Thursday, June 30, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Devastating ad from Mitt Romney regarding Obama and the economy in PA. The ad reminded me of this quote: “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.” Harry S Truman

- Llewellyn M. Chilson - bad ass! Saw that and wanted to verify it was true. Found out it was. How did this man not rate a Medal of Honor?

- My Little Serenity - awesome!

- Louis CK on The Daily Show explaining why farts are funny. There no argument here.

- John Lennon - fan of Ronald Reagan

- Heh heh - James Brown: Godfather of Miso Ramen Cup Noodles
Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

Surprised that this wasn't a much bigger hit.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hemingway, Hemingway, Hemingway

I've done a little bit of reading about and by Ernest Hemingway today.

First - has a number of Hemingway's newspaper articles written when he was a little known reporter. Makes for fascinating reading both for an early look at the style that was to become distinctly Hemingway's and the articles also give a glimpse back in time when society and accepted behavior were very different than today. There are too many little details to mention but it does make for great juxtaposition.

Second - an interesting article on Hemingway that looks at why he committed suicide.

Hemingway remains a fascinating subject. I doubt we will ever see his equal and I say that mostly because today's media would not allow for some of the self-promotion and fiction that built the myth and the name-brand of Hemingway in the first place.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 5 - Famous People who Started as Accountants

One of the more surprising facts about Peter Falk that I learned upon his passing was the fact that before Falk became an actor - he was an accountant. He was an actual CPA. That got me wondering what other famous people were closet accountants? Here is my Top 5 list.

1. Bob Newhart - started out in accounting. This isn't really surprising. Bob is a favorite of mine.

2. Peter Falk - who knew?

3. John Grisham - I think most people knew that the famous novelist was a lawyer but did you know he received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University?

4. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell - he graduated from Cal Poly University-San Luis Opispo with a degree in business and accounting. It would be kinda cool to bring a UFC champ to an IRS audit.

5. (Tie) Kevin Kennedy - the former MLB Manager was a CPA. Supposedly in the minor leagues he did his players’ tax returns to make extra money. He's the only guy on the list who was probably better as an accountant than in the profession he's best known for. (Tie) Gibby Haynes - lead singer of The Butthole Surfers. He went to Trinity University and earned his degree in accounting. After graduating, he worked for over a year at an accounting firm before starting the band. Pepper is one of my favorite songs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Nick Charles, the original anchor of CNN's Sports Tonight, has passed away. Back in the day Sports Tonight and ESPN's SportsCenter were neck and neck. Nick Charles and Fred Hickman were much better than whatever anchors ESPN put out there. What killed Sports Tonight in the end was SportsCenter going to an hour-long format. CNN just couldn't or wouldn't compete with that. I always liked Nick Charles because I think he took his name from The Thin Man... I admit it - I'm a complete sucker for the movie You've Got Mail. Really can't explain it... Very cool. 1964 letter from Campbell Soup Product Manager to Andy Warhol... "Are you afraid the DJ will play some Blue Grass?" I don't know what it means but I kept hearing that phrase in my sleep last night... Do you think the release of the movie Zookeeper was timed to line up with annual Furry Convention? I think so... Another painting I'd like to own... Charlie Sheen was caught with briefcase of cocaine and nothing happens but if an inner city kid is caught with a single rock of crack he goes to jail. That in a nutshell is the problem with our drug laws in this country... Cthulhu doesn't play dice with the universe. (Is that how the quote goes?)... OK the FBI got Whitey Bulger but remember - the Hamburgler is still at large! Robble robble!... Pat Tillman Foundation names a new president... Sad to hear about the passing of an American original - Peter Falk. I don't think you've ever heard anyone say anything about gentleman and funny guy Peter Falk.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heh Heh

I've posted this before but what the heck - it's still wicked funny.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I was disappointed by the lack of players from the Patriot League being represented in the NBA Draft last night. That disappointment is tempered by the fact that Holy Cross had same number of players chosen as Michigan State... I really want to own this painting... If you are bitten by Abe Vigoda - do you become a zombie?... A double rainbow! What does it mean? Obama's war on Libya! What does it mean?... One thing the real draft proves is that those mock NBA drafts are ALWAYS a waste of time (just like those mock NFL Drafts)... More art that I'd like to own... Interesting tidbit - giraffes and humans have the same number of vertebrae... Prohibited means "not allowed" but you never hear anyone say "hibited" for things that are allowed. I'm not sure if hibited is even a word. I'll be very gruntled if it is... "Britney Spears" is an anagram for “Presbyterians”... The FBI gets Whitey Bulger and the military gets Osama bin Laden meanwhile Iran still hasn't gotten Salman Rushdie. USA! USA! USA!... Why is it OK to say "I bring you tidings of comfort and joy" around Christmas but rest of the year people will look at you funny if you say it... The tea dumped in the historic Boston Tea Party had a modern value of about $847,000. That's a little less than what Milwaukee Brewers paid 40-yr old Jim Edmonds last year... This is why I love Penn and Teller so much

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Whitey Bulger - Santa Monica

Whitey Bulger getting caught in Santa Monica made me think of the above song by Everclear. The lyrics actually seem to fit the situation.
Red Sox Magic Number - 89

The Yankees split a double header with the Reds to lower the Red Sox magic number from 90 to 89. I am very happy about that because 90 is the number of feet from home to first base and the past two starts it seems like the Red Sox starters thought they were obligated to just give away that 90 feet - even with the bases loaded! Yesterday John Lackey gave up three runs on a wild pitch, hit batter and walk with the bases loaded. The day before Alfredo Aceves walked the world and gave up two runs on walks with the bases loaded in losing to the Padres. Like I said - the Red Sox starters seemed determined to give up those 90 feet as often as possible. With the number now at 89 and with the John Lackey experience at least another week away - hopefully Boston won't be giving up such soft runs.

