Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Linky Links

Halloween stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share. Remember with Great Pumpkin comes great responsibility.

- Heh heh - this year's most controversial costume

- 666 Update

- The slutty witch costume is nothing new

- Best parents ever!

The Devil's Footprints

Since today is Halloween I thought I'd bring up the Devil's Footprints - one of the strangest phenomenons in history:
On the night of the 8th of February 1855, heavy snowfall blanketed the countryside and small villages of Southern Devon [England]. The last snow is thought to have fallen around midnight, and between this time and around 6.00 am the following morning, something (or some things) left a myriad of tracks in the snow, stretching for a hundred miles or more, from the River Exe, to Totnes on the river Dart.

The early risers were the first to find them, strange hoof-shaped prints in straight lines, passing over rooftops, through walls and covering huge areas of land. A set of the prints were even supposed to have bridged a two mile span of the river Exe, continuing on the other side as if the creature had walked over the water.
Freaky stuff with no rational explanation - I find that stuff fascinating.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Grantland was shut down today by ESPN. This was a move you could see coming a mile away yet the Internet was abuzz today with the gnashing of metaphorical teeth. This opinion may be unpopular but I won't miss Grantland. Yes I feel awful for the writers, editors and others who lost their jobs today but I'm guessing Disney is handling out pretty generous separation packages.

ESPN's first foray into smart sports writing was 15-years ago with Page 2. They fielded an all-star line-up of Ralph Wiley, Hunter S. Thompson, David Halberstam and a young Bill Simmons. Ralph Wiley and Hunter S. Thompson passed away. David Halberstam lost his enthusiasm for writing about sports after 9/11. That left just Simmons.

He was a hot property and he felt ESPN did a poor job with Page 2 so he leveraged his contract negotiations with the World-Wide Leader to let him create Grantland. His vision was to create a place where young hot writers could write what they wanted about sports and culture. He brought in and nurtured some very talented writers - that cannot be denied. But the problem was too much hipsterism. In many cases these hot young writers seemed to be writing to impress each other (and Simmons) instead of the general sports-loving public. The page views for Grantland just weren't there. The site wasn't close to being as successful as Deadspin or The Big Lead - but that was OK with the Grantland staff because they looked down their noses at those base sites that catered to the unwashed masses.

I was a regular at Grantland for a while but mostly for articles by Simmons or Charlie Pierce. Once Simmons was let go - I basically just read Pierce's brain droppings at the site (and I'm guessing Charlie will be just fine after today). Sure I gave many other Grantland writers a chance but to be honest I found most of their articles pretentious. Sorry - that's just my honest opinion.

Today many people are comparing the closing of Grantland to the similar fate of The National. No offense but this is like comparing the 27 Yankees to the 1987 Pawtucket Red Sox. Ironically Grantland did a great job of chronicling "The Greatest Paper that Ever Died".

Bill Simmons' hands are not clean with today's closing either. His understandable wish to get some measure of revenge on ESPN played a part in today's shuttering of Grantland (a situation Deadspin did a nice job of describing).

So Grantland has closed it's doors today. But it honestly won't be missed by me.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How 'bout 'dem Patriots!... Very cool - the Boston Bruins dressed as minions for sick kids... Fantasy football question of the week - who should I start at QB? Peyon Manning or Brett Favre? At least with Favre there isn't the risk of negative points... Should there be an asterisk next to last year's Colts team? The asterisk would say - this team was a fluke... Could you have had a better omen that last night was going to be all Patriots?... William, Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest writer of all-time, was married to a woman who could neither read nor write... So the line for the Patriots vs Washington next week has to be at least -14 - right?... Heh heh... I am torn by this - people who hand out full size candy bars at Halloween are the coolest but isn't that too much sugar for kids?... Chris Mortensen is reporting that 11 of 12 people who made DeflateGate a thing are now getting clobbered by karma...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Linky Links

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

- If you are a Doctor Who fan - this is pretty cool.

- Godspeed in retirement Abby Wambach

- I know I shouldn't laugh at something like this because sexless Christian marriages are a problem and nothing is funny about the situation to the men (and women) who find themselves in such marriages but.... the part about having sex with your wife like she's Medusa (so you don't have to look at her face) had me laughing out loud.

- Shame on our Republic - A Million Homes Taken Since Kelo

- Very cool move by John Stockton

- The Dougie Hamilton trade is looking better and better for the Bruins

- Agincourt at 600

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Brady Bunch Conundrum

I blame the show The Brady Bunch for today's societal problems.

