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Kind Of Feels Like Deja Vu All Over Again, Doesn't It?

One year ago, we all had just watched the final episode of “The Last Dance,” a self-authored series by Michael Jordan on Michael Jordan to show how great Michael Jordan was and that there will be no other like Michael Jordan.

It aired May 17, 2020.

None of us cared about the “I love me some me” treatment Jordan gave himself. It was sports. We had something to tweet about besides a strange disease we didn’t understand and feared. It almost felt like, well, fun.

Everything else was cancelled and none of us knew when we’d see live games. Even when we did, it wasn’t the same...it was more of a series of sterile exercises in front of empty arenas and stadiums. As sports fans, we were used to steak, but these games, played at odd times of the year that did not coincide with their normal places on the calendar, were more like rice cakes.

We were one miserable lot.

Looking back at the baggage created over the past year serves no useful purpose, but I can’t help but be struck by the contrasts this week. If you went on Twitter, the conversations were about whether there would even be a football season. I found myself stopping my daily walks because of apprehension over the dangers of even being outside. I went to grocery stores at 6 AM to avoid people, and wore not only a mask, but gloves.

Joy wasn’t seeing your team win. It was finding a package of Clorox Wipes still on the shelf at the store.

This week, Twitter is full of college football stories signaling not only games will be played, but will be played before full stadiums. Fans are back. There is something to look forward to, events to add to your calendars, and a feeling this will not end up being Lucy pulling the football away at the last second, like the Big Ten and several “woke” national sportswriters attempted to do last year.

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One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Cutout Maggie

If you've been following the continuing adventures of Maggie The Wonderbeagle as chronicled earlier in the week in this story, I just got a few pics in my email showing her cutout is one step closer to home.

My friend Bonnie (on the left) graciously went over to Cassell Coliseum Friday to rescue cutout Maggie from the shredder due to my own forgetfulness. She then met my old broadcast partner and good friend Tim (on the right) this morning in Blacksburg and the swap was made.

So when Tim gets home, cutout Maggie will be in Northern Virginia. Which beats the heck out of a closet in Blacksburg awaiting a shredder. 😊

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Guest — Todd C Graham

Lowes

I bet Tim got Lowes to pay for that shot
Sunday, 21 March 2021 10:04
Dave Scarangella

I thought the same thing

I hope they both got paid for the sponsor shot
Sunday, 21 March 2021 10:22
Dave Scarangella

UPDATE:

The two Maggies have been reunited. One is suspicious of the other ... Read More
Sunday, 21 March 2021 13:40
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Since It's The First Day Of Spring...

Since today is the first day of spring, I find myself thinking about one year ago.

There was no NCAA Tournament – or live sports for that matter – so we all watched in huge numbers a 10-part Michael Jordan ego-enhancing series on an NBA season not even in this century…just to get our sports fix. Last night, partly because of disappointment over Virginia Tech losing to Florida and partly because of college basketball overload, I didn’t even have the television on.

There was no Major League Baseball season and traditional opening day about to occur in a week. Perhaps it’s the lingering effects of that which make me think when they talk about a minimum number of fans being able to attend, they’re talking about some date way off in the future instead of only 10 days from now.

You couldn’t buy what you wanted when you wanted to, particularly paper products. I handle all the buying of groceries and consumables in my house, and I used to have a pretty easy system. When somebody said we were down to the last three rolls of toilet paper or paper towels, I scanned the grocery ads to see if anyone had them on sale, then went and replenished our stock.

Now, when my wife mentioned the other day that we were down to only two 12-packs of both products and she was opening one of them, I felt like I had to replenish the supply. I did, and there’s an entire corner of the guest room filled with toilet paper, papers towels and tissues. There’s no issue now, as Amazon regularly contacts me asking if I want to buy more and it can be here in two days.