John Lackey has really become a lightning rod in Boston. Nobody wants him in the rotation at this point. Everyone wants him to come up with a phantom injury so that Andrew Miller or Tim Wakefield can take his starts. Both of those guys give the team a better chance to win and that's the bottom line.

Almost as big a lightning rod in Boston is JD Drew who has never been fully accepted in Boston. It looks like he may be cooked. It should be recalled that Drew was a big upgrade over fan favorite Trot Nixon who was done in Boston at age 32 but who tried to hold on for two very forgettable years in Cleveland before calling it a day. The problem is at $14 million per year Drew was expected not only to be a big upgrade over Trot Nixon but also be the next Dwight Evans. What I found strange is that at age 35 Drew is showing signs of being all done while back in 1987 at age 35 Dwight Evans posted career highs in HR (34) and RBI (123). I will just leave it at 1987 was the year of the "juiced" baseballs and I think expecting players to perform at the highest levels in their mid and late 30's is a thing of the past.

OK - so why the picture of Dino Radja? Well tonight being the NBA Draft and it being touted as one of the worst drafts talent-wise in years made me think of the 1989 NBA Draft which is recognized as one of the worst of all-time. The best thing that came from that draft as far as I'm concerned was the Celtics taking Dino Radja in the 2nd round. At the local YMCA's I later was given the nickname of "Dino" because my Radja-like offensive repertoire including an almost unstoppable jump hook.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mad World - Gary Jules

President Obama's speech made me think of this song. I think it was the title that resonated.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Here's a political prediction. President Obama's speech won't be about Afghanistan so much as it will be about the number of wars "saved" or "created"... A joke that never gets old: JaMarcus Russell was number 2 for the Oakland Raiders... Quote of the Day: "Sir, there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern" - Samuel Johnson... Do you remember when stories of suicide bombers in Israel used to be an every day thing? It would be very interesting to see if the decline in this specific sort of terrorism was directly related to US taking out Saddam and the ending of his program of paying bounties to the families of the bombers... Adrian Gonzalez leads all of baseball in hits, doubles, RBI and total bases. He is starting to give off a Ted Williams sort feel (not that I was old enough to have experienced Teddy Ballgame)... Not looking at them! Not looking at them!... I think if Mike Shanahan was given a do-over he'd pick the University of Colorado job over the Redskins job... Derek Jeter may be the Yankees all-time hit leader and just 6 hits away from 3,000 but he's still 425 behind Carl Yastrzemski... I've said it before - I like Mike Torrez more than I like John Lackey (and I hate Mike Torrez).
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Operation Barbarossa at 70: The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was the biggest military adventure in history

- The decline of J.D. Drew? I feel bad for Drew. He was worth the money for the Red Sox but he won't be remembered fondly by many.

- Drunkest Guy Ever: Silent Film (Larry goes to the market). I've posted this in the past but it's too funny not to post again.

- I would seriously buy a bike like this

- Very interesting Hollywood poker story. The legal depositions should make for a great screenplay

- Mark Cuban Files The Ultimate "FU" Legal Brief

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Very funny - Perfectly Timed Photos... The Republican National Committee should try to label President Obama as "the Onceler." The Dr Seuss estate may have a problem with that but the name does fit... I think a one-man stage show of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea starring Erik Estrada would be so bad it's good in a Springtime for Hitler type way... This site looks very intriguing - I could spend a day just reading the content that is posted on the front page... Trivia Question: Who held the home run record before Babe Ruth came along? Answer- Roger Connor and his old record for home runs was just 138... Next season on Game of Thrones a great wizard and conjurer is introduced. Some call him Tim... 25 Unintentionally Inappropriate Statues... The phrase "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance because Communists couldn't obey both State and God at the same time whereas US citizens could (at least we used to be able to). The phrase was added to emphasize the difference. I may be over-reacting but the people who seem to get the most worked up about "Under God" are the same people who want a powerful central government running all aspects of a person's life... Very cool archaeology. Giant Roman palace unearthed in Upper Egypt... Did you know that Great Britain was once the world champion at ice hockey? They actually won the Gold Medal at the 1936 Winter Olympics. I bet there's a story there... How people view me... Roy Halladay's real name is Harry Leroy Halladay. Harry Halladay? Surprised that fans don't chant that like they chant "Larry" at Chipper Jones.

Monday, June 20, 2011

They Didn't See Themselves as Revolutionaries - They Saw Themselves as Conservatives

Very interesting speech.

