Sunday, December 31, 2017

Running Down a Dream - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

We lost a lot of celebrities in 2017 but the loss of Tom Petty seemed to hit home the most.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Linky Links

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

- 5 cars disappearing after 2017. I'll miss the Dodge Viper.

- Awesome! How one man made his shed the top rated restaurant in Trip Advisor.

- A reminder for Star Wars fans - the Ewoks are dead. ALL THE EWOKS ARE DEAD!

- Heh heh

- Mobster implicated in Godfellas heist going to jail for road rage. I'm confused though - if he wasn't supposed to be Jimmy the gent then who was he in the movie?

- How to become the top 1% in anything

- UCL Physics - Dr. Alexandra Olaya Castro. I haven't watched this lecture on quantum effects in biology but I'm placing it here as a reminder to myself.

Johnny Appleseed - Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

Just because. I don't need a reason to post some Joe Strummer.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Interesting - Trump's war on the regulatory state

- Good for her! I hope someone at the State Department is making sure she's protected.

- Just love aurora photos. This one is from Norway. Stunning!

- Space related industry to triple in size by 2040

- Volvo just acquired a flying car company. And equally surprising (to me) Volvo is now owned by a Chinese company?!?!

- Heh heh

- Every year I say I'm going to spend a week during the summer at Acadia National Forrest. This is the summer I make that happen!

Origin of Term "Grandfathered"

Say a State changes its drinking age from 18-years old and moves it to 21-years old - people aged 18, 19, and 20 would be "grandfathered" and not subject to the new 21-year old drinking age. People 17-years of age? Well they're screwed.

The term "grandfathered" has become well known and pretty benign but the origin of the term "grandfathered" has some serious racist overtones.

After the Civil War many of the Southern States instituted some new voting restrictions aimed at making it difficult for newly freed slaves to vote. Poll taxes, literacy tests and other nefarious rules were put in place but these new requirements had to also apply to poor whites. How to get around these new rules then? Add another one that said "if your grandfather could vote so can you". Of course prior to the Civil War only whites could vote and if your grandfather could vote - that means you're white too and thus it's A-OK for you to vote. 

That's how the term "grandfathered" was born. As I said before the term is pretty benign now and at some point you have to just accept your past and move on but honestly now knowing the origin of "grandfathered" will make me second guess using the term myself.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Abe Lincoln was a badass!

- Who was Marcus Aurelius? The last great Stoic of Rome

- You might think you're cool. But you'll never be "loading my gun before I get out of bed for my morning coffee" Evel Knievel cool.

- Interesting - can "memories" be passed down through generations?

- Scientists have reportedly found a drug that can repair cavities and even regrow teeth. The name "Tideglusib" will have to go though.

- Cool - a visual history of homes in the US

- Happy birthday to the inspirational Pete Frates

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

We just don't say "Hark!" enough these days. Wouldn't you like someone calling particular attention to something by shouting "Hark! Hark!" Or maybe it's just me... This is a good point about Bill Belichick signing James Harrison... The Soul Ascending into Bliss would be a good name for either an Enya or a Marilyn Manson cover band... So a new train station near the Western Wall in Jerusalem is to be named after Donald Trump. I SERIOUSLY doubt anything in Jerusalem gets named after Barack Obama... "Coming of Age" stories are a little too spot on if you simply reverse the order of those three words... Heh heh... I can't wait for President Trump to name the Iron Sheik as Ambassador to Iran. That will break the Internet...

Top 5 - Otters in US History

Here are what I consider to be the Top 5 Otters in US history. Otter from Animal Housedid not make the list because he's fictional. List in reverse order of significance:

5. Obadiah Otter - he was a curious otter who happened upon the Donner Party in 1846. These were the first humans Obadiah ever encountered and as it worked out also the last. He is historically significant because he kept the Donner Party from resorting to cannibalism (for an additional 36 hours).

4. Jeremiah Otter - his wife and adopted son were killed by a Crow Indian raiding party. He spent the rest of his life tracking down Crow Indians and ripping out their necks while they slept. He became a Rockie Mountain legend and some say a myth. Some even say he's up in those mountains still.

3.  Sergeant York Otter - while it was widely reported that the Navy experimented with strapping bombs to dolphins it is lesser known that the Army had a similar project utilizing otters. Sergeant York Otter was named after the WWI hero and died during a training accident.

2. Sacajawea Otter - the only female otter on the list. She was the mascot of the Lewis and Clark expedition party until she was killed by Meriwether Lewis and her pelt was exchanged for some corn meal.

