Friday, August 31, 2012

The Empty Chair

Lots of grief today about Clint Eastwood's speech last night where at some points he addressed an empty chair as if President Obama was sitting in it. Clint's speech last night made me feel uncomfortable for him. As I was watching it I wondered how old he is because his rambling speech did make him seem old (he's 82). But here's the thing - he's CLINT FREAKING EASTWOOD.

Most people will just see the clips of Eastwood making jokes about President Obama needing to go. The more people on the left bring up Eastwood and the empty chair - the more these clips of Eastwood jokes at the President's expense will be shown.

If I were Karl Rove - I'd have his Crossroads PAC create an add showing an empty chair. I would then scroll all the reasons why the chair has been left empty. All the rounds of golf, all the time spent at fund-raisers, all the time spent on vacation. Have a line about abdicating responsibility. Use the empty chair to keep reminding people - that Clint Eastwood thinks the President needs to be fired.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm a bit of a political junkie but last night I skipped Condi Rice's speech and Paul Ryan's speech because Turner Classic Movies was showing Casablanca. I make no apologies. I have my priorities... Would Kendrys Morales be a good fit for the Red Sox? I'm kind of growing on the idea of bringing back Victor Martinez... If I was to give a speech at the RNC or DNC - I would randomly mention the names of states just to see if the delegates from those states jumped up and cheerer... Wow - just wow! Awesome photo of Saturn and its moon Titan... Pro Football Talk compared Tim Tebow's attitude to that of Buddy the Elf. I now cannot get that out of my head. What a great comparison... If they re-boot the Batman franchise - I hope they bring back Christian Bale as a villain. How cool and meta trippy would that be?...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

George H W Bush Imitates Dana Carvey Imitating Him

Excellent. Big fan of George HW Bush. I'm afraid we won't have him around too much longer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Red Sox / Dodgers Trade

Two thoughts about the Red Sox / Dodgers mega trade keep bugging me so I thought I'd write them out for all to see so that I can move on to other things. First off - was this really the huge financial investment that everyone says it was for the Dodgers?

Everyone knows that the Dodgers had to make a big splash this off-season and also that 1st base was their biggest need. Adrian Gonzalez clearly is better than any free agent available this off-season not named Josh Hamilton. And it should be noted that Adrian Gonzalez is much more of a sure thing health-wise than Hamilton. If Gonzalez was a free agent then he'd easily get 6-years at $25 million per year. If you look at it that way - Gonzalez's remaining 6-year $127 million contract actually could be considered a savings of $23 million over the minimum Gonzalez would have cost them on the open market (just look at Prince Fielder's contract to see that I'm actually be pretty conservative).

The Dodgers would have also needed to tap into free agency for a starter. Who could they have signed? Ryan Dempster who is 35-years old and who last year had a 4.80 ERA in the NL? The same Ryan Dempster who didn't want to come to Los Angeles at the trade deadline? If the Dodgers signed Josh Becket as a free agent he would have cost at least 2-years at $8 million per year (at the very least). So looking at it this way - Beckett's real cost to the Dodgers would be $15.5 million over 2-years. But don't forget - the Red Sox also sent $12 million in the deal. Let's apply that to Beckett and say that his real cost to the Dodgers then comes down to just $3.5 million.

That just leaves Carl Crawford and his remaining 5-year $108.5 million contract. Just to net everything out - lets subtract the $23 million they are "saving" on Gonzalez and add the $3.5 million Beckett is costing them. That puts Crawford's overall cost to the Dodgers at $89 million over 5-years. A contract size which should sound fairly familiar to Dodger fans.

Let's now make a player comparison:

Player A - .291 BA/ .363 OBP/ .477 SLG/ 19 HR/ 271 TB
Player B - .292 BA/ . 332 OBP/ .441 SLG/ 14 HR/ 288 TB

Those are the 162 game averages according to for Andre Ethier (Player A) and Carl Crawford (Player B). Ethier is the same player the Dodgers just gave an extension to. That contract was for $85 million over 5-years. Almost the exact same amount that we arrived at above.

What do I make of all this? Well if I was the Dodgers I could have crunched the numbers and justified adding Carl Crawford to the deal by saying they were getting a player who was basically the equal to Andre Ethier but who hits fewer HR but who steals a lot of bases (something the team could really use).

