Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The dad justice on drunk guy video is awesome. They took that guy down like they were a pack of velocoraptors.

- Thinking about Tyrone Woods. Rest in peace you very, very brave American.

- Obama Campaign accepts donations from Osama bin Laden.

- How big was Hurricane Sandy? Look at this side by side comparison to last year's Hurricane Irene

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Proper Words Escape me


It would take more than Hurricane Sandy to keep the honor guard at the Tomb of the unknown Soldier from performing their duty. I don't have the words...

Photo via Marta Evry

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I stayed up last night to watch the final out of the World Series. I have to agree with Chad Finn of the Boston Globe that the Erin Andrews interview of Marco Scuturo may have been the worst live interview in the history of TV... Steve Jobs made small devices that were elegant and utilitarian but I have to say that his yacht is gigantic, butt-ass ugly and I'm not sure how well it would fare in a storm... Random fact about me - when I was younger I memorized both the lyrics to REM's It's the End of the World As We Know It and the words on the Budweiser label (this is the famous Budweiser beer)... Notre Dame is for real! Who saw this coming?... Would "The Taint of Destiny" be a good name for a fantasy football team?... This place looks awesome! Not a fan of going shopping but I would frequent this store on a regular basis if there was one near me. A "liquid delicatessen" what a great idea... The things you learn from the Internet - the word "listen" contains the same letters as the word "silent"... Fordham's kicker, Patrick Murray, has an NFL caliber leg. I wouldn't be surprised to see him playing on Sunday's... If Barack Obama loses the election - the combination of Michele's expensive tastes and his Jimmy Carter level incompetence may narrow his earning potential to the point where he could be broke in five years...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2011 Patriots vs 2012 Patriots

Very interesting look at the statistical differences between last year's Patriots team and this year's.

The bottom line is it can be argued that this year's edition is superior to last year. Keep in mind that last year's team was one dropped pass away from winning the Super Bowl.

Presidential Election Prediction

Mitt Romney is going to win by a landslide on November 6th. He is going to win for 3 main reasons:

1. He has the Republican base energized. They not only will come out in large numbers but are also acting now doing the ground-game get out the vote grunt work.
2. Romney is winning the independent vote mainly based upon his economic arguments and plans. People aren't stupid. They see that the policies of the past 4 years are not working.
3. The above two reasons would give Romney a win but not a landslide. What will give Romney a landslide will be Democrats refusing to vote for Obama. Again some of this will be based upon economic policies but I think many will refuse to pull the lever because of the way the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi was handled. I think the revulsion shown by Democrat pollster Pat Caddell in this video clip is shared by many informed Democratic voters.

When the post election postmortem is done I think the numbers will show that in state after state many more Democrats voted for the federal offices of Senator or Congressman than voted for the Democrat at the top of the ticket. These folks may not vote for Mitt Romney but by not voting for Barack Obama they will be widening the gap which will be the difference between a slim victory and a landslide.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Very Nice Story



Good for Andrew Luck and the Colts. This was a very nice story.

Top 10 Comedy Screenplays

Ken Levine got me thinking with his post of what he considers the 10 best comedy screenplays of all time. I like Ken's list but my taste in humor must be very different because I came up with completely different choices. In order to stop thinking about the subject I decided to jot down my top 10. Here they are in no particular order:

The Thin Man
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Caddyshack
Groundhog Day
Fletch
Blazing Saddles
Catch 22
The Princess Bride
Airplane!
Being There

And for my 11th choice - Used Cars. Just missing the list My Man Godfrey, The Naked Gun, This Is Spinal Tap, and My Favorite Year. These lists are completely subjective but I think my list would stand up to anyone's.

8 Years Ago Today


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If I was running for President - I'd announce that I was replacing the TSA will local police and FBI agents and that I was going to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. That should be good for at least 10 points in the polls... Very cool - how to eat a Triceratops. Make sure you see all the illustrations... According to Deadspin - of 58 ESPN and Sports Illustrated baseball writers - none of them predicted a Tigers vs Giants World Series. In Italy they could have been arrested for those faulty predictions... In 10 years what will seem a stranger team name - the Utah Jazz or the Bronx Islanders?... Regarding Bobby Valentine - the Boston media should learn from the Internet - DO NOT FEED THE TROLL... Thank you CNN for putting the image of a self-lubricating catheter into my head. Yeah - thank you very much for that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Presidential Debate - Round Three

Some quick thoughts on last night's Presidential Debate.

