It has been a chaotic and tiring week at The Clarkston Zoo. 

The Lady Human has been in Pennsylvania visiting family — she is scheduled to arrive back on The Rock Thanksgiving morning — which left me in charge of the four-legged friends for nearly two weeks.

Pepper Jack and Shadow — the Russian Blue feline — are fine, it’s Otis and Luna — the two ferrets — that are a handful. While cleaning their cage at night, I let them roam around the house. Not the best idea. They get into and onto everything — countertops, plants, the couch and the bag of M&M’s that I left on the floor.

I cover my feet in 10 pairs of socks to keep Otis from ripping off one of my toes. He has a strange addiction to feet. 

We are all ready for the Lady Human to return. Granted, it was nice having control of the television remote — I watched more football this past weekend than I had viewed the entire season. The best part was that Pepper Jack was not in my ear saying, “Really, more football? How about we watch ‘90 Day Fiance’ instead.” Oh, boy. Let’s do that. 

She’s lucky that two members of The Clarkston Zoo are still around, as I was nearly run over by a reindeer last Friday while walking Pepper Jack at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park. Yes, you read that right — a reindeer, or more like a giant deer on steroids. Whatever, the thing was huge and fast. Usain Bolt fast. 

I don’t remember what trail we were on, but I was listening to a fantasy football podcast and turned my head around to see the deer charging at me. I had just enough time to scoot off the trail as the deer galloped by less than a few feet from me. I seriously could have reached out and touched it. 

I thought for sure that PJ and I were both goners — death by deer the headline would have read.

A few days later, while doing a Google search on deer deaths, I discovered that a month ago, an Arkansas hunter was killed by a deer he shot. Crazy. We were lucky.   

With Lady Human coming back Thanksgiving Day, I’ve decided to ditch the traditional fixings — mostly because I don’t want to prepare a turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes — for tacos. Nothing says Thanksgiving more than tacos. I’ve always asked for tacos for Thanksgiving, now I will get them.

Whatever your meal includes, I hope you all enjoy Thanksgiving.  



Chuck White, an Alaska basketball legend, died Monday in Colorado at the age of 78.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, White died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. 

White won 18 state championships during his 41 years as head coach in Anchorage. He won 14 titles at East Anchorage and four at West Anchorage and ended his coaching career after the 2009-10 season with 921 wins.   



Because I didn’t want to write a column on Thanksgiving, my five NFL picks are appearing a few days early this week. 

After going a perfect 5-0 in Week 11, I came back down to earth with a 2-3 record in Week 12. 

I head into Week 13 with a 35-24 record. 



Out of the three Thanksgiving Day games, this one is the best. 

The Bills are 8-3 but have built that record by feasting on sub-.500 teams. The Cowboys are 6-5 but have the pieces to be a lot better. 

This game goes down to the wire in Big D. 

Clarkston: Cowboys 




Remember what happened the last time these two teams? A melee broke out at the end of the game. 

Tensions will be high in Sunday’s rematch between the Browns and Steelers. And to boot, both teams are still in the AFC playoff race. 

Clarkston: Browns




I can’t wait for this game, as the 10-1 49ers travel to Baltimore to play the 9-2 Ravens. Can San Francisco’s defense find a way to hold down Lamar Jackson? The Patriots, Seahawks and Texans all failed. The Ravens have eclipsed 40 points in their last three games.

Clarkston: Ravens




I thought Oakland was good, then it goes and gets pounded by the New York Jets. 

This is a must-win game if the Raiders have any hope of winning the division. Kansas City is vulnerable at Arrowhead this season, but Mahomes will do enough to fend off Oakland. 

Clarkston: Chiefs




Could Seattle finish the season on the road? After last week’s win in Philadelphia, the Seahawks are a perfect 6-0 away from CenturyLink Field. Seattle’s only two losses — New Orleans and Baltimore — have been at home. 

This game is Monday night, and Seattle does not lose in primetime games. 

Clarkston: Seahawks



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