But I was in a warehouse club earlier this week, and I just couldn’t resist all those big 12 big rolls = 137 regular rolls of Bounty just sitting there, secretly whispering to me “one day you’ll wish you had bought one more pack.”

A year ago I actually ran out of the type of coffee filters you use in a device called a Chemex. They were a little difficult to find any way, but when it comes to coffee, I don’t mess around. I discovered that if you were a regular Joe, everyone was sold out, but if you subscribed to the product through a place like Peet’s, they’d find some for you. So I’ve been getting a box of 100 every 8 weeks, even though I only use maybe 50 every 8 weeks.

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Dave Fulton

On Record

Please let me go on the DullesDistrict record as the one individual who did not watch a single episode of the MJ marathon.
Saturday, 20 March 2021 11:52
Dave Scarangella

It's nice to know

One of the 13 people who did NOT watch
Saturday, 20 March 2021 12:11
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The Cutout Of Maggie The WonderBeagle Lives!

I’m sure none of you ever forget things, but as I move deeper into my senior years, it happens.

Last night, while checking with my oldest friend about tornados and other bad weather moving through where he lives in Mississippi, it hit me of something BIG I forgot. Something that filled me with immediate regret.

My oldest friend is named Doug, and as a Christmas present, he gave money to Virginia Tech so he could place a cutout of someone in Cassell Coliseum. He chose my beloved Maggie The WonderBeagle, and it made me smile every time I watched the Hokies, knowing that at least one member of the family had left the house and was watching in Cassell.

But a few weeks ago, he forwarded an email saying with the season ending, those cutouts had to go. You were given a form to fill out to have them either mailed to you or picked up, and they had to be gotten by March 13. Otherwise, they were going in the shredder.

Last night while talking to Doug, it occurred to me it was March 17.

This led to a thought of “oh no, I’ve killed my dog,” and I took to Twitter to ask if anybody was available to help me try to stop the shredding of an Ashburn Foxhound. Twitter can be a nasty cesspool at times, but it is also filled with good people who will help you if they can. Several offers were made, and I got an email from one lovely person saying she worked at Virginia Tech and would be glad to help grab Maggie if she still existed.

So this morning I started with an email to Terry Bolt, Senior Director of Major Gifts for Intercollegiate Athletics, pleading for clemency. She immediately responded, forwarding the email to the person she thought was handling the cutouts. That person immediately responded, saying she was forwarding the request to Bob Gavagan, Associate Director, Marketing & Fan Experience, as this was his area.

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Doug Johnson

Cut-Outs Do Live!

https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/watch-bud-lights-ode-cardboard-sports-fan/2288081... Read More
Thursday, 18 March 2021 13:37
Dave Scarangella

This one will!

And you made it happen!
Thursday, 18 March 2021 13:48
Dave Scarangella

Update:

She's on her way home... ... Read More
Thursday, 18 March 2021 16:32
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Sometimes, You Need A Little Help From Your Friends

Earlier today I wrote a story analyzing the chances of various teams in the ACC Tournament.

I apparently didn't properly credit the assistance I received from a certain hound dog in drawing my conclusions, and Maggie the WonderBeagle is not happy about it.

So I'm posting this brief story to make sure she receives the proper credit that she believes she is due.

Maggie, for some reason, likes to sit in my lap when I'm writing, and when I'm staring too long at a screen, she will prop herself up to see what's so important that I'm looking at it for such a period of time. This morning, as you can see in the picture on the right, she sat up in my arms and seemed to be following along with me as I tried to see which teams could potentially be facing Virginia Tech when the Hokies finally play in the ACC Tournament Thursday night. 

Sometimes I will even ask her which team she prefers, and she usually responds with a look that says "did you ask me if I want a treat?" Other times I'll just ask her if she agrees with what I wrote, and she also will respond with a look that seems to say "did you ask me if I want a treat?"

She doesn't answer all questions that way. Sometimes she'll give a look indicating she wants to go outside and chase a squirrel. But it's usually food that drives her decision making tree.