Some people are using a boxing analogy to describe the debates but the problem with that analogy (if you want to go with it) is Mitt Romney opened up such a big cut on President Obama in the first debate that the fight would have been called and Romney given a TKO by now. The President is still bleeding from that first round.

In a debate on foreign policy I was very surprised that we went the full 90-minutes with neither Fast and Furious or NATO being mentioned. Very surprised.

Every debate there's always an answer you wished your guy gave. This is how I wish Mitt Romney would have responded to the "horses and bayonets" jab from the President: 

"Bob was nice enough to start us off tonight with a question about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was during that crisis 50-years ago that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise first entered the American consciousness as the backbone of US defense. Now the Enterprise is about to be scrapped at a time when it could still be of great use around the globe. I'm guessing those folks in Norfolk, VA who may be losing their jobs because the battle group is being decommissioned probably don't appreciate being compared to 'horses and bayonets' . And Mr. President - submarines existed in 1916. In fact it was a German U-boat sinking the US Lusitania in 1915 which effectively got us into WWI."

Now that the debates are done - I can't wait for the "Hitler in the Bunker" video where he wants to discuss the President's strategy for the 4th debate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ESPN and the Presidential Election

ESPN just announced that Chris Berman will be interviewing both President Obama and Mitt Romney during the November 6th Monday Night Football telecast. I would much rather see ESPN use this opportunity to have Jon Gruden break down film from their debate performances.

How great would be it to have Gruden refer to the President as "this guy" with Obama sitting right next to him?

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The mysterious origins of the 8 glasses of water per day rule. Very interesting.

- 22 amazing slow-motion GIF's

- 99 life-hacks that could make your life easier. I've posted these before but they are so good they bear repeating.

- UMass coach awards two scholarships in a very cool way.

- The missing women of LoTR

- I love tree houses.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Louie

Big fan of the show Louie by Louis CK. The show is like a series of mini comedic art-house movies. The show has some recurring characters but linear progression of story-lines are completely optional. The problem with the show for most fans is the fact there are so few episodes. I have a potential solution to this problem.

Louis CK has tons of stand-up buddies. Don't you think he could get some of them to do their own half-hour comedic art-house movies which would be produced by Louis. Don't you think Steven Wright could have some interesting stories to tell in a manner true to the spirit of the show. You could even have some episodes where the guest comedian pretends to be Louis. Like having Steven Wright dye his hair red.  Louis could have his six episodes per season and his buddies could do another six.

Just a suggestion.

Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney?

With the passing of George McGovern - I thought it worthwhile to repost this: 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.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With the way he's blown a once commanding lead in the polls - it has to be said that if Obama was an NFL coach - he'd be Norv Turner...  Gradient view of Sun. Very cool... Worth mentioning that George W. Bush helped save Africa from total devastation from the AIDS virus but he was never even mentioned for a Nobel Prize. Tell me again what Barack Obama did to deserve his?... "First you get the money, then you get the binders, then you get the women," Mitt Romney as Tony "Scarface" Montana... In the last debate Mitt Romney was asked why he isn't like George W. Bush. It was patently unfair that Barack Obama wasn't made to answer why he isn't like Jimmy Carter... Wow - former Notre Dame football coach Ty Willingham now an assistant women's golf coach at Stanford...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Lee Iaccoca endorses Mitt Romney for President. The article notes that the endorsement should help Romney in Pennsylvania (Iaccoca's home state) and in Michigan but I'd add that Iaccoca will also help nationally among Italians, seniors and Catholics.

- Mad Men and Presidential Debate Mashup.

- Fantastic look at what Bill Snyder has meant to both Kansas State and Manhattan, Kansas.

- Very cool video from the ISS (International Space Station)

- Wow - just wow!

The Granderson Trade

The Tigers beat the Yankees and the seeds of that defeat for the Yankees were sown back in December of 2009 when as part of a three-team trade Curtis Granderson was traded to the Yankees.

