Monday, March 30, 2015

The Importance of a Single Vote

On this date in 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for the price of $7 million which worked out to about $.02 per acre. This purchase was known at the time as Sewards Folly after Secretary of State William Seward who arranged the purchase. Seward was also in charge of trying to get the Senate to ratify the treaty authorizing the purchase. The treaty was ratified on April 9th but it passed by a single vote. 

Think of that. If one person changed their vote from yes to no - Alaska might not be part of the US today.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Obamacare and RoundUp

You may have seen the story of the Monsanto "lobbyist" who claims that the RoundUp chemical glyphosate is safe to drink but then refuses to drink it himself saying, "I'm not stupid."

The "lobbyist" has generated lots of derision on the Internet and rightly so. However, what I can't stop thinking about is how is this man any different from the Democrats in Congress who passed Obamacare and then demanded the President grant Congress a waiver from having to follow that same law they passed without ever having read? They couldn't bring themselves to drink the same cool-aid they were selling to the rest of the country. Like the "lobbyist" they were in effect saying "they aren't stupid."

Where's the derision? At least people can chose not to buy RoundUp but Obamacare is a mandate.

Linky Links

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

- I wonder what the teams were and what the stakes were per hole. What a foresome!

- Heh heh - soldiers playing Quiddich

- Interesting look at the periodic table (which I consider perhaps the greatest single scientific achievement in history)

- Well done Upper Deck - well done!

- An oral history of the vastly under-rated NewsRadio

- Very cool - an interactive journey to the center of the Earth

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Slice of Life

Was driving with my son and happened to see the following bumper sticker:
Cristo Me Salvo
 Problem was I read it as this:
Cristo Me Starvo
I explained my mistake to my son and now we have a new thing to say whenever we are hungry.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Has Obama No Sense of Decency?

The news that Bowe Bergdahl is being treated as a deserter was reaffirming and infuriating at the same time.

To anyone paying attention - the truth of Bergdahl's leaving his post was obvious - he deserted. That military courts confirmed that belief was kind of a "well duh" moment. It was also reaffirming in that those of us who greatly respect the US military were heartened by the fact that the military was able resist what I am sure was substantial political pressure to "suck it up and salute" to the President's version of reality.

It is infuriating in that this picture is now perhaps the most shameful moment in White House history. It is also sadly symbolic of all that is wrong with Barack Obama's foreign policy and naivety (or malice if you want to be less charitable). This is way more shameful than anything Richard Nixon ever did. And maybe even more illegal.

Couple this with the disrespect the President showed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week and you have to wonder what's next on Obama's middle finger to the military list? It is so bad that at this point would anyone be surprised by a Presidential pardon for American Taliban John Walker Lindh?

One can only hope that this latest episode may be the Joseph Welsh, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" moment in the Obama Presidency.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Americans spend more money on March Madness than on Presidential elections - by a wide margin. Tell me again why the money these schools make from the TV contracts for March Madness isn't taxable... Watched the Donald Rumsfeld documentary The Unknown Known on Netflix over the weekend. Two big thumbs up! Then again I'm a big fan of Rummy...  Georgetown's colors of blue and grey were chosen back in 1876 to support "unity between the Northern and Southern boys of the college"... It has been 10 weeks since the NFL appointed Ted Wells to "investigate" "Deflategate". Ten weeks!... Heh heh... I was never bothered by that picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. If he was photographed shaking hands with Dan Shaughnessy - different story!... Of the Congressmen to vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - 74% were Democrats... The phrase "gent bent" is supposedly short for "you should get bent over so that someone can sodomize you on Christmas". And a Merry Christmas to you too...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

$25 Rock Band

This $25 to choose a 5-piece rock band meme has been a round for a while but what the heck - here's my $25 band:

Lead Guitar: George Harrison $1 (biggest bargain ever!)
Rhythm Guitar: The Edge $6
Frontman: Roger Daltrey $7
Bassist: Geddie Lee $7
Drums: Dave Grohl $4

Total $25

What would your band look like?

Linky Links

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

- Greenpeace Founder - Why I'm a Climate Change Skeptic

- "Mad" Jack Churchill - holy crap what a life! You could literally make several movies based on this man's adventures.