1. Bedford Otter - this otter is significant because as a youth he used to live in a pond in Bedford Falls and one winter when he was young he was poking around under the ice to the point where he caused a few cracks.  These cracks broke when a young Harry Bailey was sledding onto the ice. In one timeline Harry's older brother George was able to save Harry but in another timeline George wasn't around to save Harry. In a third less publicized timeline - Bedford Otter didn't nose around under the ice and Harry never fell into the icy waters. In that timeline George Bailey was a whole lot less necessary to the happiness of Bedford Falls.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If it's true that Al Franken is waiting until after the new year to announce his promised resignation from the Senate just so he'll get paid for 2018 then he's really a huge asshole... So did Joe from the Jimmy Hendrix song Hey Joe ever go to jail for shooting his woman down? Or did he actually make it to Mexico?... This road trip may be the top thing on my bucket list... The Patriots are the first team in NFL history to win 12 or more games in 8-straight seasons. And fans in New England are completely taking that for granted at this point. But the fans aren't the only ones spoiled by success - Bill Belichick can't even make the list of candidates for NFL Coach of the Year with just a routine 12 or 13 win season. Greatness shouldn't be taken for granted like this... Heh heh - welcome to New England... Cowboys' coach Jason Garrett seems like the type of person who would get all excited about winning $1 on a $2 scratch ticket... Ned Flanders Erotica would be a good name for a band (or my first NYT bestselling novel)...

United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch

Fun little song by Liam Lynch (no relation).

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Nikki Haley, Trump and the UN

Nikki Haley is making a list. And the Mossad is helping her to check it twice. I must say I'm disappointed in seeing Ireland on this list. You would think the fact that Ireland was neutral during World War II despite the horrors of the Nazi Party would make them more self aware of not being so anti-Semitic. But I guess not. Shame. Literal shame.

Taking shots at the UN is red meat for the Republican base and the Democrats better be aware that you can only diss Israel so many times until Jews in Blue States might stop voting for and donating to Democratic candidates. Gone are the days of Democratic giants like Daniel Patrick Moynihan (wonder what DPM would say about Ireland's vote).

I've long held the belief that the best way to purge the UN would be to have a referendum stating that any country that allows slavery is not welcome in the UN. The US and a number of other "free" countries could back the referendum with a threat to leave if the slave countries are not expelled.

Funny enough most of the countries that allow slavery also hate Israel. Go figure!

Brave New Streaming World

The first cracks in the traditional cable model was when HBO decided to offer a streaming only platform called HBO Go. It then followed that up with HBO Now for people who aren't connected to a cable company. The cableco umbilical cord was cut and suddenly people getting HBO Go, Netflix and YouTube (substitute Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus to mix and match a package that's right for you) had plenty of content and no desire to continue with a $100+ cable bill. Cutting the Cord suddenly became cutting edge and fashionable.

Then came the "skinny" packages. Sling TV starts with 30 channels for just $20 per month. DirecTV Now offers 60+ channels for $35 per month and they just signed up over 1 million subscribers making them the 3rd largest OTT (over the top) streaming service behind Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. But that too is just the beginning because even in 30 channel packages and especially in 60 channel packages there will be channels a subscriber won't watch and will chaff at paying for.

For example - if I'm a liberal I might not particularly like the fact that I have to subsidize Fox News. Conversely a conservative may feel the same about MSNBC or even CNN. Further levels of choice will be demanded.

Which brings me to this interesting case - Wave Broadband vs Comcast's NBC Sports Network. The case basically questions Comcast's "packaging" requirements and a Wave Broadband win may open the door for further a la carte content choices. Wave actually has very little to lose as they already charge their subscriber just the content costs as a pass-through. Wave's business is really in providing the broadband pipe.

We live in interest content times and the times are a changing.

Generation Landside by Alice Cooper

A very underrated song that you never hear anymore.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Linky Links

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

- SpaceX's new mega-rockets

- The Daytona 500 of ice fishing

- Guatemala plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem too.

- I'm an honorary Jew once a year and proud of it

- Very cool photo - Aurora Reindeer

- The most 2017 photos of 2017

- And a Merry Christmas to the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in Mosul, Iraq

Merry Christmas

Christmas Wish

Every year at Christmas I re-read A Christmas Carol. It is a very short book (not even a long short story really). It is my personal Christmas tradition.
"Spirit! are they yours?" Scrooge asked, horrified. He could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, "and they cling to me, appearing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware the boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

- Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
I hope in the year to come that you can work to erase ignorance in your life and want in the lives of those you love. 

Merry Christmas - God bless us everyone! 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saint Nicholas

Trump, the Media and Government

Seem compelled to start all these posts with a disclaimer - I did not vote for Trump but there have been some things going on that I felt a need to comment on. I no longer "root" for any one political party. I support things I believe are good for the country. Period.

While I wouldn't necessarily support the argument that "Trump has made us more moral" there was a section of this article that I wholeheartedly agree with:
Government does not exist to make us equal, but to treat us equally. It does not exist to make life fair, but to treat us fairly. Most importantly, it exists to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Only in liberty can we treat each other ethically, because only in liberty can we make the choices that are the necessary condition for ethical life.  
I think I would have a problem with anyone who does not agree with that first sentence.

I also think that the crux of this article is correct - that the media have basically neutered their own importance through partisanship. All major news outlets are almost at the point of outright pandering to party confirmation bias at this point. Where anything that disagrees with your particular political beliefs is now "fake news".

It is my belief that the tax cuts were a good thing. I also agree that the merits of any particular point of the new tax bill can be rationally debated. However, if the Democrats or the media demonize the package as "Armageddon" then all (to borrow a phrase) is just tales told by partisan idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. When people get to keep more of their money this April 15th I hope they remember.