True Then - True Now

File this under the more things change the more they stay the same:
"All middle-class citizens of education have a common belief that the tendencies towards centralization and paternalism must be halted and reversed." Dwight Eisenhower July 1949
Although I think today it would be more true of middle-class citizens with common sense. Education is no true indicator of intelligence or common sense any more (if it ever was).
Red Sox Magic Number - 91

The Red Sox Magic Number going into tonight's game with the Padres is 91. I can't help but associate the number 91 and the Red Sox with Terry Francona wearing the injured Marc Savard's 91 jersey the other day. Marc Savard deserves to get his name on the Stanley Cup even though he did not play the required 41 games.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Ha ha - I haven't watched a single episode of The Killing. That puts me just as close to knowing who killed Rosie as someone who spent every Sunday watching every episode of the show. WINNING!!... Very cool story. UK Marine leaves £100k to buddies for Vegas holiday. David Hart seems like he was one hell of a guy. The world is a poorer place for losing him... In 1892 Benjamin Harrison became the 1st President of the United States to attend a baseball game. Jack McKeon managed one of the teams... The Six Million Dollar Man was on air for 101 episodes and I watched it all the time - yet today I can't recall the plot to even one show... The Go-Go's had a hit with 1981's Our Lips are Sealed. For the longest time I thought they were singing "Honored to see you". When I hear the song today I cannot for the life of me understand how I made that mistake... Davis Love III has a commercial for Dove Soap where he mentions he once had a lemonade stand but drank the profits. John Daly had similar commercial but for Hooters... Quote for the day: George Bernard Shaw when asked to name a deceased man he missed the most said, "The man I miss most is the man I could have been"... This will always be my favorite painting of Obama... I think that every non-appointed lawyer in the Justice Dept should have to pass the bar exam every 6-years or lose their jobs. Lawyers who can't pass a bar exam have no business in Justice Dept determining what is and is not important law. This change would also help weed out those trying to become permanent un-elected policy makers... Some sabermatrician should figure out a new adjusted OPS+ by removing players found to have used steroids or admitted to steroids use. Just take them out of the numbers altogether. Better to have them gone then to have them distorting the numbers of players who didn't cheat... I feel dirty for even writing this but Johnny Damon is just 9 hits away from passing Ted Williams on the all-time list... says that one of nicknames for Lou Gehrig was "biscuit pants". There has to be a pretty good story behind that...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Johnny Damon - Hall of Fame Player?

Maybe this can be chalked up to either a statistical anomaly or an an example of lies, damn lies and statistics but Johnny Damon just became the 11th player in MLB history with at least 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers, and 2500 hits. All of the other players to rack up those numbers are in the Hall of Fame. You may have heard of some of the names on that list - Paul Molitor, George Brett, Robin Yount, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Al Simmons, Lou Gehrig, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, and Babe Ruth. That's quite a list. That's some pretty heady company for Johnny Damon. But does he really belong being mentioned in the same breath as those guys?

Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Stan Musial would be insulted if you even asked. Damon is also not close in numbers to Paul Molitor's accomplishments. Surprisingly Damon has more runs scored than the great Rogers Hornsby as well as George Brett and Al Simmons. This can pretty much be explained away by the fact that Damon has normally been a lead-off or two hole hitter while the others were hitting 3rd or clean-up in the order. Put another way - Damon was the guy getting on base and they were the guys whose jobs was to drive them in.

Damon also has more runs scored than Goose Goslin who finished his career with exactly 500 doubles - so Damon will also finish with more two-baggers than Goslin. But Goose was a guy who had a career .316 batting average and an OPS+ of 128. Compare that to Damon's .287 batting average and 105 OPS+. Lou Gehrig finished his career with 2721 hits. That's a number that Damon probably will eclipse (currently Damon has 2646 hits). Does that mean a comparison between Damon and Gehrig is warranted? If you said yes - please put down the crack pipe.

The only player statistically close to Johnny Damon on that list is Robin Yount. When comparing the numbers though you have to remember that Robin Yount currently has more than 500 more games played and more than 2000 more plate appearances than Damon. If Damon plays 3 more seasons then these numbers could end up pretty damn close.

Damon - 1597 R/ 2646 H/ 500 2B/ 102 3B/ 223 HR/ 1080 RBI
Yount - 1632 R/ 3142 H/ 583 2B/ 126 3B/ 251 HR/ 1350 RBI

Damon - 392 SB/ .287 BA/ .790 OPS/ 105 OPS+
Yount - 271 SB/ .285 BA/ .772 OPS/ 115 OPS+

Those numbers are pretty damn close. I also discount the OPS+ difference to a point because Damon is damaged by playing his career among the steroid fueled OPS+ monsters who negatively affected players who did not use the needle.

The bottom line is that Johnny Damon really needs to get to 3,000 hits in order to get proper consideration for the Hall of Fame. He has been over-looked and under-valued his whole career and I doubt that will change much when it comes to Hall of Fame consideration.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bartles and James

You can still buy Bartles & James wine coolers - though I don't know why you'd want to. Instead try a nice white wine or if you want something even sweeter - try some Sangria. I admit to drinking some Bartles and James back in the day. What can I say - Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes were thanking me in advance for my support. I couldn't let them down. You have to admit that Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes (played by David Joseph Rufkahr and Dick Maugg) were among the best TV pitchmen off all-time. Neither Rufkahr nor Maugg were actors. Rufkahr was in the Air Force and then went into cattle ranching while Maugg was a general contractor. Both went back to their previous livelihoods when the commercials were eventually ended. Rufkahr died of a heart attack back in April of 1996 while I think Maugg is still among the living.