Another possibility? Maybe Ethier will be one of the PTBNL. I know - I know. It sounds crazy but like I said - I couldn't get the possibility out of my head and I felt I had to get it in writing. If you think of it - if Ethier was sent to Boston then all the comments of how can the Dodgers swallow these contracts would pretty much be negated. Also - Ethier would be a very welcome addition to the Red Sox (Dustin Pedroia is one of his best friends). Ethier couldn't be traded now because A) he'd never make it through waivers and B: the Dodgers need him for the stretch run.

Maybe its a crazy thought but I just can't shake it.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder but when Carl Crawford first came off the injury list this season for Boston - there were many who wanted him to sit on the bench while Daniel Nava took his spot on left field. The Crawford era in Boston was hardly a success... Rob Riggle is replacing Frank Caliedo on Fox's NFL pregame show. Caliendo had run his course. I'm interested to see how Riggle does. I like Rob Riggle... The trade people should be comparing this Gonzalez / Beckett / Crawford trade to is when the Bruins traded Joe Thornton to San Jose. Thornton didn't win a Stanley Cup in his new Southern Cal location but he did win a MVP. In both cases I think the real problem was in management. Mike O'Connell with the Bruins and Larry Lucchino for the Red Sox... Interesting profile of Penn State coach Bill O'Brien. I wasn't aware of the adversity he and his family face every day... My biggest fear regarding the Red Sox right now is that they somehow go on a 10 game winning streak and decide to give Bobby Valentine another chance next year... Interesting perspective on Lance Armstrong... OK here's the scenario - Todd Akin drops out of the Missouri Senate race the morning Barack Obama is due to speak at the DNC and a woman is named as his replacement. That would certainly take a lot of air out of a lot balloons... 10 things that were created in bars over drinks... I always laugh when I see the Drudge Report on Twitter report something about Obama surrogate Stephanie Cutter. I laugh because Drudge shortens her name to SCUTTER and which has a rather wicked meaning according to the Urban Dictionary. I'd guess that definition 4 is what Drudge had in mind...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ain't No Sunshine - Tracy Chapman and Buddy Guy

Exceptional version of a very moving song. I've had the words stuck in my head the past two days.

Political Jujitsu

I am the only one who thinks that Mitt Romney making a joke about a birth certificate was more than just an off-hand comment? I think we are about to witness some political jujitsu.

In the next few days I wouldn't be surprised if Romney said something like, "Golly, I was just making a joke. If President Obama gets that offended by a simple joke then he is probably too think-skinned to be President. Frankly I think the fact he gets so offended by such a little matter and shows so little concern over the 23 million Americans to be the real insult. I know the President and his surrogates have been trying to use my tax returns as a distraction to keep people from focusing in on 42 months of unemployment over 8% and I want to announce that I'm willing to release another 8 years worth of returns to shut these people up even though I know that they will try to use them just as more distractions and shiny things. But I am only willing to release these returns if President Obama will finally release his college records. The reason I make this offer is because I think President Obama is in over his head and I think the American people deserve to see that he's not the smartest man in the room like he pretends to be."

I know luminaries such as Donald Trump have suggested the same offer but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a good move. I really don't think President Obama will release his college records (they will probably get leaked after the election) and even if he does - I doubt his grades were close to what Romney got at Harvard which will be a point of comparison in Romney's favor.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

State of the Red Sox

If we assume that the mega-deal with the Dodgers goes through - where does that leave the Red Sox? Here's how I see them and some thoughts on what else should be done.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Comedians in Cars getting Coffee - Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin. I could listen to Alec Baldwin do characters speaking in a Burt Lancaster voice for hours.

If you are a Breaking Bad fan then this interview with Betsy Brandt (Marie) is a must read.

Trent Dilfer - Matt Hasselbeck saved my life.

Hubble's top 100 photos - the word awesome is seldom used correctly in the literal sense but these photos are awesome!

Interesting - Dr. Jane Goodall believes in Bigfoot.

Fake Twitter Followers

The New York Times has interesting look at fake Twitter followers. The big take-away for many is the fact that they say 70% of Barack Obama's followers are fake.

The Big Lead takes it the next step to see who in the sports world has fake followers and how many.

BTW - my Twitter handle is @ALargeRegular. I don't care if you are real or fake - just follow OK?

Lance Armstrong - Cancer Exemplar or Fraud

With today's news about Lance Armstrong it is an excellent time to read this Outside Magazine profile on Armstrong and his Livestrong non-profit.