Here's what I wrote about the trade at the time.

Granderson supporters will say their guy hit 43 HR. Big deal! For the record - Austin Jackson had a .856 OPS with 260 total bases while Granderson had an .811 OPS and 293 TB. Let me also add that Jackson is under team control until 2016 and by the way he had a .353 batting average against the Yankees in the Tigers sweep of the series.

I'd say the Tigers won the trade even if it was just Granderson for Jackson but the Tigers also got Phil Coke (who had 2 saves against New York) and Max Scherzer (who beat the Yankees in game 4).

Mitt Romney Addresses Al Smith Dinner



This is so awesome!

We Don't Throw at .260 Hitters


This was really the beginning of the end of Alex Rodriguez as an elite hitter. The myth goes that Jason Varitek said, "We don't throw at .260 hitters" right before he smushed his glove in his face. That must have crushed Mr. Half-Centaur's confidence.

He never recovered.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

When I see something like this - first I laugh and then I remember that TGI Friday's was started as a single's bar.

- Awesome photo - the Milky Way over Mount Rainier.

Very cool look at Peter Gabriel's song Biko. One of my favorites.

- The was the answer from the last debate that was the nail in the coffin of Obama's campaign.

Bill Murray for Cubs Analyst

Bob Brenley is leaving his post as the color analyst for Cubs games on WGM. In my opinion WGN should throw whatever money it would take to get Bill Murray to replace Brenley in the broadcasting booth.

This would make lots of sense financially for WGN. How many out of town cable systems would pick up WGN just to hear what the immortal Bill Murray has to say? Rain delays alone would become epic!

Plus whatever network that is about to broadcast Roadhouse could get to sponsor the Murray family calls to Kelly Lynch! That sponsorship money by itself could pay Bill Murray's salary!

Who could possibly be against this idea?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Incredible Microscopic Images

Here are 11 incredible microscopic images.

This image of garlic just blows my mind. I'll never look at garlic cloves the same.

This is an image of butterfly eggs on Mistletoe. But if it was a Rorschach test - I'd say it was boobs.

This is a fruit fly larvae (or a crazy Minnesota Vikings fan).

The house spider one is just plain scary.

Presidential Debate Round Two

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner famously said, "We don't have a plan. We just don't like yours." That single sentiment seems to encapsulate the entire Obama Campaign strategy. That's the sort of strategy you run when you don't have any ideas of your own and your record isn't exactly something to be proud of.

Mitt Romney wants to make the US more competitive for companies by lowering the corporate tax rate. President Obama says he too wants to lower the corporate tax rate to which the natural follow up question becomes, "Well why haven't you done that already?"

Mitt Romney says he wants cut tax rates by 20% across the board while at the same time eliminating or reducing some deductions. The reduction in revenue would be paid for with the elimination of these deductions (capping deductions at $25,000 would be a place to start) and through growth in the economy. President Obama says the math doesn't add up because he never counts the growth in the economy - almost like he doesn't believe in it.

Mitt Romney says he believes in something called "self-deportation" which at first blush seems ridiculous. But when you think of it illegal immigrants come to this country because it is the land of opportunity. If state benefits like healthcare, welfare or in-state tuition are denied and if employer e-verification was enforced then the illegal immigrant would probably decide to go back home or to get a green card. The question last night was asked to paint Mitt Romney as a person Latinos should be afraid of but instead Romney turned it around. He asked why the President did not keep his promise to enact comprehensive immigration reform his first year in office. That was something he pledged to do and has no excuse for not doing.

The people out of a job know the President's job policies haven't worked. The people paying double at the pump for gas know his energy policies haven't worked. Middle class families who have seen their disposable income shrink by an average of $4300 while facing rising costs everywhere know Obama hasn't been good for them.The people paying attention know that the President blamed the deaths in Benghazi on a YouTube video for two weeks before coming clean to the American people. The failures of this Presidency are staring everyone right in the face.

Last night Mitt Romney was asked to describe how he isn't like George W. Bush. It was unfair that the natural follow-up question of the President explaining why he isn't like Jimmy Carter never got asked.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ryan's Debate Strategy

Interesting look at how Paul Ryan prepared for his debate against VP Joe Biden.