So this week she will be watching basketball with me to study up for her potential upset picks when she fills out her NCAA Tournament brackets next Monday. And considering the degree of luck versus skill it takes to pick the NCAA Tournament winner, her guess is as good as anyone's.

Well, as long as you ask her if she wants a treat :)

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Dave Fulton

Helping Paw

Every writer can use a helping paw from time to time.
Monday, 08 March 2021 12:50
Dave Scarangella

And as we both know....

...every dog has its day
Monday, 08 March 2021 13:15
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Living With Aunt Bea, Serving Our Time At The Rock

There is a power struggle going on in my house today, and I don’t like it one bit.

You see, traditionally I’ve been the tough guy, the one who doesn’t cave over emotional pleas, and sticks to my guns about discipline and doing the right thing.

Today it’s different. Roles have been reversed.

It involves a furry little angel named Maggie the WonderBeagle. Traditionally, every dog we’ve ever had has gone outside every 4 or 5 hours, and there’s never been an issue. Most of that was because my wife and I went to work every morning and there was no other option. We’d take the dog out before leaving for work at 7:45, come home around lunchtime to provide relief, then not be home until 5:30 or 6.

Previous dogs had no problem with the schedule.

But in these long days of our pandemic house arrest, we don’t go to offices any more and are here all the time. Right before all this happened, Maggie took a circuitous route through a South Carolina kill shelter that ended up with my house being her forever home when she was 8 weeks old. That first night, she weighed her options and decided the best place to sleep was on my lap watching a football game, and you could say I’ve been a bit smitten with her ever since.

Maggie has also gone as long as six hours without going outside, as she’s exhibited whenever we’ve had contractors working in the backyard and her area to run around has not been available. It didn't bother her either.

But today is different.

When it goes from freezing temperatures to 66 degrees like it did yesterday, and there had previously been ice and snow on the ground, everything turns to mud. Since Maggie likes to run a few laps around the backyard before settling down to focus on her primary purpose for being outside, this creates a huge mess with her paws. We keep a stack of towels down in the basement to deal with this matter, but frankly, it’s a pain in the backside for both owner and canine.

I hate doing it, and Maggie isn’t real happy about it either.

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With Maggie The WonderBeagle, You Snooze, You Lose

There is a game that goes on every day in my house.

It involves wherever you are sitting. And Maggie the WonderBeagle.

Most dogs I’ve had are quick to jump up on furniture, so that’s nothing new. Previous dogs in my house weren’t even allowed to do that, as a wonderful Black Lab I had for 12 years named Butch used to make it an art form to sneak up on a sofa when no one was looking. It was his few minutes of heaven until Dad came into the room and asked “what do you think you’re doing?”

Just as we spoil our grandchildren and let them get away with things we never let our children do, the same happens with dogs as we grow older. Maggie has never given it a second thought about whether it’s OK to get up on furniture. She just assumes it comes with her ownership of the house.

But even that’s not enough.

To Maggie, she doesn’t just want to sit on the sofa. She wants to sit in YOUR seat on the sofa.

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Recent Comments
Bonnie Sumner

Time

Dave, Thank you for the reminder about how fast time passes and how our dear pups age quickly, too. Happy to see Maggie!... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 11:26
Dave Scarangella

It's the single biggest differ...

Maybe its just a function of old age. But all my dogs have lived to at least 12 years or longer, and at their end, I've just wante... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:19
Dave Fulton

Same time next week

Does Maggie ever bark out the plot in the Hallmark movie when she notices in first 2 minutes a childhood girlfriend & boyfriend ba... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:22
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Stop Me If You've Heard This One: I Can't Believe It. Again.

I’ve watched Virginia Tech football and basketball for close to 50 years, and never have I been so convinced that the Hokies had lost the game I was watching as I was around 1:45 PM today.

Shows you what I know, as for the second time in the last seven days, I had to admit it: I could not believe what I just saw.

