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April 18, 2014

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Ice Ice Billy

Find Frankie Moreno in the happy aisle

Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno and esteemed hard rock vocalist Paul Shortino were sitting in Moreno’s dressing room Wednesday night. Moreno and his band had just reeled in the audience with an explosion of musicianship, humor and charisma. And Shortino was, justifiably, hard rock singing Moreno’s praises.

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Rats” backwards spells “star”

Any regular reader of Neuropsychopharmacology - and you know who you are - who skimmed past Paul W. Czoty and David CS Roberts’ “Thinking Outside the Synapse: Pharmacokinetic-Based Medications for Cocaine Addiction” was probably struck by an implication that different rats have varying levels of work ethic. Like Benny in the adjoining cubicle, a rat can be a worker rat or a slacker rat.

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The Kentucky game Jerry Stackhouse never played in

On March 28, 1992, I sat along a loge level press table – which resembled a stripped down sky box – at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Below, on the floor, Kinston High School and West Charlotte High School were running east and west, chasing the state’s high school championship. The high school championship’s headliner was Kinston’s Jerry Stackhouse, an obvious future NBAer, and a player that when watched in the claustrophobic confines of his high school gymnasium was not a man among boys but a dragster amongst soap box derby cars.

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A simple invitation from St. Baldrick’s

When one searches for St. Baldrick’s on line, an invitation appears with the search result; “Help Kids with Cancer | Cure Childhood Cancers.” It’s a simple invitation. It’s as straightforward as a reality that confronts a family that has been sucker-punched by a word.

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Four guys jump out of a bar…

In college in the 1980s it wasn’t uncommon for fiscally-struggling students to hand over three crumpled one dollar bills to the gas station attendant to scantly fuel the handed down 1972 Ford Torino station wagon. It was just enough gas to get one to a restaurant, to order a meal, then to hope there was enough cash in their pockets to leave the restaurant without washing the dishes.

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Manny Ramirez, Brian Giles and 20 years

Manny Ramirez arrived in Kinston, North Carolina, in 1992 for the second stop of his professional baseball career. With equipment bags flung over his shoulders, he strode into a small, red-bricked building that housed a single-A baseball front office staff of four people, a hot water heater, a small unisex restroom that lacked knee room, and a number of critters and insects that resided behind baseboards and simulated walnut paneling.

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A bee-utiful day at a D-Backs spring training game

Monday’s spring training tilt between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona, was delayed for 41 minutes when a swarm of bees took a low-altitude position around the first base bag.

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The latest Ice Ice illy log

In Steve Martin’s novella “The Pleasure of My Company,” Daniel must eliminate the letter E from the words he speaks to rationalize a road trip to Texas. And Martin, the writer, pens several pages of dialogue without using the letter E at all. This inspires me today as I’ve discovered the first letter of my own name does not work on the square things I touch to type words on my laptop computer.

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The Death Star has a five-hole

The Las Vegas Wranglers clinched an ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs spot on Thursday with a shootout win in Alaska, which is particularly gratifying when we all know the Alaska Aces are evil - pure evil - and it’s about time good-doers arise and acknowledge the evil elephant in the room.

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Did I remember to feed Kimi Räikkönen?

Nearly five years ago, the 6-month-old puggle I adopted from the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals needed a name. It was time for me to redeem my 6-year-old self for naming a hamster ‘Joey’, so I established some guidelines. The name had to be original. Fungo the Labrador belonged to a baseball friend. Great name, but taken

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The national anthem principle applies to eggs

The tiny room that separated the road slush and bitter cold from a thin, long room lined with tables on which fresh pressed coffee and masterpiece breakfasts rested housed a small table, and on it, a sign-in sheet.

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Spending an NFL Sunday at a sports book

Tim Tebow showed again Sunday that he is like a drunk driver who never gets pulled over. No matter how many involuntary lane changes he makes he always gets home. Tebow also figured prominently in the time John Katsliometes introduced me to an NFL Sunday at the sports book. Kats’ warning was explicit. This is an art form. And that is exactly what an NFL Sunday at a Las Vegas sports book is.

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There is a song in there somewhere

In October of 2011 Jeffrey Drew Wilschke legally changed his name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. We know this because he was arrested Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, plus a couple of drug-related possession charges thrown in for good measure.

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World’s oldest divorcees raise questions

In Italy, 99-year old “Antonio C” has recently learned that his 96-year-old wife of 77 years “Rosa C” had an affair over 60 years ago when he stumbled across some old love letters she had written in the 1940s. Say it ain’t so, Mr. and Mrs. C.

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Midnight game in Las Vegas turned silence into noise

I did not know that the Bakersfield Condors had just lost to the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-2 in overtime at 2:28 a.m. early Tuesday morning, December 23, 2003. Had I known, I would not have found myself frantically searching for an escape route through the visiting locker room doorway, the girth of which was filled by skate-stomping, angry and exhausted Bakersfield players seeking someone to blame for their sudden death loss.

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