Why were Carol and Mike single in the first place? This is an unresolved problem

What happened to their original spouses? It's like the mother of the boys and the father of the girls never existed. Did they die and were so easily forgotten? Was there a divorce? If so - how come the kids never went to visit the other parent? Did the mother of the boys and the father of the girls just run away? Was there abuse? Was that why the other parents were never mentioned? The family's little secrets? 

Maybe Mike and Carol killed their original spouses so that they could be together. The Brady parents fit the bill for serial killers. Quiet - kept to themselves. Was Sam the butcher involved in the disposal of the bodies?

When you look back on it - the complete lack of other parents in the show is very creepy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Amazing Wil Hof - the Iceman

Fantastic interview with the amazing Wil Hof (aka the Iceman). Best interview I've ever heard on Joe Rogan's podcast.

Happiness, strength and health is a pretty good credo - don't you agree?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Where are all the "Hillary Lied and People Died" headlines in the MSM?... You have to admit - the resemblance is pretty uncanny... Nobody is even mentioning the officials from yesterday's Pats / Jets game. That's how well the game was officiated - they went without notice... Kevin Garnett pays tribute to Flip Saunders... Bar room etiquette - a reminder it is acceptable to bring a beer into the men's room. It is not acceptable to bring a cheeseburger... Starting to think that Rex Ryan is basically Rich Kotite with better PR and a foot fetish... Pretty funny camel toe prank... Who knew? Ralph Wilson originally wanted to place his AFL franchise in Miami - Buffalo was his second choice... Cool - the neuroscience of bass guitar...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why the Pats will Win (and Cover) Today

Add it up! Tom Brady is my spirit animal.

Go Pats!

Tom Brady ready to make Foxboro a no-fly zone today!

RIP Maureen O'Hara

The great Maureen O'Hara has passed away. With her recently selling her Irish estate and moving in with her daughter I feared the end was near. Hers was not a passing to mourn though - hers was a life to be celebrated.

When I think of her - I think of The Quiet Man and when I think of that movie I think of this scene.

I only wish the scene of her kicking ass on a plane at the end of Only the Lonely was online.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The best Twitter reactions to Joe Biden not running for President... If  you polled Star Wars geeks waiting in line for the new movie - how many would be able to tell you exactly what NASA stands for? Greater then 50% or less than 50%?... Heh heh... OK I'll say it! Those Louisville dancers / whores really weren't that great looking! No wonder Kentucky has been beating the Cardinals in recruiting... For Massachusetts residents looking to honor veterans this November... BTW - NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (but you knew that didn't you)... Heh heh... OK I'll say it! I feel bad for the ESPN employees who have been let go but I'm disappointed the layoffs didn't include any on-air "talent"! There are quite a few I was hoping I'd never have to watch again... What will be the larger amount - the amount the NFL ends up fining Cam Heywood for honoring his dad who died of cancer or the amount the NFL will actually donate to cancer charities via their Pink October BS?...

Daniel Murphy and the Mets

Congratulations to the Mets and Daniel Murphy for advancing to the World Series. I do have to wonder what would have been the outcome of the series if the Cubs had simply intentionally walked Murphy every single at bat though. Would it have made a difference?

Murphy had 17 AB vs the Cubs with 7 hits and one walk. Included in those 7 hits he had 4 HR and a double. According to my simple math - if the Cubs walked Murphy every at bat it would have dropped his OPS from an incredible 1.561 during the series down to an even 1.000. That's why I can stop wondering if the Cubs had just walked Murphy every at bat - would they still be playing for a World Series birth?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Die Hard Prequel - The Wrath of Bob

Hollywood is so bereft of ideas that a Die Hard prequel is in consideration. Supposedly the producers are looking for a screenwriter to deliver an idea that makes sense. That's where I come in.

Here's the pitch!

There's only one main character that makes sense to focus on especially since Bruce Willis is too old and bald while Hans Gruber is now Professor Snape to every single movie goer over 8-years of age. The character I'm talking about? Nakatomi Tower itself - an unfinished skyscraper which would be easy to green screen recreate. Why was it unfinished at the time of the first Die Hard? Go into that backstory.

Enter Bob the builder (actually General Contractor). Bob's company is responsible for building Nakatomi Tower but due to a series of mishaps and permitting issues his company has fallen way behind schedule and seriously in the red on this project. His company is on the verge of bankruptcy and to top it off Bob is a single dad trying to raise a teenage daughter who has gone missing with her punk rock boyfriend on Christmas Eve. Bob is ready to put a gun muzzle in his mouth and pull the trigger.

