Sunday, January 31, 2016

Donald Trump with a Cockney Accest

This is fantastic!


On this date in 1865 the Congress voted to end slavery. The vote was 119 "yea" and 56 "nay" with 8 Congressmen not voting. It should be noted that every Republican Congressman voted to end slavery (along with 16 Democrats). All of the 56 "nay" votes and all of the not voting (the voting "present" of the day) came from the Democrats.

Just something to keep in mind when you hear the Republicans are the "racist" party.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Challenger Disaster

The Challenger Disaster - 30-years ago today.

We still mourn seven heroes.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Think I'm over the Patriots loss on Sunday. I will be avoiding Boston sports talk radio until after the Super Bowl though... Heh heh - best take I've seen on the GOP Iowa debate... Oh and for the Super Bowl - I will be rooting for the Panthers to crush Denver... Vengeance Quakers would be a good name for a band (or for rational Patriots fans rooting for Carolina in the Super Bowl)...  Heh heh... Am I the only one who reads Peter King's columns but hears them in my head in the voice of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers?... The 30 players listed in this article would make very good fantasy baseball targets (many will probably be bargains)... Speaking of fantasy baseball - Schtup With People may be my fantasy team this year... If you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens then this is pretty funny... I have always had a problem with the Fleetwood Mac song You Make Loving Fun. as opposed to what? You Make Loving Feel Like Working in a Coal Mine?...WTF?...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Why peeing in your socks may save your life! I had to read the article and then was left thinking that those socks would really come in handy on the Appalachian Trail. Charge your phone and keep your location via GPS? Sounds perfect.

- Is the Flint water crisis the result of a stimulus project gone wrong?

- I don't think Amy Schumer is a joke thief

- They are like ninja eagles on stilts

- Heh heh

Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda is dead. He is no more. He's ceased to be. He's joined the choir invisible.

I learned about his death from Keith who pointed out that the site was almost instantly updated (same with Vigoda was known for basically three things - playing Sal Tessio from The Godfather, Detective Fish from Barney Miller and for not being dead. Now he'll just be remembered for being Sal Tessio and Detective Fish.

When I think about Abe Vigoda - this episode of Barney Miller always comes to mind.

I was almost convinced that Abe Vigoda was immortal.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

13 Hours

Saw 13 Hours over the weekend. It was a very good movie and things got a little dusty for me at the end. I agree with John Krasinski that the movie is first and foremost about the men involved. I kept asking myself, "Where do we find such men?"

However, just as a casual movie-goer the fact that the words "President Obama", "Barack Obama", "Secretary Clinton" or "Hillary Clinton" were never said or appeared on screen in the movie seemed like a willful omission. You cannot show the White House on the screen and not wonder what the President was doing during those 13-hours.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is well worth your time to see in the theaters.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard of 78

With the threat of all this snow - I thought it a good time to re-post my memories of the Blizzard of 78 which remains the blizzard against which all other blizzards are measured in New England. 

At the time of the Blizzard of 78, I was almost 12. I remember the time as being a time of lots of snow, no school and of financial opportunity. 

I grew up in the inner city part of Worcester - near Clark University. Where I lived we had neighborhoods of immigrants (mostly Irish, Greek and French Canadian) and college students. We weren't rich (hardly) but there were plenty of kids in the neighborhood and we were never bored. 

The snow was a financial windfall for me and my friends because we would roam the neighborhoods shoveling out people for money. If I recall correctly, it was normally $5 for a car and $10 for a driveway and front walk. Many of us had regular customers and it was fairly easy to find college students who either didn't have a shovel of their own or who would just rather not do the work themselves. 

There wasn't any off-campus parking to speak of and most Clark students with cars would park on the street. When the plows cleared the streets - these cars were left under 3 feet of snow. Looking back, if I was a college student then - I would have paid a kid $5 to shovel my car too. 

Back then (and the custom still remains throughout New England today) once a spot on the street was cleared - a folding chair or some other placekeeper would be placed in the spot when the person drove off. Pity the fool who took someone else's spot. It was not uncommon to see people break the windows of trespassers, blockade them in or cover the car in twice as much snow as had been removed in the first place. 

The Blizzard of 78 was also a time of great fun. 

The most popular activities were "snagging", sledding and throwing snowballs at cars. Each of these activities deserve some comment because they can easily be misunderstood when placed into today's context. 

Snagging was my favorite and I plan a post again soon just on the art of snagging. In other parts of the country snagging was also known as "skitching" or bumper riding. Basically, you would sneak behind a car, crouch down and grab the bumper and then ski away as the car pulled off. It was great! Snagging is one of those activities that most of the people from my generation and geography did but that is no longer done by today's generation (lots of reasons that I'll probably address in a longer post). I'll suffice it to say that I loved snagging.