Luck favors the prepared mind and I must say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are really doing a great job both in preparation and in taking care of the little details. That bodes well for their campaign which in turn bodes well for the country.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

 The Patriots are now 3-3 but easily could be 6-0. No team wants to play the Patriots come playoff time. I wish certain fans and talking heads would take a deep breath and shut up... Awesome Live Jump photo... If the Geico commercial that has Gallagher smashing watermelons ended with Gallagher getting shot by a sniper - I'd consider switching insurance companies... I saw a study that said bacon was the best cure for a hangover. I felt like the study validated my whole existence... Most Red Sox fans I know root for Derek Jeter. The most common adjective used to describe him is "classy"... Arlen Specter has died and he took the secret of where Jimmy Hoffa is buried with him to the grave... I think iit would be funny to redo the movie theater scene from Cape Fear with a laughing Joe Biden playing the Robert DeNiro role and Paul Ryan as the Nick Nolte character... Unbelievable tweet of the day:

: Derek Jeter had a great career until 3 days ago when he sold his apt at Trump World Tower - karma?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chuck Yeager and the Sound Barrier



65-years ago today Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time. The movie The Right Stuff captured the essence of the moment.

Starry Night With Real Stars


Van Gogh's Starry Night reproduced using images from the Hubble Telescope.

Very cool!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With the Yankees and their fans becoming completely disenchanted with Alex Rodriguez it seems the unthinkable may become thinkable. Could the Yankees start the 2013 season without A-Rod? If so - who would they get to replace him? How about this scenario - Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes? Stranger things have happened... Never thoughts I'd be saying this (especially not this year) but the fact is UMass may actually have a better football program than Boston College at this point. Seriously.... Agent Coulson resurrected for Josh Whedon's ABC SHIELD TV show... I can't explain it but the name "Carl" Ripken  really amuses me. Thanks for the laugh inept TBS personnel... I hate when I hear a cell phone ring on TV because it almost always has the same ring as my phone. Makes me feel like a dope when I realize it was just the TV... Block Me Amedaeus would be a good name for a fantasy football team... Did Bobby Valentine just validate the idea he's a complete phony?... All you need to know about men is the fact they all understand what a DD bra size means but they can't tell you anything about dress sizes... Just a reminder to everyone who watched the VP debate this week. Joe Biden was added to the ticket by Obama to add "gravitas"...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hezbollah's CFO Flees to Israel

Hezbollah (the Party of God) CFO flees to Israel with $5 million and classified documents.

I know that this could be big news but a few things amused me about the story. First - I like to go out of my way to mention that Hezbollah means "Party of God" because I think in doing so it makes it easier to get liberals to hate them. This probably explains why you never see any MSM story on Hezbollah mention it.

Secondly - I know the Israelis probably care more about the documents than about the $5 million the CFO stole but I can't help but imagine some Hezbollah stooges cursing the CFO for stealing the payroll money.

What Happened at Benghazi

Powerline has a very graphic description of the attack on our people in Benghazi. Must reading!

I can't help but read the description of what happened that night without wondering what a huge difference a contingent of heavily armed Marines would have made.

EDIT: The Weekly Standard has a piece on the timeline of the Administration's storytelling. The actions of the Administration have been heinous - yet not a single person is going to be held accountable. Disgusting.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

CC Sabathia's real name is Carsten Charles Sabathia... Who said it - Joe Biden or Michael Scott?... Have to wonder if the Nobel committee chose to give the Nobel Prize to the EU in an effort not to pay the prize money (who would collect?)... Very cool betting story. The moral as always - be sure to quit when you are ahead!... Talk about making chicken salad out of you know what. It should be remembered that Dan Duquette only got the Orioles GM job because other candidates thought the position was too radioactive. Now Duquette has re-established himself as a top GM in the game. Good for him!... Cool - a diamond bigger than the Earth?... Hate to think that this may be it for Scott Rolen. Sad to see him go out on such a sour note... SNL should do skit about ESPN peon that is sent to tell Bobby Knight that the network no longer wants to use him on TV... For proper elocution a person must have consistent vowel movements... I'm a Red Sox fan but part of me wants to see the Yankees win this series just so I can hear all the people arguing that Alex Rodriguez should be left off the 25-man roster against the Tigers. That would be delicious...

