Thursday, September 29, 2016

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

World Famous Detective

I have a soft spot for the movie Murder on the Orient Express. Even though I've seen the movie about 20-times there's one piece of language that gets me thinking every time. 

In the movie - when people first hear the name Hercule Poirot - the reaction is the same. They all ask "The world famous detective?" That always gets me thinking. Is there such a thing as a world famous detective? I've racked my brain and I cannot think of a single one - not past nor present. 

Maybe its just me but that realization strikes me that vampires are probably closer to reality than characters like Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Anthony Bourdain's cinematographer thinks Portland, Maine is the best place in the world to spend your summers

- It's funny because it's true!

- Albert Einstein was a genius in more than just physics

- Heh heh

- Interesting brief interview with legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. The song If You Could Read My Mind is so vastly under-rated.

- How to be Jason Bourne: Multiple passports, Swiss banking and crossing borders

- Cool

Dwight Eisenhower

Some info from Dwight Eisenhower's autobiography, At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends, that I wanted to comment on.

When Eisenhower went to high school in Abilene, KS - the town paid for the schooling (with language requirements of either Latin or German) but not for athletics. The students took it upon themselves to pay for sports through an association with $.25 dues per athlete. Contrast that to today where athletics are assumed to be part of the curriculum (albeit a luxury that is the first to be threatened with cuts when budgets get tight).

I think sports are the best thing for a kid in high school and that it should be part of the curriculum. I also think that if the common sense people from Abilene saw some of the courses kids take today as electives that they would shake their head and wonder why people are spending time and money on such fluff and nonsense. 

It should also be noted that after high school graduation Eisenhower went to work. He ended up working at the ice house of a creamery working 84-hour weeks (12 hours a day - seven days a week) for $90 per month. That money went to help pay for the college education of his older brother Ed who was enrolled at Michigan. The job also probably taught him the value of his future college education and what kind of life would be there for him if he didn't study. I'm all for kids taking a year or two off after high school to work or just mature before heading off to college. 

One final note about the young Eisenhower - he really wanted to go to Annapolis but was too old by just a couple of months to enroll (he would have been 21 during his freshman year and they had a cut off of 20). Good thing for him (and for us) that the entrance exam he took was for both service academies. Can you imagine how history could have been vastly different if Eisenhower got into his first choice of college instead of going to West Point?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Top 5 - Music Stars Who Choked to Death on Their Own Vomit

I'd rather choke to death on my own vomit than watch the debate tonight - a thought which got me thinking of this list. Jimi Hendrix headlines a list of musicians who choked to death on their own vomit.

1. Jimi Hendrix - guitar god
2. Bonn Scott - original lead singer for AC/DC
3. John Bohnam - drummer Led Zepplin
4. Tommy Dorsey - bandleader and brother of Jimmy Dorsey
5. Mamma Cass - rock myth has her choking on a ham sandwich which technically isn't vomit but since she really died of a heart attack anyway - I thought I'd toss her in at #5 just to round off the list.

Even though everyone knows how Bonn Scott died - his death certificate actually says "death by misadventure". Maybe that's because it was unclear if he choked on his own vomit. You can't dust for vomit you know.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'll start the rumor right now - after the NFL season Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels will be named the new head coach of USC. Makes lots of sense... Chuck Yeager not a fan of Pappy Boyington... For the good of the country - Gary Johnson should allow Belichick/Brady2016 to replace Johnson/Weld2016 on the November ballot... As a reminder - these two guys are responsible for trying to stop the Arizona Cardinals today... Rocky Balboa's first name is Robert - who knew?... In the golf game of life - the year 2016 is a Mulligan... Am I a bad person for laughing at this?...

Venezuela, Socialism, and Democratic Politics

Things are so bad in Venezuela that they are forced to buy oil from the US. Reading that article reminded me of this commercial.

Joe Kennedy's grandfather (and namesake) was one of the great capitalists of the past century and because of that all the Kennedy's are worth millions. The confluence of events makes me rethink my position on estate taxes - would Joe Kennedy think socialism was so great if he was forced to make his own way instead of being born with a net worth in the high 7 or 8 figures?

I still think the estate tax is bad because every parent should be able to leave the results of a life of hard work to their kids. But damn the Kennedy's... well just damn the Kennedy's.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Great Vin Scully interview from a couple of years ago.

- This made me smile

- Heh heh

- Oh the irony!

- The Economist on junk science

- Interesting - is being too busy a sign of an unhappy person? Good advice to slow down and concentrate on one thing at a time.

