have designed a more pro-Buckeye publication if he tried.

    Most famously, after Woody slugged an Auburn player on national TV while the Buckeyes were being throttled by Auburn, the Dispatch was the only newspaper in the nation with this headline: “Woody Hayes Resigns.” It was authored by Paul Hornung (not the flaxen haired NFL hero by a man with the face of a basset hound), a sportswriter whose head was so far up Woody’s ass it was rarely visible. Woody had always promised Hornung he would get the scoop of a lifetime because he would share his retirement with Hornung exclusively. But punching an opposing player on TV kinda rendered that moot, yet Hornung still played the loyal dog, regurgitating Woodty’s horseshit all over Page One.

    One last note: When anti-war protesters caused damage to High Street and beyond, the pro-war, pro-Nixon Dispatch toted up the damage almost to the penny. But when the Buckeyes would beat Michigan and the drunken fans would rampage up and down the street, overturning and burning cars with Michigan license plates, smashing windows, looting. . .the paper would note that the victory celebration “boiled over” and caused a little damage.

    And that is why I –graduate of Kent State– despise OSU football.

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  34. kayak woman said on November 29, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve lived in Ann Arbor most of my adult life and raised my now adult children here. Football? I couldn’t care less. Except I love the ambience of Football Saturdays (home games and the town goes nuts). I also got to attend one Umich football game a year as a kid, because my dad’s bank (his employer) bought season tickets and dealt them out to employees so we drove down from the yooperland, stayed with my cousins, went to the game, and had so much fun. Therefore it’s the “home team” for me and I’m glad they beat OSU this year.

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  35. LAMary said on November 29, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    University of Denver lacked football so there were no football related bumper stickers but we had a LaCrosse team. There were bumper stickers saying, “LaCrosse players eat their dead.”

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  36. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    Oh, Jeff Borden, how the advancing years distort memories, trust me, I know…Clemson.

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on November 29, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Played rugby for 20 yrs, Rugby players eat their dead came from the plane crash in the Andes mountains from where the book and movie “Alive” came from, the team was a Rugby team from Uruguay.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Slow news day, so here’s a quirky tidbit:
    “Bay Area police are asking anyone with information about a human foot found inside a Saucony running shoe at a beach in Richmond to get in touch.
    Sgt. Aaron Pomeroy with the Richmond Police Department said the foot was found Saturday at 2:45 p.m. on Point San Pablo Beach, north of Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. It’s a right foot, likely a size 6 or 7 that belonged to a woman or small man, he said.
    “We can’t tell the race or gender based on what we have,” Pomeroy told SFGATE on the phone. “We’re estimating that it was in the water at least a couple months, probably longer.”
    —–and so it goes….

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  39. susan said on November 29, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Shoes with feet in them have been washing up on the shores of Warshington state and British Columbia for years. If you duckduckgo that topic, you’ll find article after article. For example, here’s one.

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  40. Suzanne said on November 30, 2022 at 8:27 am

    A friend of ours graduated from OSU & is a huge sports fan. We went to the IU/OSU football game with her & her husband years ago. Her hubby got his PhD @ OSU and the game was only the 2nd time he’d been in the stadium. The first was when Woody died & all the grad students were politely informed that they WOULD be in the stadium for his memorial.

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  41. basset said on November 30, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Meanwhile, this from the Fort: https://www.adweek.com/tvspy/gray-to-combine-fort-wayne-abc-and-nbc-affiliates-into-single-news-brand/245496/

    “the move allows us to repurpose redundant resources into new programs…”

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