The key takeaway is that when you donate money to Livestrong you are not giving money for cancer research - you are giving money for hope (many people don't realize that Livestrong actually doesn't give any funds towards research). And Armstrong's image becomes the beneficiary of that message as the exemplar of that hope.

In no way am I sitting in judgement on this. Rationally I feel that the cure from cancer will be found via research. But that rationality is coming from someone who does not have cancer. If I had cancer I'm guessing the hope. message and example of Lance Armstrong would become much more important to me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Josh Beckett and Waivers

Here's something worth thinking about. It is my understanding that if a player like Josh Beckett gets placed on waivers and someone claims him - he has no choice but to go to that team (assuming the Red Sox don't pull him back off of waivers). Of course Beckett would have the option to retire but that would actually be better for Boston as they would be rid of him and his contract but wouldn't face the risk of seeing him succeed somewhere else.

Now I'm assuming that if Beckett gets claimed by another team then he would lose his 10/5 no-trade protection at that time as well. Wouldn't that make him more attractive to a team that likes to take risks? A team like the Oakland A's for example who just lost starter Bartolo Colon to suspension and whose GM likes to make deals. Beckett's peripheral numbers like HR rate are not as bad as his ERA would have you believe. If he did bounce back from a change of scenery then Beckett could also be a good trade chip at the trade deadline. Don't forget that just last year Beckett finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting. And he's just 32 years old.

Maybe wishful thinking on my part but something to keep in mind nonetheless.

EDIT: Fangraphs asks Should Anyone Trade for Josh Beckett? They think the Nationals would be a good trade partner. I think Beckett would thrive in the NL East (at least for a few months).

Derek Jeter and Skip Bayless

Recently Skip Bayless asserted that Derek Jeter may be on performance enhancing drugs. I've long asserted that Skip Bayless is a jackass. Pretty sure there is more evidence of my assertion than of his.

The only reason I bring up Skip Bayless' insinuation is because I think Jeter missed an opportunity to turn the tables. I wish Jeter had said the following, "I heard what Skip Bayless had to say about me and I have an offer for him. If he thinks it is OK to make baseless accusations about me and the people in my clubhouse then the same should be true for me and the people he works with. I will take a urine and blood test for all illegal substances (including alcohol abuse) if I am allowed to pick Skip Bayless or anyone else at ESPN to take the same tests with the results from both tests being made public. The reason I make this offer is because I'm pretty sure someone at ESPN must be high on something to keep forcing Skip Bayless on the US public. What do you say ESPN - are you going to put up or shut up? Or does ESPN have something to hide?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

There was a hoax running on Twitter saying Todd Jones "the Navy Seal that killed Osama bin Laden" died in battle. Lots of people were taken in by the hoax. I have to wonder why someone would do this? Was there someone named "Todd Jones" desperate for attention? Someone who knows a Todd Jones who was having fun at his expense?.... I have to wonder if Roger Clemens wants to pitch in MLB this year just to reset his Hall of Fame clock... If on your calf you have a tattoo of a rooster with his head in a noose - that doesn't really mean  that you have a cock that hangs below your knee... I'm adding taking a trip on the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle to my bucket list... Convinced that Clive Owen is the most over-rated big name actor in Hollywood. He was just awful in the last two movies I saw him in (the HBO Hemingway and Gellhorn and The Killer Elite). Just awful... 5 Myths about booze that you probably believe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

10 Facts about beer you might not have known.

Casino fails to shuffle cards - sues gamblers who won $1.5 million.

World War II story of a true hero.

Heh heh - old school space invaders

I would so buy a t-shirt of this.

Niall Ferguson and Hit the Road Barack

Many people are talking about Newsweek's cover story - Hit the Road Barack (Niall Ferguson: Obama's Gotta Go). Excellent argument by Ferguson that we are not so much faced with a decision of style vs substance as the choice a parent has with a sick child with a high fever choosing to continue with an acupuncture-type cure or actually get the doctor to prescribe antibiotics.

I've been a fan of Ferguson since reading his Ascent of Money. If you have a chance - watch Ferguson on a panel discussing what has happened to the American Dream. Ferguson by far outshines the other notable panelists.

I also highly recommend Niall Ferguson's 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney?

