One of those random-thoughts columns offered in the post-turkey feast tryptophan-induced stupor...

    • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade made headlines this year for probably the first time that anyone under age 80 can remember, when it featured a live dance number from the Broadway musical "The Prom" and the performance culminated with a girl-girl couple - one wearing a prom dress and the other dressed in jeans, a sport coat and tie - giving each other a little kiss. (They remained lip-locked for a few seconds, but their mouths were definitely closed.)

    As you might expect, pro-LBGTQ groups celebrated, while more conservative, so-called pro-family and pro-old fashioned America groups protested. A group called "For America" noted that millions of little children watching at home had their "innocence broken" by Macy's and NBC "pushing their agenda" on little kids.

    Really? Millions of little kids watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? I’m guessing the majority of them are eating cereal or a breakfast bar while they’re playing some sort of game on their tablet.

    • When our oldest son returned from college last Wednesday to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend at home, he reported that he and his roommates had hosted a "Friendsgiving" event at their house, which featured a menu offering numerous cornish hens, three pies, mashed potatoes (yes, instant), stuffing (yes, Stove Top) and all kinds of other dishes. There may have even been green bean casserole. Around 15 to 20 people showed up, he said, adding that some returned later to scarf down leftovers.

    I was pretty happy to hear they had done that, so happy that I surprised myself a little bit.

    • Some football players just look good in their uniforms. Whether it's the style of shoulder pads they choose to wear or the type of helmet and accompanying facemask, and maybe a visor, too, some players just look ultra-cool when they're on the field.

    Some, on the flip side, do not. Like kickers, who barely wear any pads at all and usually have a helmet and facemask that does not scream coolness on the gridiron. But, hey, they're kickers. We don't expect them to look cool.

    What's surprising and even a bit disappointing, though, is Kirk Cousins' appearance in full football uniform. He does not look cool. He looks...awkward. By all accounts he’s a great guy and he played a tremendous game against the Packers last Sunday...he just looks odd in a football uniform.

    • I was so proud of my wife for the way she admirably stepped in when our oldest son couldn't make it home for deer hunting earlier this month. A big doe and her offspring worked their way across the big field in which we were posting, and when they got in range she fired away and the doe fell.

   Now, people react in vastly different fashion when it comes to hunting and killing an animal. If you're like many hunters – count me among this group – your heart beats so rapidly and intensely that you almost hyperventilate even at just the sight of a deer in range, and you have to take measures to try and calm yourself down before even thinking about firing an accurate shot. As my family met up in the field after a successful evening post, my wife was emotional, but it wasn't emotions brought on by extreme exhilaration or satisfaction. She was sad; she was a mom who had just killed another mom. We weren’t too far into skinning and quartering our Saturday evening successes when my wife indicated that she didn't think she'd be able to do that again, that her days of pulling the trigger were probably over.

    Totally her call...

    • Also on the deer hunting front, during that same evening post, as I sat in the meadow and watched a deer casually make its way along the edge of the forest line around 100 yards away, I figured I'd wait a bit to see if anything bigger might meander into the open. And that's when the shrieking started. Maybe 50 yards deeper into the woods and lasting for maybe 15 seconds, a creature of some sort let out a series of loud shrieks that pierced the calm and quiet of near-dusk to the point that my body jolted in my chair. As the sound continued to penetrate the stillness, my eyes found their way back to the deer I'd been watching, and its white flag was only a blur as it bolted into the woods in the opposite direction of the source of the sound, apparently in frantic search of cover.

    I've told this tale to several people in the weeks since, including far more experienced hunters and outdoors-people than I. Could a big, gnarly buck produce a sound like that? How about a cougar? But if the cougar was hunting, why make any noise at all?

    I thought/hoped our youngest son posting maybe 250 yards from me had heard the noise, too, but the breeze carried the sound away from him, not toward him. So that leaves me as the lone witness to that freakish noise that scared the bejesus out of the deer I was monitoring and made me jump.

    It remains a mystery.

    • Satellite TV provider Dish Network is embroiled in a pricing/contract dispute with HBO, which also controls the Cinemax channels. During the standoff, HBO has pulled all of its channels as well as the Cinemax channels from the Dish Network lineup.

    As a result, customers scrolling through their channel guides, when they get to the places that HBO and Cinemax channels should be, instead see a message indicating HBO has "pulled" the channels. If you click on any of the channels, you get to watch some Dish Network big shot deliver what resembles a campaign speech, painting HBO as the out-of-touch, New York City-based elitist and Dish Network as the champion for the little guy stuck out there in Nowhere, U.S.A. watching color bars and tone because his 1960s-era rabbit ears can't even get the network evening news.

    Get over yourself, Dish Network. You're not running for office.