Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing.

- Wow - Boston at night under a cover of fog from space.

- Cool words - 7 common words and their much lesser known relatives

- Big Hemingway fan - very interesting that the six word story tale about Hemingway turns out to be made up

- Best science books of 2012

- Pee Wee Herman biking skin-suit - I would so wear this to the movie theater

- Never thought about this because I just assumed it would be too dangerous - how long could you safely swim in a spent nuclear fuel pool?

- The Periodic Table of Twitter

- Another reason not to outlaw guns

Friday, January 25, 2013

Then and Now

The world really has changed and sometimes its not for the better. That is the thought that has been stuck with me for about a week now. To illustrate why - let's take a look at a player comparison:

Player A - .331 BA / .417 OBP / .559 SLG / .976 OPS / 159 OPS+
Player B - .312 BA / .411 OBP / .585 SLG / .996 OPS / 154 OPS+

Both players seem pretty similar - right? How about the other numbers?

Player A - 3026 G / 3630 H / 1949 R / 475 HR / 1951 RBI
Player B - 2302 G / 2574 H / 1544 R / 555 HR / 1831 RBI

Player B was able to amass more HR and almost the same RBI production despite player more than 700 fewer games than Player A. I think that fact tells you very much about the days each player spent their careers. Very telling.

Player A is Stan "the Man" Musial who recently passed away. Player B is Manny Ramirez. I almost feel dirty for making this player comparison because as players Musial was on a very different plain than Manny. And as persons - the two weren't even in the same universe.

The comparison just stuck in my mind. And it made me sad for how some changes are not for the better.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Def Leppard - Rocket



You don't hear this song much anymore. I always wondered if they made this song with strippers in mind.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

When Tom Brady is all done - his number of playoffs wins will be untouchable like Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak. Untouchable... This is funny because its true!... The Big Bang Theory should do "very special" episodes but instead of tackling social issues they should tackle science topics like the Higgs Boson... This man was a true bad ass... Stunt Custard would be a good name for a band... This store called - they are all out of Lance Armstrong... A factor that shouldn't be overlooked in today's Patriots game is the wind at Foxboro. The wind has been pretty strong these past few days and it could effect long passes and the kicking game. The wind should give the Patriots an additional advantage today... Holy crap - there are whales alive today that were born before Moby Dick was written. I also take the fact that there are no white bowhead whales alive as proof that the end of Moby Dick was a murder-suicide....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Playing the Middle

One of my favorite sports bets is called playing the middle. And this Sunday's Patriots / Ravens game seems like a perfect time to do it. Here's how it works - playing the middle is actually 4 bets - in this case you would take:

Tease Patriots -8.5 with the over 51
Tease Patriots -8.5 with the under 51
Tease Ravens +8.5 with the over 51
Tease Ravens +8.5 with the under 51

A tease gives you six points so the Patriots would only have to win by 2.5 (less than a field goal), the over would become 45, the under would become 57 and the Ravens would be getting 14.5 points (more than 2 touchdowns). You are guaranteed to win at least one of the 4 bets so if you bet $100 on each bet the most you could lose is $200 but with the middle there's a very good chance you win all 4 bets and pocket $400.

So let it be written - so let it be done.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Things I Do Not Care About

I really don't care about Lance Armstrong and his baring of his soul to Oprah looking for redemption. I also really don't care about Manti Te'o and his imaginary girlfriend.

What Armstrong did in the Tour de France - drugs or no drugs - was incredible. But really who cares about the Tour de France? Does anyone think that Armstrong was the only cheater in those races? From most accounts it seems like Armstrong is a real jerkface in real life so why would I want to get emotionally involved with his story? The only thing I'm slightly curious about is whether he was taking steroids prior to his cancer diagnosis and if his taking steroids may have caused his cancer in the first place.