I still can't believe that they still sell Bartles and James while my Zima has been discontinued.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Today is the victory parade for the Boston Bruins. Above is the banner that is now hanging from the State House. I don't think the parade actually passes the State House... Have you seen the new Captain Morgan commercial? In the commercial he is in bed with a beautiful girl but he is fully clothed including his big red jacket. But when he sees ship of strange men approaching he strips down to undies and swims over to them. Yeah - nothing gay about that. NTTAWWT... Kevin Youkilis left last night's Red Sox game with an "upset stomach". That made me think of this classic George Brett story... I think I may have liked Mike Torrez more than I like John Lackey (and I hated Mike Torrez)... The designer of the "Abe Vigoda is Still Alive" website should come out w a "Erik Spoelstra is Still Coach of the Miami Heat" site... Heh heh - Taiwan news does the Shaq sex tape story... If Dustin Pedroia doesn't win the AL Gold Glove for 2nd base this season then the process should just be scrapped altogether... My Bruins euphoria tempered by the realization that Terry O'Reilly never won a Stanley Cup... People are paying money to see Terry Bradshaw? People are crazy! This is worse than catfish noodling... The Red Sox signed Rich Gedman's son Matt Gedman who was drafted in 45th round out of UMass Amherst... I firmly believe that candidates for Congress should have to pass the Citizens test immigrants have to take before the candidates are allowed to put their name on a ballot. This would help insure that the candidates have at least a grasp of the history of this country before they try to shape the future. Plus it would help weed out the morons... Talk about a good trade for the Red Sox. Just prior before Andrew Miller is set to make his Red Sox debut and just before rumors that the Yankees really wanted Miller to opt out of his contract with Boston - the Marlins DFA'ed Dustin Richardson - the guy the Red Sox traded for Miller... The things you learn on the Internet (via Mental Floss): "Bear Bryant was once asked to give $10 to help pay for a sportswriter's funeral. According to legend, he said, 'Here's a twenty, bury two.'"... In addition to the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and now the Bruins - Boston also had 4 NCAA Hockey champions in the past decade. Boston College won in 2001, 2008, and 2010 while Boston University won in 2009... I think the word "trousers" is quickly going the way of "pantaloons"... I heard Nike is coming out with a new LeBron James x-trainer sneaker for people who quit their workouts 3/4 the way through... Think about this for a minute - all four active head coaches in Boston have won titles with their current team.... What a difference a year makes. Last season at this time Josh Beckett had a miserable 7.29 ERA. Today he leads the AL with a 1.86 mark... I am still waiting for Stephen A Smith to explain what personal issues LeBron James was supposedly dealing with during the NBA Finals. My guess is adult baby syndrome

Friday, June 17, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- All the world loves a good loser - Lenny Dykstra is a not a good loser (but is a loser)

- You have to love Terry Francona who wore a Bruins jersey for his pre-game press conference

- Historic Marine base gets 1st-ever female general

- Things that make you say WTF? "Naked female scientist tames belugas in freezing Arctic" (Warning: naked female Arctic scientist)

- I watched this over and over - I kept wondering how they got it off the truck later on
Boston Red Sox Magic Number - 94

The Red Sox magic number is now at 94. Many, many things happened in 1994. NAFTA was enacted; Tip O'Neill passed away; Tony Harding had Nancy Kerrigan knee-capped; the "Scream" is stolen in Oslo; Kurt Cobain killed himself; the Chunnel opens connecting England and France; John Candy dies; the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup final; OJ Simpson killed a couple of people (allegedly); George Foreman wins the heavyweight championship; Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the US, passes away only to be upstaged once again by the Kennedy's as Jackie O dies a month later; and a strike kills the 1994 baseball season.

Many, many things happened in 1994 but the one I want to draw special attention to was the passing of Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas. He grew up in Lynn, MA (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin, you never come out the way you went in). Who loves ya Telly? I do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Four things you didn't know about sunscreen

- Brian Koppelman on Black Friday and on-line poker

- Interesting look at an esoteric NBA rule that makes the NHL icing rule seem perfectly logical

- Go ahead and call me crude but I really laughed at this group photo

- Would a Dingo Really Eat Your Baby?

- Big Papi enjoying a big renaissance. The idea of waiting for contract negotiations makes perfect sense when you recall that a 36-year old Carlos Delgado also had a renaissance hitting 38 HR with 115 RBI when he was 36-years old only to get injured and fall off a cliff.

- Johnny Damon - Hall of Famer? I've always said that he'd get in if he manages to get to 3,000 hits but Pete Abraham points out that Damon is already in some pretty elite company.
Red Sox Magic Number - 95

With the Josh Beckett gem of a start last night - the Red Sox Magic Number is now 95.

Nick Carfardo has an excellent article today on Adrian Gonzalez. The tie in with the magic number? Gonzalez easily could become the first Red Sox first bagger to win the AL MVP since Mo Vaughn won the award back in - you guessed it - 1995.
The War in Libya

Interesting article on the Obama Administration not dealing with the issue of if what the military is doing in Libya is war. Even FDR had to get Congressional approval to declare war on Japan after Pearl Harbor but Obama seems to see no such necessities.

The ideas of fairness and common sense seem to elude the Obama Administration. I know that if Libya was bombing us the way we are bombing them - I would say we were at war. I know that if this was a Republican President the press would literally be screaming bloody murder. I know that if this was a Republican President we would be seeing Code Pink demonstrations almost every night on the network news. Senator Obama would have been among the most vocal critics.

In terms of common sense - the US has no real strategic or critical interests at play in Libya. Some NATO nations do (oil rights) and the President allowed himself to be played by these countries. The President can't even reasonably explain why we are doing what we are doing or even what it is we are doing. That opens up a huge issue that the left wing of his own party will use against him in 2012. Remember - Jimmy Carter didn't lose to Ronald Reagan so much as Carter was mortally wounded politically by a challenge from Ted Kennedy.
Boston Bruins - Stanley Cup Champions

Nut Rocker is the unofficial theme song to the Boston Bruins for as long as I can remember. I should say - Stanley Cup Champion Bruins.