Thomas Peterffy - Freedom To Succeed



I agree with those who say this is perhaps the best video of the campaign season.

In last night's VP debate Joe Biden said a couple of times that 97% of the small businessmen in this country make less than $250,000. He said it as if it was a good thing! We need leadership that wants people to succeed so that more small business people are making more than $250,000 because the more those business people make the more they will need to hire people. It is common sense.

VP Debate Thoughts

If you are going to vote for President Obama - last night you thought VP Joe Biden won the debate. You were glad to see feisty Biden sticking up for the Administration showing the passion and saying the things you wanted the President to say. If you are going to vote for Romney - you thought Ryan won going away. You thought Ryan was classy and informed and you thought of the two men on the stage only Ryan seemed ready to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

The big question is how the independents and undecided voters saw the debates. My guess is Joe Biden didn't do the Administration any favors with his mannerisms. His laughing, his interruptions, his hand gestures just seemed rude. I also think his comments about Benghazi and the murder of Ambassador Stevens will be the one issue that gets extra scrutiny by the media.

Every debate there seems to be one thing that you wished your guy said. Last night Joe Biden kept on harping on "tax cuts for the rich" - calling supporting such a position "unconscionable". I wish Paul Ryan said something along the lines of, "Mr. Vice President - you say that supporting extending he Bush Tax cuts for those making over $250,000 is unconscionable yet that's exactly what the Obama Administration along with the Democratic House and Senate did in 2009. If you found it unconscionable then when did you stay silent? You didn't say a peep. Fact is at the time in 2009 the President extended the tax cuts because you just don't raise taxes in a recession. Everyone agrees on that. Fact is you only find it unconscionable today because you think you can use it as a wedge issue. You can't run on your record so you want to divide Americans based upon the size of their wallets no matter what the consequences to the economy. That sir is what is unconscionable."

Let me also say that the people who thought Joe Biden won the debate will push the President to act the same way in the next debate. I already predicted this will happen. And I also predicted that this would be a huge mistake for the President.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Red Sox 2013 Roster

Red Sox have a big off-season facing them. Here's my position by position breakdown of what I'd suggest GM Ben Cherington should do regarding the every day players. In another post I'll make my suggestions regarding the pitching staff.

C - the Red Sox for better or worse are set with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway. Everyone hopes to get much more offense out of this duo than we saw in 2012. Even though Salty hit 25 HR - his overall batting performance leaves room for much improvement. Many are hoping that Lavarnway gets close to his minor league batting performance so that he can be the catcher of the future (say 2014).

1B - My preference for first base next year would be for the Red Sox to trade for Victor Martinez. I'm guessing that Detroit would be happy to shed the final two years of Victor's contract ($13 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014) - so he would cost much in terms of prospects. Martinez has shown he can thrive in Boston both on the field (.322 career batting average at Fenway) and off (media favorite). He'd also be both a big clubhouse presence with the stature to stand up to anyone and also would be insurance at the catcher position if either Salty or Lavarnway have issues.

2B - Dustin Pedroia

SS - This is a weak spot for the Red Sox. What I'd suggest to turn this into a strength is to trade fan pariah John Lackey to Texas for Elvis Andrus. Jon Heyman has reported that the Rangers have no plans to trade Andrus this winter which normally would mean Andrus should have his bags packed. Andrus has two years left on his contract for a reasonable $11 million but the problem is in Texas he's blocking super prospect Jurikson Profar. I'd even throw in Jose Iglesias to make this deal happen.

3B - Will Middlebrooks

LF - The first item of business for Ben Cherington should be wrapping up Cody Ross on a multi-year deal (say 3-years $18 million). I say first item of business because with Ross in the fold then that gives them a little more leverage over David Ortiz as Ross could be made DH. Ortiz should be the second item of business. I will admit that Ross's home / road splits this season concerns me (.921 OPS at Fenway but just .684 OPS on road in 2012).

CF - Let Jacoby Ellsbury play the year and go to free agency. Guessing he will have a big year and be overpaid by someone else. All that is important is that he has a big 2013 first.