Then miracle of miracles! Nakatomi Tower is blown up! BOOM! Just like that Bob's back in business! The insurance money floods into Bob's company. Clean up this mess! We don't care about overtime just fix it!  To top it off in a feel-good moment Bob's daughter returns home to declare that her boyfriend is a jerk and that not only did she really miss her dad - she wants to take that job with the construction company Bob has been trying to get her to take.

Fade to black. I might need to get an agent to market this pitch.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

You want to know why I'm pretty sure the Vice President will run for the top spot on the ticket? "Joe Biden" is an anagram for "I need a job"... Why yes - I would be interested in owning a full-sized working version of the Little Tykes car... History nugget: when Admiral Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manilla in 1898 - he lost only one sailor. That sailor died of heat-stroke... It's funny because it's true!... "First you get the money, then you get the binders, then you get the women," Mitt Romney as Tony "Scarface" Montoya... Amazing how far off course the Democratic Party has gotten since the days of JFK... Do you think the reason Bernie Sanders is so quick to give Hillary a pass on her emails is because if people check his they will find he has fallen for the Nigerian Prince scam multiple times?.. Interesting suggestion from John Bolton on how to fix the UN... Imagine the press coverage this would get if it was George W. Bush or even Bill Clinton - Obama's golf outings cost taxpayers over $20,000 PER HOLE...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Did not watch a single minute of last night's Democratic Presidential Debate. I feel I'm a better man for not having my IQ assaulted... Cool - some of the top pictures from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition... Not for nothing but you should be pretty proud of yourself if you were able to grab the Patriots -7 when the lines first went up... Heh heh... Would love to see the Farrelly Brothers cast Rob Gronkowski as Sea Bass' (Cam Neeley) son in a spin off comedy of Dumb and Dumber. No way that movie isn't funny... Very cool - cooling glove may be better than steroids. Literally very cool... In that State Farm commercial is the name on the title of that Cadillac simply "Elvis Impersonator" because all those guys seem to think they own the car. Did State Farm commit fraud by selling those guys multiple policies on the same vehicle? Do I read too much into commercials?...  Excellent appreciation of Steve Spurrier. Bonus it includes the phrase "nanny-take pissmerchant"to describe Mike Lupica... Some say hell is a man on acoustic guitar playing Hotel California over and over. Extra crispy hell - that man is Chris Berman...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Top 5 - Movies I Have Never Seen

There are some very popular movies that I have never seen and at this point in my life I have no plans whatsoever to see.

1. Avatar - the most watched movie of all time. You would have to pump me full of gin to watch blue Ferngully. Not going to happen (especially during football season)
2. Twilight - any of the movies
3. Napoleon Dynamite - when people make their Vote for Pedro or uncle Rico references I have no idea what they are talking about. And I have zero interest in learning.
4. Frozen - used to see every Disney movie but kids are grown passed that point now and this flick just missed the window
5. Raging Bull - this is surprising but I have no interest in seeing this movie

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With Halloween soon upon us remember, "With Great Pumpkin comes great responsibility" - Linus... Roger Water's blatant antisemitism is making it hard for me to enjoy Pink Floyd songs anymore... Good for Kevin Youkilis - parent of the week. Not even a mention of uncle Tom Brady... There should be a word for when you write an email at work and are so proud of it you read it over and over again after it is sent... This is why Patriots players always seem more prepared when it comes to knowing the rule-book... Every time I find a fruit fly dead in the head of my beer at a bar I think, "That's the way he wanted to die"... This was the best thing to come out of Sean Rodriguez punching out the Gatorade bucket last night... Oh and if you're not familiar with Sean Rodriguez - you're not alone but then again what's to know about a 30-year old journeyman with a career .228 batting average?... Tom Petty was a heroin addict? Looking forward to this biography and I agree that Petty doesn't get his due in the rock and roll pantheon... Always remember that the word "listen" contains the same letters as the word "silent". To truly listen you should be silent... These Budweiser Red Lights look really cool. I might get one for the Bruins...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

State of the Red Sox

The Patriots were nice enough to have their bye-week the same week the 2015 season came to an end for the Red Sox so some fans were drawn back to the last place Sox for one last time. Which was nice since Sunday was also the last game to be called by fan and player favorite Don Orsillo.

Most Red Sox beat writers wasted no time in opining on what the Boston front office needs to do this winter. To save you the time of reading this fluff I'll summarize 90% of the articles: Dave Dombrowski needs to A. get an Ace and B. get rid of Hanley Ramirez. I largely don't disagree but there more work to be done than that.