It’s been almost 40 years and coming up on 10 Presidential elections since Hunter S. Thompson released his political opus Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. Reading the book today it is almost impossible to not wonder what Hunter S. would make of the current election contest between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The easy assumption would be to think that Thompson would support the Democrat Obama but would that really be the case? Too long an article to post here. Too much time invested by me to just give it away. Buy the essay Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney? Revisiting Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. It's just $.99 and is well worth your time and money.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The over/under for wins for the Jets this season is 8.5. I am almost convinced that Mark Sanchez will get the team to 4-7 record before getting replaced by Tim Tebow who will then peel off 4 straight wins so the team is 8-7 on the last Sunday of the season. Something like that is bound to happen... Real men of Genius -Joe Biden. What was true 3-years ago is still true today... Am I the only one is is curious what Martin Scorsese would have done if Siri told him that it was Rick in that commercial?... Things you learn from the Internet: "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" is an anagram for "My ultimate Ayn Rand porn"... Growing up when cars had chrome bumpers we used to ride behind on cars like this all the time. We called it "skitching" or "bumper riding"... Just started watching Lost. Yeah - I'm hooked.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

London Calling - The Clash

I still miss Joe Strummer.

Johnny Pesky

There isn't a true Red Sox fan out there who wasn't saddened by the passing of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. Peter Gammons does a great job explaining why Pesky was so special.

One story I haven't seen told in any of the testimonials since his passing is how Pesky almost quit on the Red Sox in 2003.

It's well known that in 1997 Red Sox GM Dan Duquette told Pesky he was no longer welcome on the Red Sox bench. This was done at the request of clueless manager Jimy Williams. This indignity lingers in the minds of Boston sports fans just one step below Rick Pitino stripping Red Auerbach of his ceremonial title of President of the Celtics. Pesky was able to out-wait Williams and the new John Henry led ownership restored Pesky to his rightful place at Fenway Park and at spring training. Pesky even outlasted Duquette who was fired by John Henry et al. The balance of where Johnny Pesky belonged in the Red Sox world was restored.

Then came the horrible year of 2003 which is recalled by by most Red Sox fans of first Pedro being left in an inning too long by Grady Little and then Aaron Bleeping Boone hitting a season ending HR off Tim Wakefield. But 2003 was also the year Johnny Pesky almost quit the Red Sox.

First came the ruling from Major League Baseball and Bud Selig that Pesky would no longer be allowed on the bench during games. Then the Red Sox traded his favorite player - Shea Hillenbrand. Pesky was so upset by the trade that he wanted to quit on the Red Sox but Hillenbrand talked him out of it.

The fact that Pesky will be eulogized by Selig - the guy who kicked him off the Red Sox bench while the guy who kept him from quitting the team he loved will be mostly forgotten just doesn't seem right to me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thoughts I'd share.

Game of Thrones casts Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder (the King Beyond the Wall). Ciaran Hinds is probably best known for playing Caesar in the HBO series Rome. I'm a little torn by this casting since I like Hinds but he's nothing like what I had pictured in my mind after reading the books.

Heh heh - Karl Rove endorses Joe Biden for Democratic VP

The economics of bank robberies. Bottom line - you'd probably make out better being a taxi cab driver.

Heh heh - sports books taking action on when Tim Tebow will replace Mark Sanchez as starting QB.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Scary thought for the day - a 10 pound monkey and a 6 foot tall man are equally matched in a no holds barred fight. The monkey's first move is to try to rip off the man's face. Tries to rip the face off... Was Melky Cabrera really just 1 AB away from qualifying for the battle title? Wow... The word "overmorrow" means the day after tomorrow. I love that! How come we never use the word overmorrow? Spell check doesn't even recognize it... You have to think that Chad Johnson headbutting his wife not only cost him his job with the Dolphins but probably any chance at a broadcasting job as well... Mitt Romney thinks Paul Ryan is just the right height...

Mortality Rates Between Baseball and Football Players

Interesting look at mortality rates between pro football players and pro baseball players. Surprisingly football players have lower mortality rates.

The surprising conclusion makes me wonder if the baseball players ages (especially for non-US players) is as accurate as possible. People have long joked about Latin country players lowering their ages to look better to the scouts. I wonder if a comparison between only US born football and baseball players would show the same results.

My Expertise

Very interesting infographic regarding Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule to become an expert.

When I think about it for a minute I would say that I'm already an expert (way past 10,000 hours) in IPTV, watching the Boston Red Sox and watching college and pro football. I know I can earn a living based upon my IPTV knowledge but what about my insight into the Red Sox? That would be a harder trick. And my football expertise? There are probably a million guys my age who could make the same claim. Of these how many are able to turn that experience into something the increases their bank account bottom line (and don't mention people who bet on football because that's a net loser).