- Truth

- Monica Lewinski - the price of shame

- The Appalachian Train in five minutes

- Still waiting for this book The Last Ringbearer to come out in English. Sure many Lord of the Rings fans feel the same.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I have 99 problems but a busted bracket ain't one of them. Another year and no brackets filled out - give them up already... Heh heh - wisdom from a WWII veteran... Georgetown's nickname of Hoyas means "what rocks!" in Greek. Based upon their performance in the NCAA these past few years - I wonder what is Greek for "what bricks!"... David Petraeus - ISIS is not our biggest problem in Iraq, Iran is... The Mesopotamian god of the moon was called Sin which is appropriate since most "sins" occur at night... This issue could be loaded with irony. Coal plants are needed to protect the manatees... A TV show called Rick Santorum Vatican Spy would be awesome. It would be a cross between The West Wing and Archer... Excellent point - Starbucks wants to talk race relations but they have no stores in Selma, Fergueon or other mostly black communities. Hypocritical posers... So what is killing the bees?...

Happy Birthday to Number 4

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zdeno Chara

Happy 38th birthday to Boston Bruins defenseman and one-punch wonder - Zdeno Chara.

Also a good guy to go to with any pesky real estate questions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh - Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Mobile, Alabama

- 20 facts about Monthy Python and the Holy Grail

- Mitt Romney to box Evander Holyfield. No really - he's going to box Evander Holyfield.

- 23 things you might not know about The Wire

- Vince Wilfork was one of the classiest guys to ever wear a Patriots uniform. He will be missed.

Future of Football

Like many football fans - I had not heard of Chris Borland until he announced his retirement after just one-year in the NFL. [As an aside can you actually retire from a job you've only had one year? Changing professions, quitting, moving on, etc. all seem more appropriate than "retiring". "Chris what are you going to do now that you're retired?" "Get a job of course." How does that equal retirement?]

Here's an interesting post from this morning where the take-away is that agent Leigh Steinberg basically predicted behavior like this.

The article got me thinking of the golden days of boxing where it was the immigrants on the bottom socio-economic rung of society that were willing to put their bodies at risk in order to gain "a way out". The Irish, the Jews, the Italians all had great champions back in the day when they were the newcomers. Then came the great black fighters along with the Latino and other minorities. Then boxing started dying out because nobody participated in the sport for recreation and there weren't many, if any, boxers society at large could identify with.

Is the NFL now staring at a similar cycle? Could be. It wouldn't be surprising to see major college programs start scouting overseas for athletes that could be taught the game because the pool of suburban kids willing to play starts drying up. It also wouldn't be strange to see a resurgence of baseball as parents begin the appreciate the minimal contact aspect of the sport.

Top 5 - Green Super Heroes

In honor of St. Patrick's Day - here is my list of the top green super-heroes.

1. Green Lantern
2. The Hulk
3. Green Arrow
4. Green Hornet
5. (tie) She-Hulk (tie) Martian Manhunter (from Justice League) 

Honorable mention - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Green Power Ranger (the Red one is the one who does porn movies now). For villains you'd have the Green Goblin and the Riddler.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Yesterday was the Ides of March - famous because it is forever connected with the murder of Julius Caesar back in 44 BC. Less well known is the fact the Caesar was only murdered because Lucius Vorenus wasn't there to protect him... Interesting behind the scenes look at the making of Mad Men... Maybe the worst part of Saint Patrick's Day is the fat guy in a kilt - you run into one every year. You know the guy who talks about the "breeze" no matter the weather and of "dangling shillelaghs" all in an attempt to get you to ask if the guy is wearing any underwear. You know the guy...  Bad family structure defeats good economic numbers... How come ham has a pinkish color while pork sausage is brown? Same meat different colors. Why? How come I never thought about this before?... 15 back-stabbing facts about Brutus. What was compelling to me was how many of those historical facts were woven into the HBO series Rome... If feel like I've missed something important having never read Terry Pratchett. Maybe time to order the first Discworld book?... Interesting interview with Bill Simmons... Would you eat the moon if it was made of ribs? Harry Caray would...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Interesting - was the White House behind the leaks of Hillary using a private email server? Explains why the story went to the NYT instead of a right-leaning news outlet.