Oh - and I don't ever want to hear anything ever again from any smug Canadian about how much more civilized their country is than the USA.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Video (1min) showing a camera on a hula-hoop. Thankfully the camera was pointing inward. If it was pointing outwards I think I would have gotten dizzy.

- Noah Jones plays Johnny Cash at the Webbys

- Eye-opener: the embossing of Oreo cookies as a humble and unrecognized masterpiece

- Interesting article - Lunch With David Mamet

- Ha ha - never thought of it like this

- Very disappointed to learn that Stephen Jay Gould may have faked data. Disappointed but not surprised since Gould was a Yankees fan.

- U of Michigan Marching Band playing Stairway to Heaven

- Fiona Shaw reading part of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. I just knew her as Aunt Petunia from the Harry Potter films. Had no idea she was this amazing.

- This is the article that had me look up Fiona Shaw in the first place. The Waste Land for iPad lovers. This is truly the future of both art and education.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From Abbottabad to Worse

Christopher Hitchens has a very thought provoking article in Vanity Fair on the US relationship with Pakistan. I agree with Hitchens 100% in his thesis.

Think of it this way - the $3 billion in "aid" (bribes) that the US pays Pakistan is the equivalent of each adult in the US forking over a $20 bill. If you had a vote or passed a theoretical hat to get that money - how successful do you think that would be? If you added $20 to each person's tax bill on April 15th - how much outrage would there be?
Red Sox Magic Number - 96

With the Yankees losing to the Indians last night - the Red Sox Magic Number now stands at 96. Bear with me while I discuss the number 96 in movie, political and business terms.

Of the Top 10 money making movies from 1996 - I saw them all - most multiple times. Independence Day, Twister, Mission Impossible, The Rock, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 101 Dalmatians, Ransom, The Nutty Professor, Jerry Maguire, Eraser - I saw them all (it helped having kids for the Disney ones).

I did not see the two most critically acclaimed movies of the year - The English Patient and Shine. Had no interest then and even less interest now.

There was another movie that came out in 1996 that any of you who know me might be surprised that I missed but I confess that I've never seen even a minute of the movie Escape from LA. "Snake Plisken? I heard you were dead." Well Snake Plisken was dead to me as far as Escape from LA was concerned.

What's amusing is that I had planned to mention the movie Escape from New York when the Red Sox magic number was 97 but I never got around to that. That movie was supposed to be based in 1997. That's how pessimistic the outlook was during the days of the Carter administration. Then Ronald Reagan came into office and it was morning in America again as far as the economy was concerned. Starting with Reagan - Presidents understood the bottom line came down to "its the economy stupid" and pessimistic futuristic movies like Escape from LA no longer had a place in the popular consciousness. Now our politicians no longer understand how the economy works and think Big Government is the answer and not the problem. Pessimistic futuristic movies may be the least of our concerns if that continues.

Another thing I had planned to mention about 97 was the fact that in real life in 1997 it is significant to note that was the year that Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer. In the future children may be asked about that on history tests.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ha Ha

LeBron James - the biggest choke artist since David Carradine! (Too soon?)

HT The Big Lead

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Congratulations Mavericks

I can't recall the last time I became emotionally invested in a team like the Dallas Mavericks that I really had no connection to. In Boston there's an old saying, "My favorite teams are the Red Sox and whoever is playing the Yankees." In the NBA world it seems to have become "I root for the Celtics and whoever is playing the Miami Heat."

If we are honest it is really true that people who are saying they are happy for Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks are for the most part are saying that they are happy that LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Heat lost.

The Heat were the epitome of hubris. They celebrated more before the season then what the Mavericks did when they actually won the championship. As much as the Mavericks won - the Heat choked. LeBron James just did not show up and Erik Spoelstra was just thoroughly out-coached. It was so bad that I don't think anyone would blink an eye if the Mavericks voted playoff shares to James and Spoelstra for the big role they played in Dallas winning. I have to wonder if maybe LeBron and D-Wade weren't making fun of Dirk's cough the other day. Maybe they were actually coming down with a little tickle that turned into full-blown choking tonight?

Now the fun part comes. The Heat don't just get to wallow in losing. They get to be punchlines. Two of the better ones I saw on Twitter:
@CoreyKeyz: Why didn't LeBron go to college?....Because he didn't want to show up for the Finals
@DrewFromTV: What's the difference between the Miami #Heat and a porn star? A porn star doesn't choke on the big ones!
One pet peeve of mine is those stupid hats an T-shirts that appear as soon as the last second comes off the clock. You can imagine how welcome the spam email from the NBA at 11:03 PM with Mavericks championship apparel was when I saw it show up in my inbox. Kudos to Rick Carlisle for not putting on one of those stupid T-shirts or hats when he was up on stage accepting the trophy.
Johnny Appleseed

Just in the mood for Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros today.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