RF - Another problem spot for the Red Sox. Do the Sox go with existing options Ryan Kalish or maybe Che-Hsuan Lin? Or do they go for an outside option. Supposedly the Indians would be open to trading Shin-Soo Choo. That would be perfect. I'd even more in favor of giving Choo a long term deal than I would be for extending Ellsbury.

DH - David Ortiz. Just give the man a 2-year $22 million deal with some incentives for Ortiz to up the possible value of the contract.

If the Red Sox were to make these suggested moves they would field very formidable team in 2012. So llet it be written - so let it be done!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Name's Joe Biden!


 Meanwhile back at the Campaign planning headquarters.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I could swear that I've seen that Big Bird as evil business mastermind ad before - complete with Big Bird shadow in business high-rise. Could the ad have been plagiarized?... Space X Dragon captured by ISS...  Would love to see an episode of Louie where Louis CK goes for a picnic with his kids and runs into the missing Russian from The Sopranos... Have to admit - Mister Romney's Neighborhood was pretty funny... A very under-rated invention of the last 100-years was the adoption of headlights on cars. Seems common sense today but for a long time cars did not have them... Pretty cool story of turning a $1 bet into $101,000 (even though guy was betting on soccer)...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Einstein and the Nobel Prize

Interesting look at why Albert Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for his theory of relativity.

E=MC2 may be the most famous scientific equation in history but it was never quite good enough for the Nobel committee. The committee eventually gave Einstein the Nobel in 1921 for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect but that was really too little too late.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Breaking - President Obama blames Mitt Romney wanting to kill Big Bird on YouTube video... These surprise military family reunions never fail to get me... Things you never notice and once pointed out can never forget - the nursery rhyme never actually say Humpty Dumpty is an egg... Las Vegas Review-Journal endorses Mitt Romney. Nevada is a key swing state. This is big... Rich Eisen of the NFL Network is promoting changing Matt Ryan's nickname from "Matty Ice" to "the Mattural". I am promoting changing Peyton Manning's nickname to "Horseface".... In 1900 a steak dinner cost $.25 - today a bag of potato chips costs at least double that... A little science humor - the Higgs Bison... Just a reminder but Jets coach Rex Ryan needs to go 7-9 this season just to equal Herm Edwards record in New York. I don't think he'll do it.

Battle of the Network Stars

Hard for people who did not grow up in the 70's to understand just how popular the Battle of the Network Stars was. Mental Floss has a nice recap of the "games".

I will also say that Gabe Kaplan beating Robert Conrad in the 100 meter dash "race-off" was one of my favorite moments. Kaplan was a good athlete (very good pick-up basketball player) and he didn't hesitate to accept the challenge from Robert Conrad (who if you watch the clip was sneaking puffs from a butt just prior to the race - it was a different time them).

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Presidential Debate Notes

Very interesting contrast between the notes each candidate wrote for themselves during Wednesday's debate.

Mitt Romney's notes.

President Obama's notes.

Explains a lot.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just saying but on day when Tom O'Brien leads NC State to a huge upset over Florida State - Boston College loses to Army. BC should have paid the man when they had the chance... The Princess Bride cast reunites for 25th year anniversary of movie's release...  I know Notre Dame won big against Miami but I still hope they drop in the polls just as retribution for those awful helmets they wore last night...  I love Terry Francona and him taking Indians job shows he'd rather be Teddy Roosevelt's "man in the arena" than a critic on the sidelines at ESPN. Good for him!... It will be very interesting to follow this story. Phil Ivey wins 7.3 million British pounds over 2-nights but casino is refusing to pay... Pop-tarts are a gateway food to diabetes... History nuggets: When Admiral Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manilla in 1898 - he only lost 1 US sailor. To heat-stroke... Apple was just 90-days away from bankruptcy when Steve Jobs returned to company he helped found. When you think of it that way - the story of what Jobs did with Apple is even more incredible...  Terry Francona returns to Fenway Park as the manager of the Indians on May 23rd... Remember Halloween shoppers - Elmo died for your sins... People claim that Barack Obama is not bipartisan but I think him creating jobs only in states with Republican governors disproves that... Always wondered if Pink Floyd song One of These Days was influenced by the theme to Dr. Who or vice versa... I wonder if Curt Schilling is going to try to replace Mark Grace as TV analyst on Diamondbacks games. I'm guessing Schilling could use the money and he was a World Series hero for Arizona... Seriously - do Democrats think David Axelrod is helpful? I can't see him convincing undecided voters of anything except possibly the fact that Axelrod looks like an unsuccessful child molester...