In addition I'm probably pretty close to being an expert on both drinking beer and blogging if you are using the 10,000 hour rule. All that time drinking beer has probably made me closer to a liver transplant patient than being an expert but what about blogging? I know the practice of putting down my thoughts  has helped with my professional writing ability but it really hasn't put any money into my pockets.

What are you expert at if you use the 10,000 hour rule? Have you been able to use that expertise to earn a living? Or are you an expert hobbyist?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Ragu tries to explain the ad where the kid walks in on his parents. It would have been better if they lied and said that Gary Larson wrote the copy and David Lynch filmed the commercial.

Obama has 22 days to drop Joe Biden from the ticket. He should have done this months ago and blamed it on Biden's health - that way Joe would be an object of sympathy not an object of derision. Too late now.

Does pouring water over your head while exercising on hot days help? Here comes the science.

How did Harry Reid get so rich?

Interesting article from 2006 - regarding how the Internet is uncovering long dead plagiarists.

Just Like the Jesuits

Every once and a while I get these urges to say certain things just to give myself a chuckle. The latest urge is to randomly say the phrase "Just like the Jesuits" after someone else has said something. For example:

Joe Biden: "They want to put you all back in chains."
Me: (Thrusting my finger in the air for emphasis) "Just like the Jesuits!"

Random guy at McDonald's: "I much prefer the sausage McMuffin over the regular McMuffin."
Me: (Nodding my head in agreement) "Just like the Jesuits."

Anyone hearing the comment will have to wonder what the hell do I mean? Am I crazy? Am I being anti-Catholic in some way? Do the Jesuits really like the sausage McMuffin better? In reality it would just be something I'd be saying for my own enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sad But True

If Barack Obama loses the election look for many political pundits to blame his sticking with Joe Biden instead of getting Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Similar to how some people think George H W Bush should have dropped Dan Quayle.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I and II together. I could listen to this on a loop all day (when i'm in the right mood - like right now).

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Awesome video of a shark attacking a marlin - of course the nutty guy taking the video in the water with the shark is Australian

Ian Browne's excellent tribute to Johnny Pesky. There will never be another like him.

Oral sex cures morning sickness. Damn - where was this study when my wife was pregnant?

Spiderman just turned 50.

Awesome video of dolphins. The coolest dolphin video ever!

The fantastic Bob Ryan - basketball encyclopedia.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bob Ryan's Goodbye

Bob Ryan says goodbye after 44 years.

I grew up with Bob Ryan writing about the Celtics and Peter Gammons writing about the Red Sox. Bob Ryan was always passionate about sports and it showed in his writing. That's why I'm amused by people who only know him from PTI or Around the Horn thinking he's some old curmudgeon. This feels like an end of an era. The Boston Globe sports section is a shadow of its former self.

I am glad he singled out Jackie MacMullan for praise but I am also curious about Bob pointing out "I have never once written to provoke or to attract attention." Is this a shot at Dan Shaughnessey who was not mentioned in the column and is known to write only to provoke or to attract attention?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hitler Reacts to Ryan as VP Pack

Heh heh - now Obama will have to debate the budget without a teleprompter!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Very Cool Moment

Very cool moment. Makes me want to root for Vanderbilt.

Pedro and His Old man

Very touching tale of Pedro Martinez and his dying father.

Sometimes you forget that players are human and have many of the same troubles all the rest of us face.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm a fan of Title IX and the payoff the American public is seeing from all the women's medals at the Olympics makes me very happy... Very cool story of how Mitt Romney became a Texas' couple's landlord... I've mentioned this before but Red Ryan has to go 7-9 this year to equal Herm Edwards' record in Herms first 4 seasons as Jets coach (35-25). I don't think Rex can do it... Incredible panoramic views from the Mars probe Opportunity - did I mention it was incredible?...  The over / under for wins for the New York Jets is 8.5. Looks like the bookmakers aren't sure if Rex is any better than Herm too...

Paul Ryan as VP?

The Wall Street Journal touts Paul Ryan as the best choice for Mitt Romney's running mate.

As much as I like General Petraeus - I think they are correct. When it comes to the economy - Paul Ryan is a serious candidate. He's put together a budget and as much as the Democrats may not like it that's something that the Democrats have not managed to do for the entire term of the Obama Presidency.

