Monday, March 02, 2015

Top 5 - Dr. Seuss Books

Today would have been Ted Geisel's (aka Dr. Seuss) 111th birthday. In his honor - here are what I consider the top 5 Dr. Seuss books.

1. Green Eggs and Ham
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
3. The Cat in the Hat
4. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
5. Hop on Pop

I'm also a big fan of In a People House which he wrote under the name Theo. LeSieg (illustrated by Roy McKie). Horton Hears a Who just missed the list.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Bobby Orr is a God

"First, he became a great teammate. Then he traded up and became a great humanitarian." Dave Silk on Bobby Orr.

Bobby Orr was one of the greatest players in NHL history but he's also perhaps the greatest MAN who ever laced up hockey skates. In Boston he's a god.

Today's must read article.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Who in Boston could have guessed that going into March the Celtics would be better positioned to make the playoffs than the Bruins? The Celtics were supposed to tank this year to get a high draft pick. The Bruins were supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup... Peter King is a horrible human being...  Keith Olbermann was suspended by ESPN for comments made on Twitter. I'll say it again - after the masterful lampooning of Olbermann on SNL by Ben Affleck - Obermann became a joke to both the Left and the Right... Heh heh - What color is the dress?... "I went to my doctor and told him 'My penis is burning'. He said 'That means someone is talking about it.'" - Gary Shandling... Sad but fitting joke to the situation in Russia today... Who knew? Burt Reynolds was supposedly the first choice to play Han Solo in Star Wars....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Who Knew?

The story Cinderella was written in 1699 by a Frenchman named Charles Perrault. In the original story, Cinderella wore slippers made of squirrel fur but when the book was translated into English the word "vair" (squirrel fur) was mistranslated as "verre" (glass) and the rest is history.

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (99) Superman by The Kinks.

The History of Business Cards

When playing cards (i.e. ace, king, queen, etc) started being produced in England centuries ago - the backs were left blank because the printing technology was not quite to the point where a uniform back could be printed at a reasonable cost. This blank space on the backs of "cards" was a convenient place to write notes and it became very common for a "caller" to leave a note on a card if the person they were visiting was away. Thus you could stop by someones house and leave your "calling card" with all your pertinent information if the person was out.

Card players weren't fond of that blank space on the back of cards because it made it fairly easy to cheat by marking the cards and so according to Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, "In the 1830s, London printer Thomas de la Rue devised a new process of aligning colors that enabled him to print patterned backs." From that point on cards had a uniform colored back to go with the front which told you which card you held. By then, however, people had grown so used to leaving cards that they often had "calling cards" specifically printed up and it was just a short step away then to our modern business cards.

Friday, February 27, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (98) Sail by Awolnation.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- RIP Leonard Nimoy. Here was his last Tweet from a few days ago. Makes you wonder if he knew the end was near.

- Nice article on what the Pawtucket Red Sox have meant to the city. I'll be sure to catch a few games there this season.

- Can't help but think of all the missed shots. Great idea but I'd hate to have to clean that floor.

- Not to jinx anything but Abe Vigoda is still alive

- Interesting - little girl receives gifts from crows as thanks for feeding them

- How much do Keynote Speakers make?

- This is one beautiful car

- How sanctions are effecting the Russian economy

Top 5 - Ways to Speed Up MLB Games

How to speed up MLB games seems to be a big topic on conversation on Sports Talk Radio. With MLB games averaging 3:02 hours last season - the concern is understandable. Here's my recommendations for speeding up the game while trying to minimize changing the game itself.

1. Get rid of the 7th inning stretch. Back in the day when the action was in comparison "quick" I can understand why fans would need a break (biological or otherwise) in the seventh inning. Today with games averaging 3:02 - there are already plenty of breaks including long commercial breaks every half-inning. I'm as patriotic as the next guy but getting rid of the singing of God Bless America would by itself get the games back under 3 hours in length (we already sing the National Anthem to start games). Also ban playing any other crappy songs (looking at you Red Sox - real fans hate Sweet Caroline). I would, however, grandfather the Cubs and the singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame from this rule.
2. Limit walk-up music - not essential to the playing of the game and it is a delaying factor as players style up to the plate to hear "their" song. Only allow walk-up music for the first time through the order. If you are a rookie - no walk-up music even if you are a starter. If you are hitting below .250 after the All-Star break - no walk up music for you either.
3. Make umpires responsible for teams being ready to play coming out of commercial breaks between innings. Make it part of their review process. Penalize umpires who can't get teams ready to play. Empower umpires with the ability to charge teams with a ball or strike to start inning if a team isn't ready to go. Batter not ready - he starts with an 0-1 count. Pitcher or defense not ready - count is 1-0 before first pitch is thrown.
4. Limit number of times catcher can go to the mound. Catcher gets 3 mound visits per game. After the 3rd visit if he goes to the mound the delay costs his team a ball. If pitcher has yips - too bad. If pitcher and catcher not on same page - too bad. Catchers would limit mound visits early in games to make sure they can go to the mound late in a tight game when the count is full and they want to make sure pitcher is on same page. Exception would be to check to make sure pitcher isn't injured but the umpire would have to agree to allow that visit prior to catcher going to mound.
5. Stop beer sales after the 8th inning not the 7th. This has nothing to do with speeding up the game but the last 2 innings are the longest and to make fans like me sit there without a cold brewski dampers my enthusiasm for the game. Almost cruel.

Happy Birthday Ralphie

Today is Ralph Nader's 81st birthday and I for one would like to wish him a happy birthday and thank him once again for taking those votes away from Al Gore in the 2000 election. Nader got 3% of the vote nation-wide and who knows how many votes in the closely contested (to put it mildly) Florida vote.

Thanks Ralphie. Don't hold your breath for a birthday card from Al Gore though.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The number 1 overriding reason Boston should not get the Olympics is Logan Airport - the worst major airport in the United States... The Daytona 500 is one of the last major sporting events to use trough urinals. The Masters is the only other one I can think of... Have you seen the "octopus jumps out of the water to eat a crab" video? I know octopus are badass. What I'm curious about is that video has close to 6 million views on YouTube - did the woman who took the video make any money from posting it?... 20 things you might not know about the Miracle on Ice... If President Obama says ISIS is not Islamic shouldn't we just call them SIS?... Heh heh - I would prefer my cause of death be motorboated by Wonder Woman... Non-roster invitee Dana Eveland was given Jon Lester's old number 31...

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (96) Black Betty by Ram Jam.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A French Soldiers View of US Soldiers

This is must reading. American combat team will rush to support ours [French] before even knowing how dangerous the mission is - from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.
...Current everyday conventional boring 'leg infantry' units exceed the PT levels and training levels of most Special Forces during the Vietnam War. They exceed both of those as well as IQ and educational levels of: Waffen SS, WWII Rangers, WWII Airborne and British 'Commando' units during WWII. Their per-unit combat-functionality is essentially unmeasurable because it has to be compared to something and there's nothing comparable in industrial period combat history.
...This is 'The Greatest Generation' of soldiers.... They may never be equaled.
Where do we find such men?