NFL Sunday - Week 16

Today is Sunday - but it doesn't quite feel like a Sunday does it? It's Week 16 and that mainly means teams are either positioning themselves for the playoffs or now worried more about personal stats because there will be no playoffs. Week 16 also means the championship match-up in most fantasy leagues. Good luck if you've made it this far.

To be honest - not very enthusiastic any of the games today. So here's a 300-pound lineman returning a kickoff.

For the 1:00 games I'll go with a 3-team moneyline parlay - the Lions, Panthers and Redskins - risking $100 to win $255.

For the 4:00 games I'll go with a 6.5 point teaser - 49ers +10.5 and Cowboys over 40.

Good luck!


I wish I had thought of this!

Merry Christmas.

Happy Earthrise

One of the most iconic photos in history "Earthrise" was taken on this day in 1968 from Apollo 8.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Post and Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep has a new movie called The Post and I predict it will be a huge flop. And I also predict that even though the movie was the product of director Steven Spielberg and co-stars Tom Hanks that Streep will be blamed for the movie's failure.

As far as I can tell The Post is just a vanity retelling of All the President's Men. The only reason to make this movie is pure ego. There is no more financial reason to do a remake than there was to remake Ben Hur (how did that go?). No matter how much the critics like the movie - there's just no reason for people to pay money to see this.

So the movie will flop. And Meryl Streep will be scapegoated even though the movie was doomed from the start.

Steven Spielberg should change his name to "Seven" Spielberg at this point because he's directed maybe 7 great movies and he's living off that reputation of his past greatness. And Tom Hanks name on a marque is no longer a guaranty of box office success either. But the blame will placed on Streep because of her past support of Harvey Weinstein. Because of her political support of people like Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. But mostly she will be blamed and mocked because that's the way Hollywood works.

Meryl Streep is guilty by association. But mostly she's guilty in the eyes of Hollywood because her last dozen movies really didn't make as much money as expected. She might as well go around saying "All right Mr DeMille I'm ready for my close-up" at this point. She all done. All that's left is the mocking. A sad end to a distinguished career.

Linky Links

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

- Catalan separatists win election. Wish I understood what is going on in Spain.

- Cool - scientists have created a new material called diamene which is as flexible as tinfoil but strong enough to stop a bullet.

- It's OK Bobby - we understand that the 70's were a strange time

- Heh heh

- The Graduate just turned 50-years old. A good reason to remind people that Buck Henry (one of the most underrated comedy writers in history) is still alive.

- The Red Lion Inn. I've stayed here a few times and the place is very cool.

- Is it me or does this woman have serious crazy eyes? And now also an STD.

Ho Ho Ho

(Now I have a machine gun)

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If you play The Christmas Shoes on the jukebox - I should be allowed to throw darts at you. No exceptions!... Heh heh... Juicy Throwup would be a good name for a band (or a product cross between Juicy Fruit gum and Redman tobacco)... If the Clinton Foundation was a publicly traded company - how do you think they would be doing? The opposite of BitCoin maybe?... Love Jimmy G! Also love how he yells "Let's Go!" at the end. The connection with Brady will be forever... Louis CK's Erotic Handshake would be a good name for a band (or his next comedy special)... Heh heh - love the looks on the guys on the benches...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Instagram and Twitter

For anyone interested in following me on Instagram and Twitter - my Instagram handle is "chri4397" (handle means nothing just randomly assigned) and on Twitter my handle is @ALargeRegular (which obviously is the name of my blog).

My Instagram is mostly my treks to New England hiking spots and beaches plus my occasional antics.

The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The best funny wildlife photos from over 3,500 entries.

This was one of my favorites.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm pissed off about the new Tax Bill. Pissed off that no Senator or Congressman took the opportunity to slip in language to end Daylight Savings when they had the opportunity. Pissed off!... Heh heh... FACT - none of the six QB's selected to the Pro Bowl defeated Blake Bortles this season. Also FACT - Donald Trump has not been defeated in the Octogon by any other President living or dead... I don't expect Meryl Streep to answer this question. But it's a very valid question especially given her relationship with Harvey Weinstein... Funny how you don't hear about closing Guantanamo Bay as a campaign issue any more isn't it?... Good argument for Mickey Loomis as NFL Executive of the Year. Although Les Snead hired Sean McVay as head coach of the Rams so there's that... Jeff Fisher is said to be "eyeing" several NFL coaching jobs. On a related note - I'm "eyeing" several Victoria Secrets models. The mutual interest in both cases should be similar...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


On this day in 1944, the 101st Airborne is surrounded at Bastogne.

Looks like someone's found a reason to re-watch certain episodes from Band of Brothers today.

State of the Celtics

The news that Isaiah Thomas is about to start a rehabilitation with the Cavs G-League team got me thinking about the NBA and in particular all things Boston Celtics.

I'm still amazed that Danny Ainge turned the assets from the Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo trades into Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. And don't forget that he also turned Doc Rivers as coach into Brad Stevens as coach. There's not a single NBA team that would rather have Rivers over Stevens as coach at this point. Not one single NBA team.