How can President Obama slam Paul Ryan's budget when the one Obama sent to Congress was so unserious that it didn't get a single vote in the House or Senate. NOT A SINGLE VOTE!

Paul Ryan as VP would force the discussion to be about the economy. And more importantly about Obama's performance in the economy.

I'd be really happy with Paul Ryan as VP and General Petraeus as Secretary of State.

General Petraeus

Interesting look at the possibility of Mitt Romney choosing General David Petraeus as his running mate. I've been touting Petreaus as the best choice for VP for over a year. One thing not mentioned is how Petraeus would destroy Joe Biden in any debates (as an aside - I think there will be only one VP debate this year as the Obama Campaign looks to minimize self-inflicted Biden damage).

The article also reminded me of this post from 5 years ago. Especially this quote:
"'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.'"

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Chance Inspirational Meeting

A phenomenal blog post about a chance meeting in a Portland, Oregon coffee shop

Russell Kirsch is the man! "Nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do."

Try to be like Russell and do things that have never been done!

Haralabos Voulgaris

Bill Simmons' BS Report had a guest host today - Jay Caspian Kang who spoke with Haralabos Voulgaris. The subject was the men's Olympic team and NBA betting.

I Googled Voulgaris because I knew him from him playing on High Stakes Poker - I didn't know anything about him as a sports bettor. Turns out he's the Bill Belichick of NBA betting.

The story of his first big hit is a tremendous story. Be sure to click the above link to find out how he turned a job as a sky cap in Canada into $500,000 and a life in Las Vegas.

Word Viruses

I had a friend who was a bit of a hick and as a subtle dig at him I would greet him by saying "Howdy!" every time I happened to see him. The joke ended up on me as now I almost always greet any stranger by saying "Howdy!" It's like I have no control over it.

I had a boss who was Canadian and he was the first person I recall saying the phrase "Thanks so much." At first blush I thought it was a very pleasing and considerate phrase. Then the more I thought about it the more I had an issue with the phrase. "Thanks so much. Thanks how much? Thanks this much?"

Thing is - even though I now have an issue with the phrase - I still use it reflexively. It's like I have no control over it.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Tig Notaro may have had one of the most compelling comedy sets in history. She got people to laugh (and cry) at cancer - her cancer. Not sure about laughing at her cancer but I admit she did get me to laugh at her little titties.

The 86 Rules of Boozing. If you are going to drink - please follow the rules!

This commercial is strange and disturbing. I keep thinking it was written by Gary Larsen and directed by David Lynch. 

How MIT students beat the Mass Lottery for over $8 million. The students did nothing wrong. If the math used by the Lottery Commission was bad - that's there fault. Cash Windfall was a stupid game to begin with.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Player Comparison

Here's a mind blowing player comparison:

Player A .331 BA/ .556 SLG/ .967 OPS/ 103 R/ 25 HR/ 105 RBI
Player B .347 BA/ .603 SLG/ 1.012 OPS/ 84 R/ 19 HR/ 57 RBI

Player A is Freddy Lynn from 1975 - the year he won both the AL ROY and MVP awards. Player B is Mike Trout from this season. With two months left in the season - Trout is on track to blow away Lynn's numbers (in everything but RBI). What's really mind blowing is that Trout is three years younger than what Lynn was in 1975.


Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Olympics stopped having motor boating as an official event back in 1908. That's too bad because I think that's one activity I could excel at! I think if they brought back motor boating that the TV ratings would be huge... Heh heh - these photos do seem to indicate that Harry Reid is a pederast... Would anyone be surprised if the Red Sox went on a 10-game Morgan Magic style winning streak the day Bobby Valentine is fired? Too bad I think they are committed to him for the season as a way of hanging Larry Lucchino out to dry... I agree with Big Stupid Tommy - this photo of Prince Charles is hysterical... I wonder if Bobby Valentine's feud with Buster Olney will keep Bobby V from making a return to ESPN once he is fired from the Red Sox. My guess is he winds up with a sports show for some NYC station... Wait - what? Not that kind of motor boating? Never mind.

Vote Odin

Friday, August 03, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Did Jerry Seinfeld copy the UK web series Carpool? I think he independently had the same concept but I also think it would be nice if Jerry had Robert Llewellyn on one of the next episodes. Win-win. Also worth the time to watch the video of Patrick Stewart who seems like a genuinely nice guy.