June has been very good to the Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury has a hit in every game in June so far. He is 19 for 44 (.432) in that span raising season average to .317 from .292... Interesting phone call between President John Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis and potential nuclear war... It still blows my mind that Ronald Reagan was the original choice to play Rick Blaine in the classic Casablanca... June has been very good to the Red Sox. Adrian Gonzalez has at least 1 RBI in 8 straight games (12 RBI total in those 8 games)... Cool - TNT acquires rights to Castle for syndication. I'm a fan of the show and Nathan Fillion and I'm glad I'll have a chance to see re-runs on a regular basis... June has been very good to the Red Sox. David Ortiz is hitting .412 with 4 HR and 12 RBI so far in June... Pretty sure that in that after he strips down to his underwear and does that fancy dive off the plank that Captain Morgan gets raped by the guys in orange coats on other ship just after the commercial cuts away. He was asking for it... The Red Sox are paying Mike Cameron over $7 million this year. At what point do they realize that Cameron is a shell of the player he once was and cut him loose? They should give one of their young OF from Pawtucket a chance. Either Ryan Kalish or Josh Reddick would be better for the team. Give one of the younger players a chance. It will help to season them to take over for JD Drew next year or at least give them a chance to showcase their talent in case of a trade. Maybe the Red Sox are waiting for Kalish to recover from his injury to make a move?... The Red Sox are in Toronto to play the Blue Jays one more game. Here's a picture of the famous CN Tower in Toronto.
Red Sox Magic Number - 98

The Red Sox dismantled the Blue Jays 16-4 yesterday giving even John Lackey enough run support and reducing their Magic Number to 98. What do you think about when you hear the number 98? Windows 98? The average body temperature of a human (98 degrees)? When I hear 98 - I think of one of my favorite Red Sox teams - the 1998 team.

That 1998 team had a 1-2 offensive punch of a 24-year old Nomar Garciaparra and a 30-year old Mo Vaughn. That duo combined for a blistering 75 HR and 237 RBI. The pitching was anchored by Pedro Martinez who was in the middle of a period of dominance that baseball has not known before or since. Starters Pedro, Tim Wakefield and Brett Saberhagen combined to go a 51-23 with Tom Gordon having his masterpiece career year as closer leading the AL with 46 saves. This was a very likable team that included Dennis Eckersley in his lash hurrah coming "home" for one final season as a set-up man and newcomers Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek in town for their first full season after being traded to Boston from Seattle.

That 1998 team had two fatal flaws however. 1998 also happened to be the year the Yankees fielded perhaps their best team of my lifetime. They won 114 games and swept the Padres in the World Series. The second fatal flaw for that 98 Red Sox team was the fact they had Jimy Williams as manager.

Oh by the way - that picture above is of Dirk Nowitzki's 1998 rookie trading card. I hope that's an omen for a Mavericks win tonight. Like most of the country - I can't stand the Miami Heat. It is rumored that LeBron James has become so loathed that James Dolan is considering him for an executive position with the New York Knicks.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 99

If you asked me to do a free association with the number 99 - my first thought might be of the song 99 Red Balloons by Nena which became in the US an anti-war, anti-Reagan anthem but with a pretty upbeat beat. I've always thought the people who held the song in high esteem as an anthem were just plain silly. As if it wasn't the East Germans and the Russians who were suppressing freedom in the most barbaric ways imaginable who were the problem. No the person who was the real threat to world peace was Ronald Reagan. Hey let's make a giant paper mache head of him to protest and then lets talk about giving Marxism another shot!

Another song associated with the number 99 is Bruce Springsteen's Johnny 99. This song was a turning point for me in regard to being a fan of Springsteen. My first reaction to hearing the song was WTF? I was genuinely puzzled and had to listen to the song and lyrics a couple of times. Why was Bruce making this guy out to be a hero? He's a murderer. What about the family of the convenience store clerk who was killed? What the hell is wrong with Springsteen? What the hell is wrong with me for being a fan of a guy glorifying thugs? Don't get me wrong - I still love the old stuff but once I figured out that the darkness wasn't on the edge of town - it was between Springsteen's ears - it was tough to become emotionally invested in his music. I loved Born in the USA and some later works but it just was never the same.

Of course if you told me to free associate the number 99 in regards to sports - I would immediately think of Wayne Gretzky. But with the Bruins losing last night I'd almost prefer not to think about hockey.

One thing I did find when looking at the number 99 was the Jaguar B99 concept car. I really would like to own one (but I wouldn't kill a convenience store clerk to get it).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The NCAA and Championship Ring Repossession.

- WSOP side action

- Adrian Gonzalez is a class guy and a fan of Anthony Rizzo

- I seriously want to own one of these!!!! (The exclamation points are so you know how excited I'd be to have one of these awesome machines!!!!)

- "Blister in the Sun" from Google's Les Paul doodle.

- The Arctic Light - awe inspiring beauty

- Depth of the Mariana Trench to scale
Red Sox Magic Number - 100

Josh Beckett has been cash money against the Yankees this season. So far his ERA vs. New York in 3 starts this season is just 0.86. With last night's victory over the Yankees - the Red Sox Magic Number is now 100.

Yesterday's post was about the Empire State Building while today's is mainly about Josh Beckett. I could have just posted this photo and had the best of both worlds.

The number 100 is also used to denote a century which is appropriate since the 20th century belonged to the Yankees while this century is shaping up to belong to the Red Sox.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 102

It may be a little silly to start a Magic Number countdown at this point of the season but with the Red Sox in first place, playing in New York and the Magic Number at 102 - I couldn't help myself.

The reason I couldn't help myself is because I associate the number 102 with the Empire State Building since that American icon has 102 stories.