Sledding is pretty common but it should be noted that we didn't sled with any of the plastic type sleds or inner-tube types they use today. We had the wooden sleds with the red metal runners. Every year at least one kid from the neighborhood broke an arm or a leg sledding. It was less safe but somehow more fun. 

Throwing snowballs at cars is something I hesitate to mention in case my kids read this but it's what we did. Like snagging - this is another activity that has gone the way of the dinosaur now that kids have more entertainment options. 

I know that "throwing snowballs at cars" must sound awful to some people but to us it was like a sport. It had certain rules. No old ladies (you would get a "white wash" for hitting an old lady's car - even if on accident). If a person was driving alert to the possibility of getting hit - they were normally left alone. We looked for people who were driving oblivious to their surroundings. Jarring them back to reality was good fun. Buses were great because they were big targets and the drivers were prohibited from stopping the bus and giving chase to us pesky kids. Oblivious drivers with a window cracked open because they were smoking a cigarette were the best. A good throw would hit the top of the window and at least half of the snowball would get the driver. 

Probably the most memorable thing I did during the Blizzard of 78 was to jump from my friend's second floor balcony onto the snow drifts below. We would do this over and over until we got tired or bored. 

Like I said - I know to many people this stuff will sound awful but it was what my childhood was like and I offer no apologies. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Illegitimacy of Aragorn’s Claim to the Throne

Was Aragorn the legitimate heir to the throne of Gondor? Pure gold for any LOTR geek. 

I have to disagree with the conclusion though. My main two reasons for believing Aragon was the true King were the facts that:

A) Elrond believed him to be King (and he knew Aragon's dad). In fact believed him enough to allow Aragon to marry his daughter Arwen (not something he'd do for some ordinary mortal slub).

B) the King of the Dead recognized him as the true King and Aragon was able to release the dead and hold their oaths fulfilled. That's something only the true King could have done.

I do agree that the political succession process of Middle Earth was batshit insane. But was it any more batshit than making whoever can pull a sword from a stone king or be granted supreme executive power just because a watery tart threw a sword at you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Tom Brady and the Patriots are 3-0 in the playoffs versus the top regular season defense. In those games the Pats average 31 points. The Broncos were the top regular season defense this season.... Jamie Foxx is the man (but what about the un-named off work EMT who was even more important to the successful rescue?)... Come on - just one taste... I think it is beyond hypocritical for any state that participates in a lottery to ban people from playing daily fantasy sports... Heh heh... Meat Slurry would be a good name for a band. Or for a companion entree to Golden Corral's Chocolate Waterfall... Perspective - if you had a minute of silence for each person killed in the Holocaust you would have to be silent for eleven and a half years... Add Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River to the places I want to visit... How great would it be if someone replaced Stephen Hawking's computer voice with the voice of Emo Phillips?... President Obama's foreign policy in a nutshell - he attended the funeral of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah but skipped the funeral of Britain's Margaret Thatcher...

Monday, January 18, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- Cool David Bowie story

- Speaking of Bowie - he was the invisible New Yorker

- Dan Quayle would have been crucified for this

- This just scratches the surface regarding the planetary physics issues I had with Star Wars: The Force Awakens

- A reminder of how Ronald Reagan would have dealt with Iran for what they did

- Star Wars humor

- Star Wars humor II

Alan Rickman

I'd be remiss not mentioning the passing of the great Alan Rickman. He burst onto the public's consciousness as Hans Gruber but is probably best remembered as Professor Snape. Rickman's death comes shortly after the passing of David Bowie. If I were 69-years old, famous and British - I'd be nervous right about now. Accordingly I'm guessing Elton John and former Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May probably scheduled doctor's appointments this week.

Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe remembers Rickman as a great friend. Movie and TV critic Alan Sepinwall had a nice summary of Rickman's career and impact.

Alan Rickman was so great he could even make having a simple cup of tea something awesome! Also as an aside - here's Benedict Cumberbatch doing Alan Rickman singing Candle in the Wind.

Origin of the Poolroom

Back in the day before state run lotteries - local bookies would run numbers games and these tickets for the "pool" were often sold in a "poolroom". The numbers would be drawn once or twice a day and in order to fill the time between drawings - the operators at many locations put in billiards tables. Billiards was changed or Americanized by adding pockets and creating the game pocket billiards which we now know simply as pool.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


The story Cinderella was written in 1699 by a Frenchman named Charles Perrault. In the original story, Cinderella wore slippers made of squirrel fur but when the book was translated into English the word "vair" (squirrel fur) was mistranslated as "verre" (glass) and the rest is history.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Did you know that if you added together all the numbers on a roulette wheel (1 to 36) – that the total would be the number 666? Yes roulette is an evil game. You cannot play roulette and expect to make money (it’s almost as bad as playing Keno).