Rivers didn't want to stick around in Boston because he didn't want to go through a rebuilding process. Since leaving the Celtics - Rivers has been 18-22 in the playoffs with the Clippers. Meanwhile in that same span the "rebuilding" Celtics have been 11-17 but poised to greatly improve on that playoff record this season and in the years to come.

Whatever the Celtics do in the playoffs this season is pure gravy. Fans are really interested in what can be accomplished next season with the addition of Gordon Haywood for a full season and another first round pick (or two) plus the probable absence of LeBron James from the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of draft picks - currently Brooklyn (11-18) has a better record than the Lakers (10-18). Hope that continues and somehow LA falls to between 2nd and 5th in the draft.

Good luck with the rehab IT4! Boston fans are pulling for you!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Patriots 2018

After the New England Patriots' performances in the past two games many people are discussing if this is the end of the dynasty. And you know what - it just might be getting close but not yet.

Two weeks ago Tom Brady looked old and slow in the 27-20 loss to the Dolphins. He looked like a 40-year old QB. This past week he once again looked like the GOAT version of Tom Brady (due in large part to having the GOAT tight end Rob Gronkowski to throw to). However, these past two weeks did not occur in a vacuum. They occurred while the handsome Jimmy Garoppolo was setting the NFL world on fire. That got many in New England wondering if they cut bait too soon.

Well barring the Patriots winning another Super Bowl this season and Tom Brady riding off in the sunset in a storybook finish to the best career any QB ever had - Tom Brady will be back next season as the QB for New England. The Pats really had no other option but to trade Jimmy G (and they did him a solid by trading him to the 49ers).

And if the Pats do win the Super Bowl this year and Brady retires is there anyone who would begrudge him that? Seems like a good problem to have to me.

What could really derail New England next season though is the high turnover in NFL head coaches. There should be about 9 job openings and both Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia will be on the short list for just about all of those jobs. If the Patriots were to lose both their offense and defensive coordinators that could be a big problem. Is there anyone waiting in the wings to step up for those positions? We saw how badly that went when Dante Scarnecchia retired as offensive line coach for a year and the line just fell apart. Dave DeGuglielmo just didn't cut it in New England (though he seems to be doing fine in Miami).

Bill O'Brien would be in demand if Houston lets him go as HC. Would he be willing to take a step back and come home to New England as offensive coordinator? Doubtful but possible. A Romeo Crennel return if Matt Patricia takes a head coaching job? If O'Brien leaves Houston and Patricia leaves New England that has to be a considered a possibility.

In any case - it is not the QB that might derail the dynasty next season. It's the coaching staff fans should be worried about.

I Will Possess Your Heart - Death Cab for Cutie

I really love this song - despite the fact that it's a total "stalker" song. Is it a bigger "stalker"song than The Police's Every Breath You Take though? That's open to debate.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 15

Went to the game in Miami last Monday. It was my fifth straight season going down to see the Patriots play the Dolphins in Miami. New England is just 1-4 in those games including a 27-20 loss last week. It was cold in Miami and I and a bunch of other middle-age guys were caught wearing shorts and not enough layers for the temperatures in the 40's. But it could have been worse.

The news this week was about a potential XFL reboot. I really don't see it happening. One of the major problems the NFL has is over-saturation. More games won't make that situation any better.

Today I like the following:

Pats -2.5 at Pittsburgh.

Rams +1 at Seattle.

San Fran -2.5 vs Titans

Good luck!

Wreaths Across America

From the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.

From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

And from Arlington National Cemetery.

EDIT: A story that helps explain the touching sentiment behind the wreaths.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Am I the only one who misses the Beef O'Brady Bowl? I just loved saying and mocking that name... The photo makes me smile (because in my head I see a thought bubble above both of them saying "This place is a dump!")... This is a major argument for the success of Bitcoin... In Roman times corrupt public officials were thrown into the River Tiber with a sack of rats tied over their faces. Now they just buy Georgetown townhouses... The new Defense Budget includes $350 million in military support for the Ukraine in their war against Russia. You would think this would be more widely reported and applauded... I still miss Jon Lester. I still root for Jon Lester. Both of those things are true of most Red Sox fans... When the robot rebellion begins this will be programmed into the memory of all the robots. There's no artificial intelligence in the universe that can grasp that smearing things with feces just happens to be a San Francisco tradition...

Key West and the Patriots Game

Last weekend I went to Key West for a couple of days before going up to Fort Lauderdale on Monday to watch the Patriots play the Dolphins on Monday night. This was my first visit to Key West and it was all thanks to my great girlfriend Sue who was also my traveling companion and drinking buddy.

As a first time visitor I had the initial "Hey look a rooster!" reaction slowly morph to "What's the deal with all these freakin' roosters". I was also overly impressed with the idea of golf carts with turn signals being a major transportation mode.

For whatever reason I made a list of the bars visited and I'm posting that itinerary here for posterity (and because I have a shitty memory). Anyways...