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Player Comparison

Here's a player comparison I was curious about.

Player A: .254 BA/ .337 OBP/ .486 SLG/ .823 OPS/ 111 OPS+
Player B: .303 BA/ .401 OBP/ .529 SLG/ .930 OPS/ 141 OPS+

How about career totals?

Player A: 1204 R/ 434 HR/ 1289 RBI/ 3690 TB
Player B: 1619 R/ 468 HR/ 1623 RBI/ 4755 TB

Obviously Player B was the better hitter but Player A was a 10-time Gold Glove Player. Player B is Chipper Jones who will be elected into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot while Player A is Andruw Jones who will probably receive the Dwight Evans treatment from Hall voters.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Mugged

Just finished Ann Coulter's Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obamaand I thought I share my impression of the book.

First let me say that I did learn a bunch from reading the book. I am painfully aware that most Americans are historically illiterate. Sad but true. But though Ann Coulter does expose some very interesting history she does tend to stretch things a little too far. For example - I'm pretty sure that Sam Ervin's motivation during the Watergate hearings was not to get back at Richard Nixon because Nixon was pro civil rights and Ervin was a segregationalist. I am also pretty sure that the "ferocious opposition to gay marriage" in the black community today is not rooted in subconscious rebellion against Great Society policies that resulted in an explosion of unwed single mothers among blacks.

I am in complete agreement that liberal policies have in the whole done more harm than good but what troubled me about the book is that Coulter almost seems to dismiss the existence of racism in US society. I know she would probably say that the book was about liberal policies not about racism but when you write things like, "By 1930 there were more child pornographers in the country than racists" - you are diminishing my ability to take what you write serious.

If I were the editor of this book I probably would have suggested the following changes:

- Delete any comparisons of liberals or racists to Nazis. Not helpful.
- If you are going to mention failed liberal policies and unintended consequences on race in this country there should be at least a whole chapter on HUD and the failures of urban planning.
- Ann needs a thesaurus so she doesn't have to keep writing "mau-maued" all the time. Bully, cow, hector, strong-arm - see plenty of other words that can be used.
- Ann was born in New York City and the book is VERY NYC centric. That could be a problem for some after a while.

Blog Updated

Finally had to update the blog to a new style. The last one was good for close to 8 years but when Halo turned off their comments widget on October 1st - it kind of forced my hand.

The update kept the old posts but gone are my cumulative stats (over 1.3 million page views) and my blogroll. I'm not in this for the stats - so that's not a big deal to me but I am sad about the blogroll. So far I have only one blog in the blogroll but my plan is to add one each day to get it back to its old robust self. Keep an eye out and if I forget to add your blog please drop me a reminder and I'll remedy the situation.

Hope you like the new look.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- How Romney prepared for the debate. Basically - hard work and smarts.

- I laughed way too much at this. I'd love to have that made into a tapestry.

- US coal stocks jump on Romney's coal comments. This is bound to help in in Pennsylvania coal country.

- I will never look at that iconic Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) photo the same again.

- FatHead now selling full size Mitt Romney wall stickers.

- Does eating celery really result in negative calories? Shorter answer "No"

Presidential Debate Thoughts

I know I am not alone in being disappointed that there wasn't any mention of "lady parts" last night. I was also a little disappointed that whenever President Obama mentioned "math" that Mitt Romney did not come back and say, "Mr. President, I am very good at math. So is my running mate Paul Ryan. If people want proof of this they can just check our college transcripts." That would have been awesome.

Many Obama supporters are comforting themselves this morning by thinking that there's no way he can do worse in the next two debates. They couldn't be more wrong. The Romney we saw last night is Romney. That's exactly who he is and we should expect similar performances in the next debates.

Obama? Many of his advisers will probably tell him he has to come out more fired up next debate. I predict that won't end well. As bad as last night was for the President - there was no "You didn't build that!" sound clip. An angry, indignant Obama will be much more likely to make such a planned comment or slip.

