One of the joys this time of the year are all the specialty items found at grocery stores, which brings us to the latest edition of "Five and Five" -- five things I am deeply interested in, and five things that get little more than a shrug of my shoulders.
º Two items in particular have caught my eye in recent sojourns to the supermarket. Pepperidge Farms has unveiled a holiday edition of its Brussels cookies (they're mint-flavored), and Lay's now has a sea-salted version of its Ruffles potato chips. On a scale of 1 to 10, they are 10-pluses. The new Ruffles are definitely in the running for snack of the year.
º In about a week, my wife and I will start touring the city looking at Christmas lights. I marvel at some of the work and forethought that goes into many of these displays. Maybe I'm old-fashioned (it works nicely with being old), but I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights.
º I was ecstatic to see that superstar baseball player Shohei "Showtime" Ohtani, 23, has eliminated the Yankees from his list of destinations. He will soon be signing with one of seven teams -- the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, Mariners, Cubs or Rangers. He's a two-way player who pitches and hits, a commodity we have not seen in Major League Baseball for decades. My guess is he signs with the Mariners, Angels or Rangers, where he can be a designated hitter and would not have to play the field and risk injury to his arm.
º It's been nice to see an expanded role for Josh McDermitt on "The Walking Dead." McDermitt's portrayal of "Eugene" has been one of the pluses of the current season.
º The College Football Playoff field has been set, and my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes just missed. But that's OK, it's a great field and not everyone should be awarded a participation ribbon. It's tough to get into that final four, and I hope the powers-that-be keep it that way. The excitement and conversation the CFP talk generates is unmatched in any other sport. My pick to win? I'm leaning toward Clemson going back to back. If not the Tigers, I like Oklahoma. I think Georgia and Alabama are both lacking when compared to the other two.
º I love everything about the Christmas season except one thing -- shopping. My wife handles about 99 percent of it, and she actually seems to enjoy it.
º Is Lonzo Ball the most overhyped rookie in NBA history? He simply cannot shoot.
º Have you noticed there has been another run of those "Vanna leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune' " fake news stories. Don't be suckered in like I was about a month ago. Vanna is not going anywhere.
º We're supposed to be heading into a stretch of extended cold weather, but that's fine. It's December. It's supposed to be cold.
º I've never understood the purpose of fruitcakes. Are those really supposed to be eaten, or are they just for decorative purposes?