- El Siboney which while mainly a Cuban lunch/dinner restaurant (pretty good food at very reasonable prices) is on the list because it was where we partook in our first drinks of the day.
- Salty Angler - our first "bar" bar of the day. Stopped in to get out of the rain (a brief afternoon shower) and to grab a quick drinkie. Liked it so much it was also our last stop of the night too.
- Cowboy Bills - a bar/gentleman's club/country music joint. Memorable for having PBR on tap and for a drunk flat-chested woman taking off her shirt to ride the mechanical bull.
- Viva Saloon - stopped here to catch more of the Army-Navy game
- Irish Kevin's - place gave vibe of wanting to be a tourist attraction like Sloppy Joe's without you-know being Sloppy Joe's. There's an actual Irish Kevin who neither Sue nor I found amusing.
- Sloppy Joe's - being a big Hemingway fan this place was on my bucket list.
- Aqua's - stopped here because Sue wanted to watch the drag show. When in Rome...
- Jack Flats - nice sports bar with all the games on. Stopped here to watch some of the Bruins game before going back to the Salty Angler for my "just one more drink honey" nightcap.

- Blue Macaw - our lunch respite from bike riding. "Famous" for their Bloody Mary bar but neither of us actually like Bloody Mary's (feel free to judge me). Enjoyed our lunch here.
- Captain Tony's - the site of the original Sloppy Joe's.
- Island Dogs - nice clean place with a very clean bathroom (which was something I was looking for at this point of the day if you know what I'm saying).
- Gas Monkey - don't remember much about this place except having the Beastie Boys song Brass Monkey stuck in my head the whole time I was drinking there.
- Flying Monkey - frozen drinks a specialty so I had a frozen mudslide.
- Bobby's Monkey Bar - an off the beaten path place. More of a locals bar with $2.50 Bud Light bottles and a pool table. If I were in Key West for a long period of time this would be my go-to hangout.
- Sandbar Sports Bar - stopped here to watch the first half of the Steelers/Ravens game and to have dinner. Good sports bar next to Sloppy Joe's.
- Jack Flats (again) to watch more of the Steelers game
- Bogarts - to watch the end of the Steelers game and play a couple more games of pool. Bartender was a nice girl from Shrewsbury Mass.

That was a long, fun weekend of drinking. Tomorrow I will discuss the Pat's Monday night loss to the Dolphins along with the rest of my NFL thoughts.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Net Neutrality

I can see both sides of the Net Neutrality "argument'. Honestly I'm pretty ambivalent. Yes I want the freedom to do what I want without ISP's favoring one website over another but treating the Internet like a utility or a Bell operating company with the regulations and commiserate paperwork will just serve to strangle new small providers. 

Here's what I propose - I will support whatever side that says their solution will require a $1 charge to leave a comment on YouTube videos or review items on Amazon. All of those funds would go directly to paying down the national debt.

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

Georgia on My Mind - Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood

What a great version of a great song!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Great life advice - Life is Short. You should actively be trying to cut out the BS in your life because indeed life is too short... Still say that the player harmed most by inflated steroids era power number is Fred McGriff. In any other time he would have been a sure-fire Hall of Famer except his number are just shy of the ballooned numbers of people like Bonds, A-Rod, Sosa and McGwire... Awesome!... Would love to see Venn diagram of people who oppose fracking and those people who support Elon Musk's plan to bore huge holes to create a giant underground high speed transportation network. My guess is there would be many people who are in both groups. Hypocrites... Cool - the best and weirdest heists of 2017... Would love to do a trip like this Green Mountain Gravel Growler a 248-mile bike loop that links 13 Vermont breweries (but sadly I know I'll never do it)... You learn something new every day (or at least you should)...

Snooker and Ronnie O'Sullivan

Fascinating look at both the sport of snooker and of it's most interesting player Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Now I'm not really familiar with snooker but I really do enjoy playing pool. Maybe that's why the article was so appealing. Or maybe it was Ronnie O'Sullivan who to me seems a cross between Tiger Woods and Mike Tyson. Prodigies who dominated their sports but yet still seemed unfulfilled  to their potentials because of personal issues and demons.

Whatever it was - I found the article fascinating. And now I want to learn more about Ronnie O'Sullivan. And about snooker.

The Metric System

Opposition to the metric system remains strong in the US. Mostly due to the "Go Fuck Yourself" attitude of most Americans.

Nobody comes right out and says it but many Americans oppose legalizing marijuana because they are afraid that it is just a gateway drug to the metric system. All that grams of this and grams of that. I also believe that Pokemon Go died out as a fad in the US mainly because they were trying to force good law abiding citizens to participate by metric measurements. Hey Japan do we need to remind you that the Imperial System of Measurement won the War in the Pacific in World War II? Darn tootin'.

And while we're at it - you can keep your Royale with Cheese! In America it's a Quarter Pounder with Cheese! USA! USA! USA!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Patti LaBelle - Where are My Background Singers?