Real proof that Romney won last night - his Vegas odds of being elected pretty much doubled during as the debate went on. Soon Romney will be even money so get your bet in now before people realize that betting on Obama is a sucker's bet.

Photo via Mitt's Body Man.

EDIT: Almost on cue Obama Camp Promises Tougher Response to Romney in Next Debate. Remember where you heard it first - that won't end well for Obama.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Still blows my mind that Bleacher Report sold for $200 million while Newsweek sold for $1... Mitt Romney hates to lose... Holy crap! "Joe Biden" is an anagram for "I need job"... The things you learn on the Internet - fish can cough... Peyton Manning took a face from the ancient gallery and HE WALKED ON DOWN THE HALL!... Really?... I remember how angry Ronald Reagan used to get when people used to bring up old speeches he made - what? Reagan didn't get angry? Well that's probably because he believed in what he was saying and wasn't trying to run some con job to get elected... 10 Legendary Monsters of Europe (the Budweiser dragon is not one of them)... I can't tell you how amused I get by the image of Peyton Manning screaming out Doors lyrics as if he was Jim Morrison incarnate... Incredible volcanic riverscape...  Has anyone heard from Craig Kilborn lately?... If you mention the DC Sniper to most people today they will probably think you are talking about a new shooting guard for the Wizards. It was only 10 years ago but my how it has faded from the memory of most (outside of DC that is)... You know I really don't blame the US Ryder Cup team. I blame Chicago. Everything out of that town lately seems to be bad for the country.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- NFL donations favor Republicans 3-1. I wonder if you broke it down by those who are self-made millionaires versus owners who inherited wealth if it would still be about 3-1?

- I laughed way too much at this (yes sometimes I'm still a 12-year old)

- Ken Levine comments on the epic GQ oral history of Cheers. I must say that I have a much higher opinion of Shelley Long after reading that.

- Was this the worst Red Sox rotation ever? Interesting article. Scary to think that most of the pitchers who made up the potential "worst rotation ever" will be back. Are Red Sox fans delusional to think most will rebound with big years in 2013? I feel a little delusional.

- John Elway endorses Mitt Romney. This could make a difference in Colorado. Seriously.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Eiger Sanction



Just finished The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian. I happened to pick it up at a yard sale a few days and haven enjoyed the Clint Eastwood movie - thought I'd give it a shot. It was very enjoyable and the movie was very true to the book with a few minor differences. If you like the movie - I think you'd enjoy the book.

A couple of things I found amusing. The paperback copy I picked up said it was "The Cliffhanger of the Year." The book involves mountain climbing - I wonder if this pre-snark snark was intentional. The front cover blurb from the New York Times said, "Superior suspense... plenty of action, plenty of sex." Oh you highbrow New York Times you.

What is funny is that the book was written as a spoof while the movie is played as a straight action flick. The movie would have been better if some of the inside jokes were translated to the screen.

Jacoby Ellsbury

Alex Speier has a nice look at Jacoby Ellsbury's career so far. What Alex doesn't do is suggest what the Red Sox do with their enigmatic centerfielder.

Here's what I'd do.

First thing to know is that the Red Sox have control over Jacoby Ellsbury for one more season (2013) and that Ellsbury's agent is Scott Boras. You put those two things together and it is clear that there will be no long-term deal cut this offseason. Ellsbury will use the 2013 season as proof as his worth as a free agent. I think that's great news for the Red Sox.

Let Ellsbury put up big numbers in his walk year. If he can do something like hit 25 HR while stealing 30+ bases then that will go a long way towards getting the Red Sox back to the playoffs. The season will also allow Jackie Bradley Jr. to get more minor league seasoning before a potential September call-up. Next year will go a long way to see if Bradley can succeed Ellsbury in center if Ellsbury walks or proves too expensive.

If the Red Sox are out of the playoff hunt by the trade deadline - then the Red Sox may just trade Ellsbury (you can no longer assume the Red Sox are a playoff contending team). If they are in the hunt - a healthy Ellsbury will be a powerful weapon. Either way Red Sox fans should enjoy Ellsbury wile they can because he won't be around in 2014.