Tim Wakefield got the win last night and that was significant in that it was his 196th of his career which ties him for 119th place all-time with Claude Osteen and Bullet Dave Bush. The comparison between Wakefield and Bullet Dave Bush is interesting because both players played for both Pittsburgh and Boston (Bush played with several teams), both won World Series championships for the Red Sox (Bush won in 1918) and both players were known for an unusual pitch. Of course Wakefield is famous for his knuckleball but Bush is often credited as the inventor of the forkball.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not a big fan of Lebron James but it should be pointed out he's "only" 26-years old. A very immature 26-years old. Maybe the fact is that he just can't handle the pressure... Tim Wakefield vs. Derek Jeter: A matchup for the ages... Someone should come up with a "Frank McCourt has made payroll" site similar to the "Abe Vigoda is still alive" site... A pet peeve if you'll allow me. People today associating LBJ with LeBron James and not Lyndon Johnson has to be part of the dumbing down of America... Another Deadwood actor is cast on Sons of Anarchy, continuing the "Deadwood"/ "Sons"/ "Justified" competition... I have to wonder if what Mark Jackson will make with Golden State is actually less money than what Steve Lavin makes at St John's? I think St. John's missed the boat on alumni Jackson... By letting Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre walk away, the Red Sox set themselves up to diversify their portfolio in the draft... Speaking of the MLB Draft - whatever happened with Red Sox prospect Mike Rozier? I think he left baseball after being hit in the head twice. Why did he also quit Tennessee football? Was that related to him getting hit in the head? What's the story?... Very funny old Conan O'Brian clip with Dave Chappelle.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tim Thomas

I could watch this over and over all day.
Weinergate - Take 2

Yesterday Anthony Weiner admitted what to many was obvious - he sent the lewd picture to the 21-year old college student. There was no hacker. There was no prank. There was no conspiracy. There was only a scumbag named Anthony Weiner.

Take a look at how Weiner originally reacted to the situation and tell me he is not a scumbag. He was not a victim - he was and is a scumbag.

Keep in mind that Weiner cannot say with certitude that all the girls he had inappropriate contact with are of legal age. That means that he may have being violating the Internet Sexual Predator law that he backed.

Anthony Weiner - liar, hypocrite, morally questionable, vainglorious, national joke of a scumbag.

My prediction is that as details of his dalliances come out - and they will - it will be impossible for him to keep his job. You know he has a x-rated Brett Favre picture just waiting to surface. He didn't resign yesterday. He doesn't know it but he's just delaying the inevitable.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It's the 67th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion but this is the first one without Dick Winters, the leader of Band of Brothers fame. He should have won the Medal of Honor for his actions 67 years ago... I'm not really that enthused if a DVD promotes itself as "one of the best movies of the year" because honestly it was a pretty shitty year for movies... So when does Dwyane Wade get his GM of the Year Award?... Jeremiah Weed sounds much more like a Grateful Dead cover band than an alcoholic beverage... You know that the original title to the upcoming Hugh Jackman movie Reel Steel had to have been Rockem Sockem Robots... David Ortiz has as many HR (13) as Prince Fielder and Albery Pujols. He also has a higher OPS. Just saying... I wonder if Christopher Hitchens sees irony or the hand of a God with a sense of humor in the fact that Henry Kissenger will most certainly outlive him?... The Military Channel has a show called Fatal Hitler. Is that just a strange name for a show? Sounds like a punk band just like Dead Kennedy's... FWIW - Derek Jeter is hitting much better on road (.291) than at home (.228). Both his HR have been on road too. Too much pressure at home?

Sunday, June 05, 2011


Dear ESPN,

I watch your channels for several hours each day so I hope you take my concern to heart.

I really like that Watch ESPN App commercial where the Jack Elam look-alike cowboy screams "Vannnnn Gunnnndeeeeee" but I do have a bit of a criticism. At the end of the commercial it shows the cowboy shooting his pistol off into the air several times. Do you realize how irresponsible that is? Those bullets have to come down somewhere. Maybe they land harmlessly. Or maybe they kill a far away cowboy minding his own business or maybe somebody's pet dog, sheep or cow.

Why not just have the cowboy drunk driving, shooting heroin or doing some meth? If irresponsible is what you were aiming for why not go all the way?

Maybe I'm just over-reacting.


Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Those wacky Japanese - pro Japanese soccer team vs. 100 little kids

- In Canada's Dreams

- 5 Second Films are awesome!

- Very cool - dad waves kid goodbye on bus every morning dressed in different costume

- Pure badass - Nepalese soldier single-handedly kills 30+ Taliban fighters. Here's my question - he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) which is the second highest award for bravery. What the heck would he have had to do to get the highest honor (the Victorian Cross)?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

RIP James Arness who was best known as the star of the TV show Gunsmoke but lesser known for being a WW II vet who was wounded at the battle of Anzio. I have to admit that I cannot think of the show Gunsmoke without thinking how much Randy Johnson looked like a giant Festus... This point has been made elsewhere but it bears repeating - the biggest winner if the New York Knicks bring back Isaiah Thomas in any capacity will be the Nets who are moving into a new arena in the Bronx. The presence of Zeke will get thousands upon thousands of Knicks fans to switch allegiances to the Nets.... Why Penn Jillette doesn't drink or do drugs... I was surprised to see that the Astros have released Bill Hall. I know Hall has been awful this year but it doesn't seem like the Astros to release a player they owe seven figures to... I could go for a Dicken's Cider right about now... Ed Sullivan was once the biggest name in show business. That makes me wonder if 50 years from now if Oprah will be remembered chiefly because some late-night show is in her theater... Jose Iglesiasis is supposed to be wizard with the glove - the second coming of Omar Vizquel. That's why it is so strange that he leads Pawtucket in errors with 7... On my TV electronic program guide I keep reading Law & Order UK as Law & Order CK. My mind thinks it's Law & Order starring Louis CK. That would be a much better show.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Very, very cool.
Did you know?