On a more existential plane - isn't that the question we are all asking this time of year? Where ARE OUR background singers?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Gerry Cheevers

I should have noted that yesterday was Gerry Cheevers' 77th birthday. Like many New Englanders of a certain age when we think of the Hall of Famer Cheevers the first thing we also think of is his "stitches" goalie mask. I wondered what happened to that mask assuming it was also in the Hockey Hall of Fame but no - Gerry gave it to his grandson.

My next thought was that I'd like to own a replica of the stitches mask. Then I found that Gerry Cheevers sells them but a full size replica cost $500. I then thought - well how about I just wish Gerry a happy birthday and move on.

Never Been Any Reason by Head East

A classic rock song you don't hear often enough.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Happy Birthday to the Legend

Happy birthday to Larry Bird who turns 61 today. Man that makes me feel old.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Look I think Al Franken is a giant jerk but I hope he doesn't go full Slobodan Praljak at today's press conference... Violence Cake would be a good name for a band... This is nuts. Not sure if this shows how great Tom Brady has been or how pathetic the Bills are... So Jimbo Fisher says he didn't throw out his Christmas tree prior to leaving FSU. He said the guy who set up his tree threw it out because it was broken. What kind of man has another guy set up his family Christmas tree? I now dislike Jimbo Fisher... Heh heh... If you are on the opposite side of a moral argument from Mitt Romney - there's a 99% chance you're on the wrong side... What came first? The Elf on the Shelf phenomenon or the NSA spying on all of your data? Seem related. Maybe the NSA invented the Elf on a Shelf in order to get all new generations used to being watched all the time... Not a Trump fan but I would love it if he submitted Elizabeth Warren's name in to be the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs...

Sedona by Houndmouth

Catchy song. New to me. I like it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Venezuela and Bitcoin

I'm going to go ahead and assume that I have a fans of my blog at the highest levels of power in Venezuela.

How else do you explain the recent announcement by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro that he supports creating a new cryptocurrency to be backed by the country's reserves of oil, gas, gold and diamonds. I mean this new "petrocurrency" plan is almost exact to the modest proposal I made back in April. 

I'm guessing that they didn't come right out and credit this planned new "petrocurrency" to my genius only because they waited so long. I mean back in April all of Bitcoin in circulation was worth $17 billion but now the market cap of Bitcoin is up to $228 billion. Totally understand President Maduro being too embarrassed by his slowness to move costing the country such a great opportunity to give me my proper credit.

JFK, Trump and Joe Sr.

Many people have commented that JFK never would have survived today in the world of social media and hyper scrutiny. That JFK's womanizing would have kept him from reaching any real position of power in today's politics. Well if you want to buy into this magical time travel level of political reality - there never would have been a need for JFK to become President of the United States in the first place.

If Joe Kennedy Sr. were alive today he'd make the ultimate candidate for President. He was more ruthless than the Clinton's. He was richer than Donald Trump and would have been able to self finance the entire campaign. His moral flexibility was astonishing. And his political ambitions put them all to shame. The only reason JFK ran for office in the first place was because his dad was basically making him.

If Joe Kennedy Sr. were alive today he'd be the ultimate candidate. And you know what - I'd probably vote for him.

Linky Links

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

- This will always make me smile. Bill Laimbeer was a punk ass bitch.

- Neil Young has put his entire catalog online for free

- This photo is destined to be the centerpiece of many memes in the coming months.

- The 25 US cities with the lowest costs of living

- Heh heh

- Another example of why hockey players are the best

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Truth About the Island of Misfit Toys

It is the Christmas season which means soon holiday classics will be on TV constantly. I need to get off my chest the truth about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. The thing about the misfit toys wasn't that they were squirt-guns that shot jelly or cowboys who rode ostrich's. The really strange thing about these "toys" was the fact THEY WERE ALIVE!

Now any high school biology student can tell you that life comes from life. These misfit toys were probably the offspring of some sick minded magic elves who must have gotten too "friendly" with some of the toys they were working on and fondling day after day. They were put on the Island of Misfit Toys probably as an attempt by upper management of Santa's Workshop to cover up some of the sick shit that was going on when the lights got turned off at night.

Let's be clear here - we aren't talking about misfit toys either - we are talking about FREAKS! If my kids got a choo-choo with square wheels that was alive - I would freaking BURN IT WITH FIRE! I would also then have to start spending thousands of dollars on therapy probably for the whole family. You could bet that Christmas and Santa would take on whole new meanings (and nightmares) from that day forward.

God help the children who ended up getting those freak misfit toys on Christmas morning.

And don't even get me going on the heroin backstory to The Little Drummer Boy.

Listen to the Buddha

Don't be a dick. And don't be a pussy. Great life advice!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 13

Most people have mentioned how little reaction Bill Belichick had during the Patriots 5 TD's last week vs the Dolphins but I love how he gets excited by good work and small details. Belichick knows that if you take care of the little things that the big things will take care of themselves.

People talk about how the Browns can't find a QB but consider that Bill Belichick has more wins for Cleveland (34) than any of the Browns coaches who came after him. The closest is Romeo Crennel with 24. Maybe they should find a decent coach first?