Heh heh - Barack's birthday cards

Why do divers go hot tubbing after a dive?

Interesting - Apple had to sell a million iPads in 2010 just to cover the cost of advertising

How do smartphone touchscreens work?

Harry Reid is Grima Wormtoungue

Harry Reid has made news once again for his perfidy. The man has no shame. Making unfounded accusations about Mitt Romney's taxes and even bringing Mitt's father into the slander would be a low water mark for most people but for Reid it seems to be par for the course.

Lost in some of his more recent slanders is the fact that these slanders by Reid have been going on for years. Remember 5-years ago Reid called Generals Pace and Petraeus incompetent? The man will say anything.

Pure craven scum.

Red Sox Should Claim Cliff Lee

I agree with Jeff Passan that Cliff Lee is worth being claimed off of waivers. I just think the team to claim him should be the Red Sox.

Passan is right that Lee's performance has been much better than his record and that compared to what will be available via free agency the next two years - he's worth taking a shot. The Red Sox can easily afford him with Kevin Youkilis and Dice-K coming off the books next year - they should claim him. If the Sox are lucky the Phillies will just let him go to get out from his contract. If not maybe they would take Daniel Bard who still has an A-type arm but who is really in need of a change of scenery. Getting Bard back with Papelbon may be just what the doctor ordered.

What's the Capital of Israel?

Donald Rumsfeld made an interesting point - Israel says that Jerusalem is their capital it is simply hubris and an insult to the sovereignty of Israel for other nations to say otherwise. If Americans insisted that Toronto or Montreal was the capital of Canada - my guess is that Canadians would think that the US was ignorant and arrogant for saying that. And the Canadians would be right. In essence how is the question of Israel's capital any different?

I predict that before long President Obama will unequivocally say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but by then the damage will be done. People will question how sincere he is in his support of Israel if he has to be forced to name Jerusalem as the capital. I hope when that day comes someone thinks to ask him if he recognizes Ottawa as capital of Canada.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Since Kevin Youkilis was traded every MLB team has been involved in a trade except the Padres, Nationals and Mets. San Diego signed an extension with Huston Street and surprisingly was not a seller, the Nationals got back Jason Werth from the DL which is like adding the best available bat meanwhile the Mets have pretty much done nothing... MLB team Facebook pages get hacked. Tasteless yet amusing... Interesting - according to Peter Gammons if Craig Brelow throws to Ryan Lavarnway - it will be the first Yale battery since the 19th century... Wow - the hubris. Soyndra official referred to the Obama Administration as "Bank of Washington." All that taxpayer money down the drain... The plot thickens. According to Rob Bradford - Will Middlebrooks has not made two errors in one game this season - never mind two in one inning. So what was Bobby Valentine talking about? If that big detail isn't true - then what else was fabricated?... Cool - 24 vintage pictures of Abraham Lincoln... Adolph Hitler's sister-in-law was named Bridget - Bridget Hitler. That just sounds funny. Like it should be the name of an Irish punk band... According to MoneySupermarket - it would cost $282 million to be Batman...

Doctor Who - Season 7

I just finished re-watching Doctor Who's 6th season and I must say that I think that season in whole may be the best of the lot. It took me a while to warm to Matt Smith but damn - season 7 looks great!

The Red Sox Mess

People are looking to pin the blame for the Red Sox organization being a mess. Does the blame lie with players like Josh Beckett who is viewed as over-paid, under-productive and out of shape? Is it Bobby Valentine whose managerial moves at times are questionable at best and whose personality really rubs many the wrong way? Is it first year GM Ben Cherington who hasn't made enough moves to right the ship? Is it ownership who seem too distracted by new shiny things like Liverpool soccer (LFC) to see the forest through the trees? For anyone paying attention the answer is clear - all of the above!

I get into details after the break. Be sure to read it all because I really buried the lede.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Ebola in Uganda

Never mind Stephen King - the scariest book I ever read was The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston. The book tells the true story of an Ebola outbreak. For weeks after reading the book I had dreams about "crashing and bleeding out".

Now 14 people have died so far in a new outbreak of Ebola in Uganda.

Scary stuff.

A Status Update of Poker in the US

I'm a sucker for a good poker article and Jay Caspian Kang wrote a very good one for Grantland.

The article combines the status of Poker Stars taking over the assets and debt of Full-Tilt Poker with the story of the One-Drop Million Dollar Buy-in. Good read for any poker geeks out there.