At catcher the Red Sox seem set with Blake Swihart (who had a slash line of .303/.353/.452/.805 after the All-Star game) and Christian Vazquez (who was on his way to being the best defensive catcher in the AL before he hurt his arm). Does Dombrowski use one of his young stud catchers as a trade chip?

First base is the biggest question. Travis Shaw hit 13 homers in just 65 games but his splits are extreme. At home he has an OPS of  .953 while on the road is just .677. Versus lefties he mashed - batting .329 vs just .243 against righties. Move Hanley Ramirez to first? I'd rather not. A Brock Holt / Travis Shaw platoon might be the best solution if no other pieces are added.

Second (Pedroia), short (Bogaerts), DH (Ortiz) and third (Sandoval) are all-set. I say Boston is set at third mostly because of Pablo Sandoval's contract (he's got 4-years and $78 million left on his deal) but I'm not a fan.

The outfield also seems set with Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo. I'm not sold yet on Castillo but my guess is the Boston brass gives him a full year to see what they've got in him.

Everyone says the Red Sox need an ace with most people pointing to David Price via free agency or Sonny Gray via trade and I'd be happy to get either (unless the asking price for Gray was Betts or Bogaerts). However, as much crap the starting staff took this year - they weren't that bad in the second half of the season.

The bull-pen on the other hand was a mess. I hope this off season sees lots of changes. One person suggested (sorry I forget who) that Dombrowski float a bad contract in Allen Craig (2-years and $21 million remaining) for bad clubhouse person Jonathan Papelbon. Still not sure how I'd feel about that swap.

As always should be an interesting Hot Stove season.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Devil's Wheel

Mesmerizing. One of the stranger / cooler things about Oktoberfest.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

When I hear Edward Norton narrating those DraftKings commercials - I always expect him to say, "I'm Jack's gambling habit"... Good to see some reporters learning from how the NFL blatantly used the press in Deflategate. Some others like Chris Mortensen and Peter King seem resigned to remaining NFL lapdogs... When are we going to see the "Hi I'm Peyton Manning and I'm Noodle Arm Peyton Manning and I have cable" DirecTV commercial?... Touching story from Joe Posnanski... If DraftKings spliced in quick-flash images of Tyler Durdin in their Edward Norton narrated commercials - then I would think about playing... The NFL's Pink October is just a scam.... Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper is a very under-rated rock song...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Chris Mintz

Here's the Go Fund Me page for Oregon shooting hero Chris Mintz. When I first clicked on the link it was at about $390,000 - now as I type this it's at $540,000. It would be cool if people could get that number over $1 million for this hero.

Here's some more info and background on Chris Mintz. Not just a hero but a devoted father who I think would make an excellent ambassador for the cause of helping cure or better understand autism.

Linky Links

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

- As Archer would say, "Phrasing!"

- Cool cartoon on Joseph Campbell's 12 stages to the hero's journey

- I'm a sucker for School House Rock

- The greatest Craig's List "Missed Connection" ever. I agree that I don't care if it's real or not - it's beautiful.

- Cool - pancake Starry Night

- NASA has just made available over 8,400 hi-res photos from the Apollo Program

- Interesting - the backstory to the Texas biker gang shoot-out in Waco

Friday, October 02, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What came first? Bill Cosby becoming a rapist or Bill Cosby becoming pitch man for New Coke? Just curious as to which caused him to first lose his soul... Has any NFL coach with a sub .500 record ever gotten more attention than Rex Ryan and his 48-51 record?... Interesting - here are 5 things Jeremy Affeldt won't miss about baseball after he retires on Sunday... After posting about Maureen O'Hara the other day - I got to wondering what other stars of Hollywood's Golden Age are still not quite bereft of life? Mildly surprised that Kirk Douglas still hasn't joined joined the choir invisible... Surprising gun statistics. Imagine what they would look like if you were able to remove the deaths from Chicago...  Would you consider Sean Connery a member of Hollywood's Golden Age? He's still alive and kicking... Speaking of still alive and kicking - George H.W. Bush is still going strong. I wonder if the 91-year old Bush continues to cling to life out of a stubborn resolve to outlive the 85-year old H. Ross Perot...

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Interesting - the life of a professional guinea pig

- Heh heh - "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"

- Maureen O'Hara sells her seaside Irish estate. Just $1.8 million - seems like quite a bargain. I hope she's not putting her affairs in order before dying. Perhaps the last of the great Hollywood Golden Age stars.

- Don't hold your breathe waiting for the NYT to admit they were wrong. Or that they were (and are) in the tank for Obama all along.

- I just don't get the people who don't like Tim Tebow

- Heh heh

- Interesting Q&A with Chad Finn (one of Boston's best sportswriters)