- Speaking of Obama - Bad Paintings of Barack Obama always brings a smile (hit refresh button for new paintings). This classic remains my favorite.

- The first cellphone went on sale 30-years ago today. At a price tag of $4,000 it was very much a status symbol. Makes me wonder if some douchebags used to have people call them while at a play or other public function just so people would notice that said douchebag had a "mobile" phone.

- I would agree 100% with Rob Bradford's assessment of the Red Sox 25-man roster.

- There are two sides to every story but this profile from a couple of years ago of the Dalai Lama doesn't paint a very pretty picture.

Sir Bors

In Arthurian Legend Sir Bors (aka Bohort), Sir Galahad, and Percival go on to achieve the Holy Grail and accompany it to a mystical island in the Middle East called Sarras. Both Galahad and Percival die on the island while Bors is the only one to return. Thus Sir Bors is the lone survivor of the Grail Quest.

In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Sir Bors is played by Terry Gilliam and is the first knight to fall victim to the killer rabbit.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So when the Patriots did not resign Darrelle Revis to a contract many in the Boston media were all over them for not stepping up and signing the great corner. But here's the thing - if the Patriots had signed Revis to a similar deal to what the Jets gave him then those very same media members would have instead ripped New England for overpaying for a CB and breaking their rules of financial restraint. You know it's true... RIP Gene Patton - aka Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine... Today is Michael Caine's birthday. Probably going to watch one of his older movies at some point today. Something like The Man Who Would Be King... Heh heh... So if your fantasy football league had a trade that sent LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles to another team for Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray who would you say won that trade? Basically that's what the Eagles just did... Cool... As a reminder - if you say "My Cocaine" you are also saying "Michael Caine" in his own voice... Hmmmm - no net change in thickness of Arctic Sea ice since 1940... Today is also Albert Einstein's birthday. Just a reminder that even though E=MC2 is perhaps the most famous scientific equation in history - Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for coming up with it. The reasons for this slight were mostly because Einstein was Jewish... Muppets as comic book characters... Random Albert Einstein trivia; when Einstein lived in Princeton he had a small 17-foot sailboat he named Tinef which is Yiddish for "piece of junk"... Tom Hanks is a really nice guy...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Good stuff - an oral history of Larry Bird's 60-point game vs Atlanta

- Tom Brady living the life

- 9 facts that tell the true story of Johnny Appleseed. Missing from the list is that he died in Fort Wayne, Indiana and that he died of syphilis (maybe)

- Good point - here are the QB's the Patriots will be facing next year. Scary! [sarcasm font off]

- This story is messed up on so many different levels. Indian bride walks out on wedding after groom fails simple math test.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Dwayne Wade is not a clean player - never has been.

- Book thieves of London

- Holy crap - never thought of it that way

- Maine bed and breakfast owner to sell inn for just 200 words.

Top 5 - Thoughts on Darrelle Revis

Here are 5 thoughts on Darrelle Revis and his signing with the New York Jets.

1. First - thank you! The New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions and Darrelle Revis played a big role in that success. Patriots fans have become somewhat jaded by the success of the Belichick/Brady era but fans of other NFL teams - say of the Jets, Dolphins and Bills for example - can tell you how difficult just one Super Bowl can be to attain. So thank you Darrelle for 2014.

2. In Bill we trust. Only a moron would think that Revis signing with the Jets took Belichick by surprise. I'm sure he has a Plan B, Plan C, etc. etc. What are those plans? Only Bill really knows so it is a waste of time speculating about it (though all day today on sports talk radio people will be doing just that).

3. It should not be overlooked that Tom Brady had a full season of practice against Revis. Do you not think that will come in handy the two times each year New England plays the Jets? You also know that Belichick was looking at Revis all year with questions of what are his weaknesses and how could teams exploit them.

4. The Jets were 4-12 last year and they still have Geno Smith as their starting QB. The Patriots are a playoff team with or without Revis. The Jets? Not so much. But hey you got the back pages of the tabloids for a couple of days in March - so you have that going for ya!

5. I'm hoping the NFL awards the Patriots a draft pick for compensation for Jets owner Woody Johnson's comments about Revis which were a clear cut example of tampering. I want the draft pick just so I can point at the player New England takes with that pick and say, "that's the guy we got because the Jets owner can't keep his mouth shut."