After leading by 11 with 8 minutes to go, the Hokies started making silly mistakes, which led to Miami going on a 10-0 run to put the Canes back in the game. As that familiar uneasy feeling of blowing a game down the stretch started getting bigger and bigger to Hokie faithful, the teams traded baskets until Justyn Mutts hit a free throw to tie the game at 71-71 with 11 seconds left.

Long-time Hokie watchers knew what was coming next, and Miami’s Isaiah Wong did not disappoint. He launched a 3-pointer in the final seconds that was dead-center perfect, ripping through the nets as Miami players danced and celebrated. I immediately thought “well, that’s two losses in a row, goodbye top 25 rankings, this one is really going to hurt.” Probably the toughest loss of the Mike Young era.

Or was it?

With 2.4 second left, the odds of tying the game were right up there with winning the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots in the same weekend. Technically there was a chance, but realistically there was none. A pass to halfcourt was batted away by Miami, giving the Hokies the ball with 1.7 seconds.

Then Al Michaels was back in my ear asking “do you believe in miracles? YES.”

Wabissa Bede threw a perfect pass to Hunter Cattoor as he came around a screen in the corner. Cattoor calmly took one dribble, turned, went straight up and drilled a 3-pointer crisply through the nets. Pandemonium ensued. The game was tied, and the game went to overtime.

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Bonnie Sumner

You weren’t alone

As regulation neared the end, one of the girls I grew up next door to who has lived in Suffolk for years texted me a broken heart ... Read More
Saturday, 06 February 2021 22:53
Dave Scarangella

Only downside was my dog Maggi...

She's been looking at me warily the rest of the day as if to say "you're not going to yell like that again, are you?" ... Read More
Saturday, 06 February 2021 23:17
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But Dad, You Just Don't Understand....

At 7 AM this morning, there was something beautiful going on here in Ashburn, as snow continued to fall since starting some time during the night. It was peaceful too, as the falling snow acts as nature’s soundproof barrier and blocks off all the noise of the world.

Well, it was until a certain hound let out a blood-curdling scream of a bark that made people wonder if my backyard had become a crime scene.

My house is situated right off a bike path that runs along my backyard’s fence. On the other side is a protected nature reserve, where there is a big creek for rain to run off into, and as a result draws far more animals than you routinely see in a metro area. It’s not surprising to see groups of deer, frogs, snakes, hawks, squirrels, racoons and several other species just roaming the area as if it were their home.

This morning, a new type of animal made an appearance. Sauntering down the bike path like it was just wandering home after an all-night bender was a small red fox, occasionally looking up at the snow like it was annoyed by this white stuff falling in his eyes. Those eyes opened just a little wider when his presence was discovered by my dog Maggie.

I call Maggie a WonderBeagle because that’s what she looked like as a 7-pound puppy, but when her legs grew to the size of a giraffe, we realized she was a different breed: An American Foxhound. Maggie is the gentlest, sweetest dog I’ve ever owned, but the AKC web pages on the breed warn when it is in pursuit of something it wants – namely a fox – it genetically can’t control itself and won’t listen to commands.

The AKC wasn’t kidding, as I watched this domesticated hound that sits on the sofa and watches television like a teenager turn into the Tasmanian Devil. The fox – showing it may be a bit of a jerk in the animal world – calmly stared at Maggie as she’s trying to break down the backyard fence, almost giving it a wry smile before slowly trotting off into the snowy woods.

It was if it were saying “my work here is done.”

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Daniel P. Lundberg

Foxhounds Coonhounds

Sounds like the first time our Coonhound, well, found a raccoon that had sauntered into our backyard. Complete and utter chaos ens... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2021 14:35
Dave Scarangella

We had thought after a few mon...

But then after the vet said she was a foxhound, and the AKC had the nerve to post a pic on its foxhound page that looked exactly l... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2021 15:06
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If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Does Anyone Read Its Post?