As far as Manti Te'o - caring about the girlfriends of college kids isn't borderline creepy - its creepy. So we are starting off at creepy - and we are getting worse from there. Either the kid was trusting and was completely duped or he has emotional issues and was involved in the hoax. Either way it doesn't end well. And if this story really doesn't end well - how good are you going to feel about yourself for laughing at all those Manti Te'o jokes? I already feel guilty for participating.

Because I don't care about these stories I will be avoiding sport talk radio for the next few days. Sunday and the Patriots victory over the Ravens can't come soon enough for me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Here's a question that has bothered me these past few days - if Superman grew a beard would there be a razor blade on Earth that would be strong enough to shave his beard? If no - why is it Superman always appears clean shaven?... Very cool photo of an arctic forest in Finland... Part of me wants to Yankees to sign former San Fran closer Brian Wilson just so Wilson would have to shave his freaking beard.... Also very cool - DC Justice League  superhero currency... Tom Brady broke Joe Montana's record for playoff wins on Sunday but you don't hear anyone talking about it. Low key - successful. I have no doubt in my mind that if Brady was the QB of the Broncos on Saturday that Denver would have rolled over Baltimore. Does anyone disagree with that?... Dan Le Bartard's piece on Jason Taylor should be must reading for any NFL fan...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mike Napoli

I hope the Red Sox finally sign Mike Napoli. My guess is that the two sides settle on a two-year deal with a vesting third year plus language that protects the Red Sox in case the hip injury puts Napoli on the 60-day DL during the first two-years.

Having said that - I do wonder about how well Napoli's physical condition is known in baseball. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if Napoli's hip had as much to him getting traded by the Angels as his conflict with manager Mike Scioscia? Did Toronto do a quick turn-around on Napoli and trade him to the Rangers because they finally got their hands on his full physicals? Did the Rangers not give Napoli a qualifying offer because they didn't think his hip would last the season? The longer this drags out the stranger it becomes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not sure about you but I'll never be able to eat Honey Nut Cheerios again without thinking dirty thoughts because of Kevin Garnett's comments to Carmelo Anthony... Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha - hero... The power of over the top video - more people have watched Mad Men on Netflix than on AMC. Think about that for a minute... I will buy Donald Rumsfeld's new book. Absolutely!... To be fair - most men can't do anything without thinking dirty thoughts. As Larry Miller said, "if women knew what men were really thinking - they would never stop slapping us"... Ha ha - this is great (though to be fair not original)... Brock Holt (I know - who the heck is Brock Holt) will wear number 26 for the Red Sox. Last year Scott Podsenik wore Wade Boggs old number for the Sox. Anyone who thinks Boston will retire that number hasn't been paying attention... Has anyone looked into how zombies affect Estate Planning? Would you be able to avoid Death Taxes if you just declared the passed loved one to be a zombie? ...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Interesting Viewpoint on The Hobbit

Very interesting look at The Hobbit. Must reading for any JRR Tolkien geeks.

The idea that Gandalf was interested in the quest of the dwarfs mainly to rid Middle Earth of Smaug before the coming war with Sauron is interesting. Wonder if Tolkien even thought of that aspect?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tristan Prettyman - My Oh My



Me likey!

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Very cool - having to pound the bottom of a bottle of ketchup or stick a knife in it may be thing of the past. MIT - tackling the really important matters in life!

- Just how small is an atom? Fascinating stuff!

- What people fear vs what they really should be afraid of.

- This is absolutely awesome! The attention spotlight and the art of picking pockets. You could watch this in super slow-motion and still be tricked by this guy.

- I guess the name Guinness is verbotten on The Travel Channel. I watched this last night and thought how stupid it was.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Jack Morris vs Dave Stieb Hall of Fame Debate

Very interesting argument that Dave Stieb and not Jack Morris was the "best pitcher of the 80's." The argument that Jack Morris was the best pitcher of his era is what most of his apologists fall back on when Morris' pedestrian numbers are exposed.

I also agree that neither pitcher deserves enshrinement.

I will also add that Luis Tiant belongs in the Hall way before Jack Morris. Tiant had a 3.30 ERA to Morris' 3.90 and a 114 ERA+ to Morris' 105.