Thank You KG

Kevin Garnett has announced his retirement. In 21 seasons he was an All-Star 15 times but it was his 5 seasons and one championship in Boston for which I'll be forever grateful to the Big Ticket.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Where's Stampy?

A man mistook the eloquence of Marcus Aurelius as the "elephants of Marcus Aurelius."

Wisdom was dispensed but the man did not hear because he was expecting a circus.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Republicans having to root for Donald Trump must be like Chicago Bears fans having to root for Jay Cutler... Kudos to Bob Cousy and Holy Cross... So is that DirecTV commercial implying that Lionel Ritchie and Peyton Manning are gay lovers? Why else would Ritchie be in Mannings' home first thing in the morning with Peyton's wife nowhere to be found... And yet Johnny Pesky is not in the Hall of Fame... Suzy Kolber's Mancave would be a good name for a fantasy football team... The truth is the truth...  When Scott Boras is trying to sign a new client - how long do you think it takes him to casually mention that he got JD Drew $94 million in career earnings?... Debunking the Aquatic Ape Theory... July was National Beer Month and August was National Anal Sex Month (seriously). They should combine those two and make September National Regrets Month... Interesting - why Obama won't pardon Snowden...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Interesting profile of Doug Stanhope.

- Awesome (in the literal sense) - 22 of the finalists for 2016 weather photo of the year

- The University of New Hampshire should be ashamed of itself

- Eric McErlain returns to writing on hockey. Hooray!

- Heh heh - Tom Selleck's Mustache

Niall Ferguson: The 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity

Very interesting talk by economist/historian Niall Ferguson on the 6 killer apps of prosperity. He lists certain "apps" as the driving force explaining Western domination in the last century and also how these "apps" are why "rest-ern" civilizations are catching or passing Western nations today. The West's killer apps are:

1. Competition
2. The Scientific Revolution
3. Property Rights
4. Modern Medicine
5. The Consumer Society
6. The Work Ethic

I can also highly recommend Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Red Sox Magic Number

With most of the sportsworld attention focused on the NFL today - just a reminder the Red Sox Magic Number to win the AL East is now just 12.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

In a Gadda Da Vida

You don't hear this classic enough. When I hear this song I normally think of Bart Simpson tricking the church organist into playing it under the guise of "In a Garden of Eden". Or I think of the climatic sequence in the movie Manhunter.

The Kardashian Conundrum

"The amount I care about the Kardashians cannot be measured in Planck lengths." - Chris Lynch

The above statement causes a conundrum. Those who like the Kardashians probably think, "Cool he's mentioning the Kardashians but is planking still a thing?"

Meanwhile, those who understand Planck lengths have probably never heard about the Kardashians.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Clancy Brown - That Guy Hall of Famer

Bill Simmons (the artist previously known as the Boston Sportsguy) came up with the idea of "that guy" - you know the actor you would see on TV or in a movie and you would know some of his roles but not his name. Well Clancy Brown is a "That Guy" Hall of Famer. 

Be honest - did you ever hear of Clancy Brown? Some of you may have said yes but I bet the vast majority said "Clancy who?" Take a look at some of his roles and I'd bet that even if you don't know his name (ergo the "that guy" appellation) you can picture him in your head. 

- Viking Lofgren - Bad Boys 
- The Kurgan - Highlander 
- Captain Byron Hadley - The Shawshank Redemption 
- the voice of Mr. Krab - SpongeBob SquarePants 

Clancy's had many, many more roles but I think you can see my point. Clancy Brown - That Guy Hall of Famer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Can this be a real thing? Genius fake commercial.

- Johnny Cash passed 13-years ago yesterday.

- Good for the Eagles of Death Metal

- Is Gary Johnson the fittest Presidential candidate of all-time?

- Heh heh

Hillary Clinton and the Elephant Man

John Merrick : There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now.
Dr. Frederick Treves : What's that?
John Merrick : Can you cure me?
Dr. Frederick Treves : No. We can care for you, but we can't cure you

Hillary Clinton: There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now. 
Huma Abedin: What's that? 
Hillary Clinton: Can you get me elected? 
Huma Abedin: No. We can care for you, but we can't get you elected. 

John Merrick : I am not an animal. I am a human being. I am a man. 

Hillary Clinton: I am not a criminal. I'm not Donald Trump. I am a woman! 