Bonus thought: If you are into player comparisons think of Revis signing with the Jets this way; they basically just got Deion Sanders age and performance-wise during the last 4 years of his career. There was no fifth year because Deion was cooked by then.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Historical Footnote

General Douglas MacAuthur’s first marriage had a big wedding. Over two hundred guests were invited but because of political and family considerations – MacAuthur was only able to invite one close friend. The friend’s name? Buck Wheat (seriously).

No word on how the rest of Our Gang took the snub.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Interesting - Tom Brady is 4-1 in the playoffs when passing at least 50 times. Every other NFL QB in history is a combined 3-27 when passing 50 or more times in the playoffs... Bill Clinton and Pussy Riot. That would be a great name for a fantasy baseball team (or a porn movie)... Snapple Facts: Yankees first baseman, Mark Teixeira, practices his cold weather swing by clubbing baby seals... Who knew? Ulysses S Grant is only person on regularly used US currency that graduated from college... This is a photo that is just begging for a caption... Just a reminder - according to my American College Dictionary "physicality" is not an actual word. I wish basketball announcers would stop using it...  Scott Peterson was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing his wife Laci. He's still on death row. Get it over already!... Welcome to Kentucky... On this day in history 153 years ago - the Battle of the Ironclads (aka the Monitor vs the Merrimac) began. The battle ended in a draw as neither ship's cannon could penetrate the iron defenses of the other. The battle gave birth to modern navies... Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Jim Ed Rice...

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Patriots should be pissed the NFL still hasn't acted on Jets owner Woody Johnson tampering with Darrelle Revis... After donating my organs - I think this is what I want my ashes buried in... It is what it is - none of the Patriots coaches last year played NFL football... This is just piling on... Who knew? Gene Hackman was the producers original choice to play Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch but the studio insisted on Robert Reed... He did indeed!... Knowing that Neil Diamond wrote Sweet Caroline about prepubescent Caroline Kennedy - his song Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon is even more creepy... Speaking of Revis - with their recent trades the Bills no longer have the cap room to sign Revis if he hits the free agent market...

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Modern Romance

Romance in the old days often called for the male to pursue the female. The female would often rebuff the first few advances maybe in part to insure the suitor was indeed serious. If I recall correctly both Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower were initially turned down several times when asking their future first ladies to go out on a date.

It occurred to me that probably doesn't work any more. I think a guy is more apt to just move on today if told no by a potential partner. No guy wants to be that creepy guy or look like a stalker. Not sure if this is an improvement or not. Seems like maybe just another step in making things more superficial though.

Anyway - just a random thought.

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (100) Love Spreads by The Stone Roses.

And with that I'm done with this exercise! Keep in mind that the 100 songs chosen aren't my absolute favorite 100 songs. They are songs that I'd always stop on if I heard them scanning the radio or if someone played them on a jukebox I would involuntarily say out loud "Good song!"

Hope you enjoyed my selections.

Linky Links

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

- Long-lost civilization found in Honduran rain forest

- Photographer explains how he got that photo of a weasel "riding" a woodpecker

- Heh Heh

- Tolkien alert! This is both beautiful and delicious.

- Funny because it's true!

- This has a certain kind of logic

- In Boston, home of the Super Bowl Champions, sports talk radio bozos are whining about who the Patriots gave the franchise tag to. Meanwhile in Buffalo.

- Hats off to Jimmy Kimmel for taking it to the anti-vax crowd

Monday, March 02, 2015

Enzyte, Maximum Shred and Xtreme Deer Antler

If you are on Twitter you've probably been spammed by ads for Maximum Shred or Extreme Deer Antler. Please don't fall for the scam. Before you go giving your credit card info hoping for rock hard abs or losing 30 pounds in a month without trying - read this Men's Health forum on Maximum Shred and Xtreme Deer Antler.

The charging your credit card before the trial is over, purposefully making it hard to cancel your subscription and the charging of your credit card even after you canceled reminds me very much of the Enzyte Federal trial and indictment - basically the same business practices.

On a lighter note - here's my thoughts from 2004 on Smiling Bob the Enzyte Guy.

Top 5 - Dr. Seuss Books

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

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

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

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Bobby Orr is a God

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

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

Today's must read article.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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