You can play roulette for fun. Here is what I would suggest as a way to enjoy roulette without getting too hurt in the wallet or pocketbook. (I originally read about this method in Cigar Aficionado magazine.)

Get $40 worth of chips and pick five numbers. Play $1 on each of the five numbers for 8 spins. Even if you never hit a number – you would have only lost $40 but will have had about a half hour worth of excitement (and maybe one comped drink).

If you hit a number – then double your bets to $2. Remember to quit after 8 spins of the wheel. Now the most you could possibly lose is $38 (you can use that $2 to tip your waitress). If you hit a second time – double your remaining bets to $4. Now you are guaranteed to win at least $26. If you hit a third time – then you can pay for a nice steak dinner with martinis. Just remember to quit after 8 spins. Get up and look around the casino – the worst thing you can do is just sit at a table forever – because at some point you’ll run out of money.

Friday, January 15, 2016

New English National Anthem

England is thinking about adopting a new national anthem to replace God Save the Queen to be played before sporting events and also I would assume during medal presentations. I really like the idea of England adopting David Bowie's Heroes as their new anthem. The lyrics actually work pretty well for sporting events.

Let me also repeat my belief that American should adopt Free Bird as our new national anthem.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh - Bill James predicted a Donald Trump Presidential campaign back in 2001.

- 7 potential health reasons why coffee is good for you

- How Mark Cuban actually became a billionaire (it wasn't Powerball)

- Tim Tebow is a fantastic human being

- David Bowie's 100 favorite books

- Tom Brady and "playing catch"

Darrelle Revis

With all the Patriots All-Pro players this season being home grown - you would think that fans would finally give Bill Belichick the benefit of the doubt as GM. Yet some people still whine about the Pats not bringing back Darrelle Revis despite a full season of evidence that New England absolutely made the right choice to let Revis walk.

Pro Football Focus' cornerback rankings also prove the Pats made the right choice.

In Bill We Trust.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Bill and Tony Show

Recently some exchanges between American President Bill Clinton and English Prime Minister Tony Blair were declassified. Some of them are downright hilarious.

This is my absolute favorite.

This is my second favorite.

Here's another one.

And here's another one.

And the American public wonders why BBC dramas always seem to portray American politicians as cartoonish.

EDIT: Some of these may or may not be spoofs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie

I liked David Bowie's music but didn't LOVE his music. I mourn more the loss of a public figure who was so obviously intelligent and in possession of such a top shelf sense of humor (those types of people seem to very rare theses days). This article seems to reflect my feelings on the passing of Bowie (except I wasn't a bully and the person who made me re-think Bowie was my daughter and not a co-worker).

Stories like how Bowie took up boxing help to show both how multi-layered the man was but also how generous he was with his time and curiosity.

It also had to be said that Bowie's death seems to hit so many so hard because it came out of the blue. Despite the fact that he was diagnosed with cancer more than 18-months ago - very few were aware of it. His health, privacy and circumstance were truly his own. He died with undenied class and style. The same way he lived his life.

EDIT: This video helps illustrate just how smart and funny a man David Bowie was.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Going to do one of those payday loans today and spend all the money on Powerball tickets! What? No I don't need a financial adviser! Why do you ask?... Heh heh... If you watch the movie To Kill a Mockingbird backwards - it is the story of a black man brought back from the dead to break up some furniture (not sure it this was original to me)... Stephen Tobolowski tells the best stories... Speaking of movies - still amazed that role in Airplane! that went to Leslie Nielsen was originally offered to Christopher Lee... This is a pretty handy tool... Salad bars really should be re-named "vegetable buffets"... The ultimate US road trip... Has anyone made the "I'm skinny legs Peyton Manning and I have cable" and "I'm jacked up on HGH Peyton Manning and I have DirecTV" joke yet?... Interesting... Now that Brian Urlacher has all that hair - if he really grows it out would the Vikings offer him the job of Ragnar?... Best explanation of high school football I've read... I don't care how good the show Making a Murderer might be - I'm not going to invest 10-hours of my time in something that will just make me angry... Navy ship to be named after Medal of Honor winner Hershel "Woody" Williams...