Just as I threatened to in my New Year’s Resolutions, this is the 25th straight day I’ve written something for the site. I’ve kind of gotten into a routine, and for the last week, I’ve even started each morning saying to myself I was going to take the day off, only to see something happening in the world and write another story.

Some of them I’ve been pretty pleased with. Which is now creating a minor dilemma for me.

I’ve never cared about numbers on this site, because it’s not a commercial site. But I also think anyone who creates something - and then thinks it’s pretty good – becomes proud of it and wants people to see it. This is where the numbers – or lack thereof – come in.

Nothing written here is ever going to go totally unseen because I’m blessed without about 60 subscribers who don’t mind me turning on a program that emails them a notification every time I post something new. I know that’s happening because any time I post something, you can see within about an hour that 20 or 30 people read the story immediately. (Shameless plug: there’s now a subscribe button up on the menu bar to make it easier)

This is a bit of a contrast from being on social media, where I believe you could post a link with only a picture of a rock and 200 people would click on it. That’s the advantage of sending a link out when you have thousands of people following you, and I’m fine with the smaller audience on most stories.

I also get the added benefit of what I really wanted in the first place with the email notifications in that because they’re getting an email telling them of the story, they don’t have to deal with likes or comments or anything out in the open. They can just reply to the email, and that allows for not only comments about the story, but additional comments of a more personal nature about life, family, etc. that I greatly appreciate. It builds a nice sense of community.

But then you get something like Friday’s story on Hank Aaron. I think it’s rare when more than 2 or 3 people take the time to write you and express a view on a story, but in this case, I got nine emails from subscribers indicating they really liked the story.

Cool, I thought, momentarily going all Sally Fields and thinking “hey, they like it.”

Then I checked the stats on the story from the control panel. Only 17 people had read it.

It was like the old saying about if a tree falls in a forest, does anyone hear a sound? So I answered two of the emails, asking one to repost the story on Twitter and the other to do the same on Facebook. Within an hour it was over 200. People who saw the story seemed to like it.

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She's Always Going To Be A WonderBeagle To Me

Yesterday, I got a late start on my daily writing because it was time for Maggie The WonderBeagle to go see the vet.

Judging from the vet’s reaction, she now understands why I call her a WonderBeagle, even though the last time she was there, they had the audacity to say she wasn’t even part beagle.

That’s because when we first bought her to the vet the week after we had adopted her as a rescue in December of 2019, she weighed about 12 pounds and looked like a beagle. Our long-time vet said that she looked a little like a beagle, but she also seemed to be a plain ol’ hound, so her guess was she was a mix with more hound than beagle.

Because of the way vets work in these days of house arrest, the last few visits have involved dropping your dog off and whoever is available looks at her. But last December, our usual vet saw Maggie and came out to see me in the lobby.

“Is this that little dog you got from the rescue people that we talked about a year ago?” she asked. I nodded and she said “well I was wrong. This is a 100 percent American Foxhound. Beagles don’t weigh 65 pounds.” Sure enough, I looked on the AKC site and under American Foxhound is a picture that looks exactly like a male version of Maggie.

Sounds like the ghost of Elvis is trying to tell me she ain't nothing but a hound dog.

Elvis also sang "don't be cruel," so with all due respect, she’s still a WonderBeagle to me. And yesterday, she showed why to the vet who treated her.

Maggie is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had, but what makes her unique is I honestly think she believes she’s a human. As you saw a week or two ago in this picture, she doesn’t just crawl up in a chair or sofa and curl up in a ball. She sits up like a human.

If you’ve ever been to a vet’s examining room, then you know there is always an examining table, and right next to it is a chair, meant for the comfort of the dog’s owner, not the dog itself. When the assistant met me at the front door, she took Maggie back to a room, and when Maggie saw the chair, she assumed it was her.

She jumped up into it and sat there like a human, waiting for the doctor to make her next move.

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