Josh McDaniels

There were 7 open NFL head coaching positions when Josh McDaniels announced that he would not be available to interview for any of them. Some people in Boston took that as evidence that McDaniels is somehow going to replace Bill Belichick as the next coach of the New England Patriots. After thinking about it - I think the answer is just a whole lot simpler than that.

Josh McDaniels is just happy where he is.

McDaniels gets to coach one of the top 3 QB's in NFL history. He gets to learn from one of the top 3 coaches in NFL history. And the guy who signs his paychecks just may be the best owner in all of professional sports - Robert Kraft. Throw in the fact that McDaniels is probably very well paid by the Patriots and that the team is perennial Super Bowl contenders - why would McDaniels want to change from that?

Also consider that if McDaniels did interview and get an NFL job - no matter what job it was at least 50% of the fan base would say they wanted someone different. Then you'd have the Tim Tebow speculation. There would be a deluge of "should or will McDaniels trade for Tebow" talk. Finally - McDaniels is not in a position to demand a long-term deal or demand years of runway space to get "his" program going. In New England he can stay as long as he wants.

Why would Josh McDaniels interview for any of those open NFL teams?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Notre Dame vs Alabama

Pat Forde has a very interesting look at the historical rivalry between Notre Dame and Alabama. Good stuff.

I did not know that Bear Bryant was 0-4 against the Fighting Irish. That must really stick in the craw of many Tide fans. I also give Forde credit for mentioning "Catholics vs Cousins" but in addition he should have mentioned the even funnier "Golden Domers vs Mobile Homers" T-shirts.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Linky Links

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

- Very interesting look at the Spanish Influenza of 1918. I'm always amazed that something that was as devastating as the two world wars combined is so little remembered - and it is scary to know that science doesn't know why or how it happened.

- Fireworks are more interesting backwards.

- Heh heh - Merry Christmas to you too

- Dennis and Callahan have outlived their usefulness. Would not be surprised to see them replaced by Mike and Mike.

- A beautiful girl and a hula hoop - freaking awesome!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I don't look at these as "resolutions" so much as addressing some of my "life leaks". People tend to keep their New Year's resolutions until they break them while fixing life leaks are items you know need improvement and you also know that every once and a while you will fall back to bad habits. (The term "leaks" is a poker terms and refers to flaws in your play or money management.)

1. No more Keno. I play Keno just as entertainment but I know it is a waste of money and I sick of losing that money to a state that squanders it.

2. No more drinking while by myself. And before you start thinking - wow I didn't know Chris was an alcoholic - what I'm referring to in specific is two situations I often find myself in. A: my gym (Worcester Fitness) has a very good bar and often after a workout I will stop in for a beer or two (and maybe 10 games of Keno). No reason for me not to switch to water or diet Coke in those situations. B: often I will go out for lunch or dinner by myself and order or a beer or two (or three or four). Also a situation where a switch to water or diet Coke would be easy. Do want to note that my love of beer is not diminished. I just want to drop a few pounds and this change should help.

3. Like Big Stupid Tommy - a book a week is also on my list. I will take it one step further and try to also do a review of that book here in this space as extra internal incentive to actually get it done.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Day Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations on New Year's Day.

I have to wonder who has the more reliable medical reports at this point - Hugo Chavez or Hillary Clinton?... Too Big to Fail would have been a great name for a biography of Andre the Giant.. I agree with Chad Finn that Josh McDaniels refusing to interview for any of the open NFL head-coaching jobs probably indicates that he thinks he may Bill Belichick's eventual successor in Foxboro. I'm completely comfortable with that idea (though I hope its years away)... Tim Tebow would have been so much better off if he had just taken 2012 off from the NFL and instead did missionary work in the Philippines... If the day after Christmas can be called Boxing Day - why can't the day after New Year's Eve be called Hangover Day?... Anchorman II should be called Tits McGee - The Reckoning...