Friday, January 08, 2016

My Top Movies of 2015

This post was inspired by Stephen Silver ranking the movies he saw in 2015. He saw 162 films last year - I saw much, much fewer. Anyways - here's my rankings of the movies I saw in 2015:

1. Mad Max Fury Road - start to finish just what you wanted from a turn off your brain and enjoy the thrill ride expectations.
2. Ant-Man - really enjoyed this (even saw it twice in theaters)
3. Kingsman: The Secret Service - thought this movie was surprisingly fun and action packed.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - just thought the movie was OK. Not a huge fanboy and the planetary physics bugged me (still do)
5. Road Hard - this Adam Carolla flick was the best comedy I saw in 2015
6. Trainwreck - was OK. Not in my Top 10 comedies of all-time or anything (and I suspect we may look back at this as the point where Amy Schumer ceased to be funny)
7. Winning: the Racing Life of Paul Newman - Newman was an exemplar of what every man should strive to be like
8. The Wrecking Crew - I have a soft spot for rock documentaries
9. Avengers: Age of Ultron - I had such high expectations too
10. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
11. Going Clear - Scientology is so creepy
12. Call Me Lucky - Barry Crimmins touching story
13. Tig - I watch some comedy specials multiple times - not this one

I also walked out of the movie The Drop because I thought it was awful. Have some friends who say the ending was worth the slow build. I wanted to see but missed Ex Machina. Black Mass was on my list of movies I wanted to see but friends said if you read the book the movie was a disappointment.

Any movies that came out in 2015 that you think are must-sees?

EDIT: left off two movies.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Milan Lucic was still with the Bruins - his 23 points would put him 6th on the team in scoring... Heh heh... Beats at the Heart of Chaos would be a good name for a band or for a retro Beatnik coffee bar... At some point I'm going to type "Norwegian Beaver Cheese" into the search box on PornHub and RedTube just to see what videos come up... In the future the word "distaff" will be replaced by the word "nodick" because people in the future will be stupid... Two months later and the NFL still doesn't have anything to report on the Andrew Luck injury "report"... I'm going to have business cards printed up that say "Chris Lynch - Public Intellectual" because why not?... If I were President - I would pardon Bill Cosby if he he agreed to kill that super annoying Dr Pepper vendor guy from all the bowl game commercials... How you all probably feel about me for typing that last bit about Bill Cosby... I might be in the minority on this but I feel that women who get their periods during the December holiday season should be made to wear Krampus masks...

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

PED's and the HOF

"Anyone found or admitted, I think you traded your money and numbers... for your [Hall of Fame] vote." Mike Lowell
I agree 100% with Mike Lowell. Barry Bonds made over $188 million, Roger Clemens made over $150 million and Mark McGwire made over $74 million in MLB contracts. These players were able to get these mega-buck contracts because PED's allowed them to put up bigger numbers and play more years than if they tried to do things the right way - the legal way. They traded their Hall of Fame vote for the money and the numbers - it's that simple. Will I feel bad when these players come up short in getting elected to the HoF? Not in the least.

The players I feel sympathy for are the guys like Fred McGriff who everyone thinks played the game the right way. McGriff finished his career with 493 HR which will be just under what is needed for election to the Hall. McGriff suffers because his power numbers pale in comparison to a guy like McGwire and his 583 HR.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Donald Trump's rally in Massachusetts made me think of this.

- Heh heh - don't do drugs

- Still one of my favorite commercials

- Cool - you can own your own personal hobbit hole

- I have nothing to add either. Picture says it all.

- 2015 Outdoor Photographer of the year photos

- Cargill fires 200 Muslim workers over prayer dispute. A business is a business first.Also pretty sure those jobs were filled pretty quickly.

- Are we sure this isn't a Craig's List ad? "Anybody butt rump?" could be some kinky butt stuff.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Dear Mister Kraft

Dear Mister Kraft,

It has now been three years in a row that I have come to Miami to watch the Patriots play the Dolphins. And for the past three years in a row the New England Patriots have been the better team yet have lost each time. How can this be explained? I know that there have been many factors that have gone into each loss but it has to be faced that I am a consistent factor. That cannot be denied.

As a big Patriots fan I do not want the team to lose again next season when both I and the team venture down to South Florida. That's why, as a big fan of the team, I am making you this offer - pay me $10,000 and I will stay away from the game next year. I will use the money you pay me to go somewhere else. Maybe the Florida Keys or maybe Grand Cayman Island instead.

This will be a sacrifice on my part because other than having my Sunday ruined by a Patriots loss - I really enjoy my trips down here. The weather's great and the Dolphin fans are almost quaint with the way that they and the team seem fixated on 1972. I also have to say that I think the Miami team is cursed by their choice of an awful team theme song.

So Mister Kraft - what do you say? $10,000 is a small price to pay to eliminate one of the potential issues that might be keeping your team from winning an important AFC East divisional game. It really is a small price to pay for a $1 billion organization - don't you think?

I await your reply,


Chris Lynch