Did you know that the Stanley Cup was the result of Arthur and Algy Stanley asking their father, Lord Stanley, for a trophy to award to the champions of the Amateur Hockey Association in Montreal? The silver cup only cost $48.67 and was first awarded in 1893.

The first “Stanley Cup” tournament was held in 1894. Lord Stanley never actually attended any of the Stanley Cup hockey games.
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Our foreign aid policies do not pass the common sense test. Not by a long shot.

- Very cool explanation on how Ian Fleming ended up giving James Bond his trademark Walther PPK

- I agree with Aaron Gleeman - Willy Aybar: Mediocre baseball player, world-class scumbag

- Seriously cool bookshelves

- David Mamet, America's foremost dramatist, turns conservative, and tells the world why.

- I seriously would hang a print of this in my front room
Michael Cimino as Zoilo Versailles

Not sure why but yesterday I was thinking about director Michael Cimino.

For those not familiar - Michael Cimino was a wonderkid director who was responsible for the multiple Academy Award winning The Deer Hunter who then directed the megabust Heaven's Gate which some people blame for taking down United Artists as a business. After Heaven's Gate Cimino did a couple more movies but then just pretty much faded into oblivion.

I started wondering if Michael Cimino was sports personality - who would he be? After doing some research I decided upon Zoilo Versailles.

Versailles was the AL MVP in 1965 playing shortstop for the Minnesota Twins at age 25. That season he led the AL in runs, doubles, triples and total bases. For the MVP award he beat out among others his teammates Tony Oliva and Harmon Killibrew as well as superstars like Brooks Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski. After that MVP season Versailles played a couple more subpar seasons but then just pretty much faded into oblivion.

Thinking of Cimino got me thinking about his masterpiece The Deer Hunter. This may be heresy but in my opinion Heaven Can Wait and Foul Play may actually be better movies from 1979 than The Deer Hunter. I know that I watch those two moves more often.

I'm not suggesting that The Deer Hunter or Zoilo Versailles' 1965 season weren't great but I will say that if you took Robert DeNiro and the cast from The Deer Hunter and had them in another drama instead of The Deer Hunter then chances are that other drama would have been equally good due to the talent involved. Likewise, could Versailles have led the league in runs if he didn't have Oliva and Killibrew hitting behind him? If Oliva and Killibrew had a different lead-off hitter chances are that guy would have scored 100 times.

Versailles was the near unanimous choice for AL MVP getting 19 out of 20 first place votes but if that MVP vote was taken today I'm guessing that Versailles may still win but it would be by a slim margin. Same is true with The Deer Hunter. If the Academy Award for 1979 was given out today - chances are The Deer Hunter still wins for Best Picture but do you think Michael Cimino still wins for Best Director?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

OK - I'll say it! Watching the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals last night - the Canucks uniforms kept making me think the Bruins were playing the Hartford Whalers... The Weinergate situation keeps reminding me of a quote from the movie The American President where the character Leo Solomon says, "Amount of time it'll take you to go from being a hired gun to a cocktail party joke can be clocked with an egg timer." Anthony Weiner went from being the out-front pit bull of the DNC to being a national joke very fast but I'm not sure how fast since there's never an egg timer available when you need one... The Bruins may have lost the first game but the omens are good. Tim Thomas has shown he can play at this level of excellence for a full season whereas Roberto Luongo has not. Plus a tornado hit Western Mass last night. The last time a tornado touched down in Springfield Mass was 1972. That was the last time the Bruins won the Stanley cup... Chess-boxing... I missed this but supposedly Michael J. Fox was at the game as a guest of good friend Cam Neely... Flexing my lexicon muscles here - in regards to Weinergate - what started as perversion seems to be morphing into malversation... Wow - a stat so impressive that I had to recheck it! Since May 1, 2010, David Ortiz has the exact same number of HR's as Albert Pujols (44)... Nothing says white trash quite like a guy swimming at the beach or a lake in blue jeans

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Awesome people hanging out together - these pictures were really cool

- Guy finds out at age 42 that his dad is Ted Nugent

- Improv Everywhere: The Mute Button - this was just awesome. What a great idea.

- The Stories Behind 10 Interesting Numbers in American Culture

- The WSOP has started in Las Vegas and a very interesting story is developing regarding Phil Ivey who is boycotting the WSOP and suing Full Tilt Poker. As always the best place for WSOP news is the Tao of Poker: WSOP Day 1: Welcome to the Jungle & Phil Ivey's Titanium Balls

Just wanted to add my $.02 regarding "Weinergate."

Yesterday Representative Anthony Weiner characterized the whole affair as a prank that he wasn't going to spend any more time on. He tried to liken it to a guy in a crowd of 45,000 throwing a pie or heckling.

What this is at its core was someone - either Weiner or the mystery hacker - sending unwanted lewd photos to a 21-year old girl. That's sexual harassment at the very least. "Pranks" are supposed to be funny. Does Representative Weiner find sexual harassment funny? He seems to just want to wish away this sexual harassment - how do woman's groups feel about that? Those are the questions he should be made to answer. But he seems to be getting a pass.