To Love Somebody - Bee Gees

Such a great song. I can't hear this song enough.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about them Patriots!... Awesome - 15 of National Geographic's Photos of the Year... Where's Frank Sinatra when you need him? The Chairman of the Board wouldn't put up with this election... Originally I thought New England should go with the "missing man" formation on the first offensive play from scrimmage and take the penalty for Tom Brady but everyone doing their job was the right way to go... Heh heh... "Kale Smoothie" should be a euphemism for diarrhea...  I would pay good money to see a re-make of the movie Barfly if it had Jay Cutler playing the Mickey Rourke role... Not 100% sure that new movie Collateral Beauty isn't supposed to be a comedy... Has anyone written about How to Talk to Girls Wearing AirPods yet?...

Trump 2016 - No Sorry 1999

An actual Doonesbury strip from 1999. Now I have to go back and see if Doonesbury made a Super Bowl prediction for this year too.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Jake Tapper makes a good point.

- How can you not like Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics?

- Best photobomb ever!

- If it's only for one night in October - why the hell isn't that one night Halloween?

- Worth another read - Anthony Bourdain's Life Advice

- This still blows my mind - half of Earth's water might be older than the Sun


If I had a brewery that competed against Heineken - I would have a commercial of two skunks drinking Heineken saying things like Heineken is their favorite beer and how you don't even have to leave it out in the sun for hours to get it to the way skunks like their beer.

As you can tell - not a fan of Heineken.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Les McCann and Eddie Harris - Compared to What

Was first introduced to this song 2-years ago and I just can't get enough of it.

Ted Williams

It has now been 75-years since that magical 1941 season when Ted Williams finished with a .406 batting average becoming perhaps the last man in history to ever reach .400 for a season. It should be recalled that Williams didn't even win the MVP that season with voters instead preferring Joe DiMaggio and his 56-game hitting streak.

Wasting Beer

I love beer and I make no bones about it. As old Ben Franklin put it, "Beer is proof that God loves us." That's why I don't understand people who would waste beer.

Let me tell a story that illustrates where I'm coming from.

When I went to college one of the first side-jobs I took was working at a package store (that's what we call liquor stores in New England). My job was to stock cases and handle kegs - incoming and outgoing. On my first day someone brought back a keg and I tried to refuse it - because it wasn't empty! How could you return a keg if it still had beer in it? In my mind that was just wrong on so many levels. That was the day I learned that not everyone shared my beliefs about wasting beer.

One of the biggest ways beer gets wasted is when you are at a bar or a party and you put your beer down - you go to pick your beer back up but suddenly there's more than one. Which one is yours? You don't want to grab someone else's beer - so you just go get another while your old beer sits there wasted. That doesn't happen to me because when I open a can of beer (or a can of anything else for that matter) I automatically turn the tab to the left. More than one can sitting on the table? Mine's the one with the tab turned to the side. [If it's a bottle then it's always in front of me or in my hand.]

Anyway - I love beer.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Very cool! Two Central Mass high school football teams pay tribute to a fallen police officer tonight. Class all around!

- This is so true!

- How exercise shapes you far beyond the gym. In life pushing through is courage - pulling back regret.

- Oh just a sea lion riding a whale...

- Another cool high school football story.

Campaign 2016

I found this exchange between James Baker III and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia interesting. For background the Miller Center does oral histories of Presidencies and Baker was being interviewed regarding his role running the 1988 campaign of George Herbert Walker Bush:
Baker - He [George H.W. Bush] wants to cut regulations. He’s not going to increase taxes. He’s going to continue to maintain America’s military strength. He’s going to continue to see to it that we are respected by our allies and feared by our adversaries. I mean, it’s the same old stuff that you’re going to see—
Those were the issues the 1988 campaign wanted to stress. Same old stuff? Now we are devolved to speaking about building walls and if a candidate is a felon guilty of perjury. As Donald Trump would say, "Sad!"

Hell's Club

This came out a year ago but it is still awesome!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If (and when) Donald Trump loses this election - it would be cool if he and his wife did a re-make of Green Acres. It would be a perfect fit!... David Ortiz is just one of four players in baseball history to have 500+ home runs and three World Series rings. The others are Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Reggie Jackson... College football announcers who say "true freshman" should also be forced to say "true sophomore", "true junior" and "true senior" as well... RIP Marine... Metabolic Cascades of Dysfunction would be a good name for a fantasy football team. It's also a fancy way to say "concussions"... If Hillary Clinton were a Harry Potter character there's no doubt that she'd be Dolores Umbridge... Just a reminder - house centipedes are your friends... Would like to see Shia LeBeouf get a role in the next Star Wars movie as just some random guy who gets killed in first few minutes of the movie... Did Money Monster really already come and go from movie theaters? Is George Clooney still considered a movie star?... Sangria Law would be a great name for a bar that had bacon as a staple bar snack... Sam Bradford reached his perihelion under Chip Kelley (just wanted to use that word)... Growing up we were all told that the big danger from Mexico was killer bees. Now it's taco trucks on every corner? I call that progress!...

Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon passed away 13-years ago. If you have a sandwich today - make sure you really enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Linky Links

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

- What happens to these cicadas is a nightmare of mine. Nature can be a viscous bitch.

- Long live the Oxford comma!

- UMass-Amherst is always making the news for the wrong reasons. Harambe died for your sins!

- I hope Las Vegas does name their NHL team the Ratpack. And I would buy one of those away jerseys.

- And speaking of Harambe...

Labor Day

Yesterday was Labor Day and it was no big deal. And I think a union is to blame.

It used to be that Memorial Day and Labor Day were the official opening and closing bookends of the summer. This was mainly because these two holidays also bookended the end and beginning of the school year. Not any more. Now school kids regularly go back to school in August a week or two before Labor Day.

This change in schedule had to have been approved by the teachers unions. There's no way school administrators force this change unless it was supported by and who knows maybe even proposed by the teachers' unions.So in essence it was a union that diluted the holiday meant to honor labor.

Yesterday was Labor Day and it was no big deal.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Arian Foster is out there and LOVING IT! TMI but I've been commando for 4-years now.

- Fantastic Kliff Kingsbury anecdote

- Very cool - fantastic new information about the planet Jupiter

- Pop Warner football now facing concussion law suits

- Good question - just exactly how fast was this duck going?

- Interesting - I think most people have heard that cell phone signals are killing the bees but the real culprit seems to be Asian mites.

Top 5 - People and Things that Pollute My Twitter Feed

I use Twitter to jot down miscellaneous thoughts and observations but more importantly to get my news - especially about sports and science. There are a significant number of Tweets about certain people and subjects that are just continual contaminants to my time and reading enjoyment. Here are my Top 5 people and things that pollute my Twitter feed:

1. The Kardashians - I couldn't tell one of these spoiled sluts from another. They are like the herpes of Twitter in that there keeps being outbreaks of them polluting my Twitter feed.

2A. Donald Trump - the spelling adverse sayer of outrageous things. I can't wait for this election to be over.

2B. Hillary Clinton - the corrupt liar who lies. Can't believe one of these two is going to be President.

4. Dr. Pimple Popper - no I most certainly do not want to see a video of the latest gross thing she's had to pop. Literally disgusting.

5. Cats - there I said it! I guess I am more of a dog person and I also deduct 20 points from my estimate of a person's IQ any time "Caturday" is mentioned. It's not cute - it is stupid.

Just missing the list - Colin Kaepernick, Leana Dunham, Anthony Weiner and Amy Schumer.

If you haven't done so already - please follow me at @ALargeRegular

Friday, September 02, 2016

Player Comparison

Here's a comparison I thought was interesting:

Player A: Age 24 / BA .326 / OBP .376 / SLG .493 / OPS .869 / OPS+ 123
Player B: Age 32 / BA .323 / OBP .386 / SLG .457 / OPS .843 / OPS+ 120

This was kind of a trick comparison because Player A and Player B are the same person - Dustin Pedroia. The age 24 season was 2008 - the year Pedroia won the AL MVP. That was also the year he led the AL in hits, runs and doubles. His age 32 numbers are from this season. The comparison was to show just how good Pedroia has been this season.

He might not be in the 2016 AL MVP conversation like Mookie Betts - but Pedey is having a damn fine season.

Linky Links

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

- I love stories like this

- Oh the irony!

- How can you not love Charles Barkley?

- Indeed - this is an example of why grammar is important

- The cord-cutter's guide to watching college football

- This is unbelievable. High school football coach suspended because some little snowflakes got blisters in practice.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Tom Brady is going to spend at least part of his 4-game suspension supporting his alma mater Michigan. Hopefully he'll spend some of the rest of the 4 weeks suing the NFL for defamation and Roger Goodell personally for creating a hostile work environment... Things like this are a much greater threat to the Earth than climate change ever will be... Pet peeve - there's no such thing as "Defending Rookie of the Year". You can't "defend" that award as it is given by definition to a new player every year... Heh heh... If Donald Trump is elected President one of his first acts will be to have the Department of Education eliminate all spelling tests. Trump hates spelling...Wow - thanks a lot Canada!... Growing up Catholic if a priest kept a mass under an hour he was a good priest. If his mass was consistently under 45 minutes - he developed a cult following...