So the NFL is going to give millions to "social justice" charities in hopes of buying off players who might protest the anthem. Some players complain that these funds will come from monies already going to support the military and breast cancer awareness. The NFL says "No these will be new monies for these social justice programs." This is the same NFL that was supposed to provide millions in funding towards concussion studies but then backed out when they learned it was to be actual studies and not NFL approved conclusions already drawn studies. The NFL has zero credibility and is just making matters worse.

Meanwhile the Giants have "benched" Eli Manning. A move so poorly thought out and executed that all of New York is in an uproar. That must really please the NFL offices. The TV ratings are already in free-fall and now the Giants give their fans a reason to boycott the rest of the season. Fans in the biggest TV market in America actively avoiding NFL product. But sure give Roger Goodell a fat new contract. That will fix everything.

My guess is Eli Manning may have played his last game. He's made millions upon millions (his last contract payed him $35 million in guaranteed money) and he already has one more Super Bowl ring than his brother Peyton. What's left for him to prove? Why subject his 36-year old body to more pounding?

Rob Gronkowski is quietly having a very good season.

Today's pick is a three-team parlay involving the three QB's who started the season as the Patriots depth chart but all all three starting NFL games today; Tom Brady Patriots (Money Line), Jimmy Garopollo 49ers (+3 points) and Jacoby Brissett Colts (+9.5 points) - risk $100 to win $328.

Good luck.

Saturday, December 02, 2017


Jayson Tatum and the Changing NBA

Interesting article on Celtics' rookie Jayson Tatum and how he may epitomize the changing NBA.

In the past you had a line-up made of a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. These days the line-ups are morphing to a point guard, three wings and a big man. The "wings" and big man for that matter have to be able to guard and play multiple positions. The two words that are coming to define the modern NBA are "versatility" and "flexibility".

One small thing that really shocked me from the article was the revelation (to me at least) that number one overall draft pick Markelle Fultz has yet to attempt an NBA three-pointer. I know it's just a 4-game sample size and that Fultz is hurt but man is that a red flag. The Celtics really made the right choice in Tatum.

In Danny Ainge we trust.

Linky Links

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

- After 37 years and over 13 billion miles on the odometer Voyager still works perfectly! USA! USA! USA!

- Bob Arum credits pot for his 50 years plus longevity in boxing

- Heh heh

- Mosquitoes may save lives thanks to bacteria. I find this stuff fascinating.

- Cool infographic on exoskeletons

- What should doctors do when faced with an unconscious man with a "Do NOT Resuscitate" tattoo?

- Let's end this with another cool NASA story. USA! USA! USA!

Friday, December 01, 2017

The War on Christmas

Just a Reminder

If you see someone being presented as some sort of "voice" of the Catholic Church the first thing to remember is that nuns are required to take a vow of poverty while priests are not. Sure some monastic orders like the Franciscans might voluntarily take a vow of poverty but how likely do you think it is for a monk to study the newest proposed tax code? Or spew their opinion on social media or on TV?

Personally I've known too many priests who drive luxury cars. And yes this is coming from an ex-Catholic (not a "lapsed" Catholic that's just a "you'll be back" BS label probably thought up by a Jesuit). To me hypocrisy is one of the most cardinal sins of them all.

Navy Sky Penis Christmas Ornament

The Navy Sky Penis Christmas Ornament because tis the season for puerile humorous mad-lib inspired tree decorations (and because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year old boy).

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- Interesting - Chinese saline soil rice experiment a success

- Behind the scenes look at Tennessee's search for their new football coach (I laughed way too hard at this)

- The hard as hell, beautiful life of  a cowboy (told in stunning photographs)

- Conor McGregor has taken on MMA fighters, boxers and now - the Irish Mafia?

- I actually want this poster

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The NFL has to be really pleased with the Giants decision to bench Eli Manning. Now millions of fans in the biggest TV market have no reason to watch the rest of the season and plenty of reason to boycott the broadcasts. But sure give Roger Goodell a new contract - that will fix everything... Speaking of Eli Manning... Does Las Vegas have the wins totals for Arizona State next season under Herm Edwards up yet? I'd like to bet the under please... Wow - this was unexpected. American Gods show runners exit and season 2 is in question... Matt Lauer was eaten by wolves today. He was not delicious... Holy crap! This really happened... "I know of only two very real evils in life: remorse and illness." Leo Tolstoy...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ballroom Blitz - Sweet

Such a fun song for so many reasons. It's 1973 and Glam Rock is at its peak and lip-syncing is obviously not a practiced art as of yet. My favorite part is when the guitar player suddenly remembers he's supposed to be doing a solo.

Oh and I can't be the only one who thought the actual name of the song was "Bar Room Blitz".


Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Now that Mike Gundy has turned down Tennessee - the Volunteers will next turn to Nick Saban. In the end they'll wind up with Ben McAdoo... AC/DC bandmates pay their respects to Malcolm Young... Not an Eli Manning fan in the least but for what he's done for and meant to the Giants franchise for them to treat him this way is shabby. The Giants were the "classy" New York franchise - not any more...  Good point... If "gormless" is a word - shouldn't "gormfull" also be a word?...Older people remember November 22nd as the anniversary of the JFK assassination. Younger people remember the date as the anniversary of the Butt Fumble... An Iranian wrestler throws his match rather than face an Israeli. This is acceptable behavior? Ban Iran from International competition for making their athletes behave this way...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Tremendous post on the darkness of depression faced by so many. They say that high blood pressure is the "silent killer" because many are unaware they have untreated hypertension. But these people are unaware. Just as many or more know fully well they are experiencing the pain of what Winston Churchill called his "black dog" moods of depression. But these folks for the most part suffer in silence. It is the friends and family that are unaware.

Unaware until tragically sometimes the sufferer takes their own life because the darkness becomes unbearable. Survivors are too often left to lament, "If only I knew".

Share the above link with friends. Also share this Ted Talk by Tim Ferris on his battle with depression.

At worst you're a temporary pest to friends sharing too much. At best these messages may help someone you are unaware of in pain. What's to lose?


Linky Links

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

- I'm a biased Red Sox fan but I think Luis Tiant belongs in the Hall of Fame. If Catfish Hunter is in el Tiante should be in too.

- Very cool. A ladybug taking flight.

- Army tests new super-soldier exoskeleton

- We will need these exoskeletons in the upcoming robot wars

- I've long been fascinated with "Rainbow Head Guy"

- Interesting court case to decide the privacy of the data on your cell phone (or connected device).

- Ben Franklin - the 13 necessary virtues. Good life advice then - good advice now.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Not why I thought of this or why it bothers me but the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming has a big flaw. The villain the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton, winds up alive and in jail. It can't be both.

Peter Parker saves the Michael Keaton character that's clear but how does the Vulture wind up in jail? Spider-Man was the only witness to his crimes. Sure a lot of circumstantial evidence could be brought up against Adrian Toomes but without Spider-Man / Peter Parker taking the stand against him - reasonable doubt would be an easy thing for a decent lawyer to create.

If Michael Keaton was to host SNL then the Trial of Adrian Toomes with Spider-Man as chief witness would make for a good skit.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 12

The optimists would say the word to describe the NFL these days is "parity". The pessimists would say the word to describe the NFL these days is "mediocrity". I find myself more and more in the pessimists camp regarding the NFL. I mean just look at today's schedule of games. The only game even remotely interesting today is the Saints vs the Rams. The rest of the schedule to be honest is crap. You have 4 games that have 10+ point spreads. That's slightly more than 30% of the games expected to be blowouts. It's crap.

One of the expected blowouts is the Dolphins at the Patriots. God help me but I'll be watching that. Every damn play I'll be watching. I'm at the point where I'm starting to wonder if my interest in the NFL has become tied to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to the point where I'm not sure if my interest in the NFL will survive when those two decide to call it quits.

I'm not even going to pick any games this week because the choices are all crap.

Linky Links

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

- The switch to outdoor LED lighting has completely backfired. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

- George HW Bush becomes longest living President in history. I'm convinced he's waiting for H Ross Perot to kick the bucket first.

- Cinnamon may help fight obesity

- Humpback whale shoots out a rainbow.

- Casablanca was released on this day in 1942. He's an interesting argument that the La Marseillaise scene is the best in movie history.

- Why John Urschel picked math over football.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fairytale of New York

Hard to believe but the greatest Christmas song of them all - Fairytale of New York by the Pogues - is now 30 years old. It was released November 23, 1987.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Linky Links

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

- The Dyatlov incident is fascinating and terrifying. A real life X-Files episode come to life.

- Budweiser wants to be the official beer of Mars.

- This was a very moving piece of writing.

- Heh heh

- Lefsetz wrote an appreciation of Malcolm Young that was so spot on that Brian Johnson wrote a Thank You note.

Something to Think About

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq - UNICEF had estimated that between the UN sanctions that created shortages and the brutality of Saddam Hussein - roughly 5,000 Iraqi babies (children under 5 years of age) died or were killed every month (that's 60,000 per year).

I'm guessing that most Iraqi's are pretty thankful that Saddam Hussein was removed from power (and from his mortal coil).

Celtics Win Streak

The Boston Celtics win streak ended the other night in Miami at 16 games. I thought it worth noting how historic the streak actually was. This is the fourth time the Celtics have had a winning streak of 16 or more games. FOURTH time. There are 14 NBA franchises who have never had a winning streak that long. And Boston has done it FOUR times.

One of the reasons Boston has become such a popular NBA team this season is the fact that during that 16 game win streak they were 14-1-1 against the spread. Obviously the Celtics did not cover Wednesday against the Heat.

A new streak can start tonight as Boston takes on Orlando at the Boston Garden. Go Celtics (and please cover the 8.5 points).

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sexiest Man Alive Royal Rumble

If there was a WWE type Royal Rumble held among the People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive winners from the past 18-years - who would win? Even though Blake Shelton is a rather large 6'5" and 212 pounds - do you really think anyone is beating 2016's Sexiest Man Alive Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? I mean nobody is taking that title belt from the Rock. It would be cool though to see 2003 Sexiest Man Johnny Depp get body slammed. And I wouldn't sleep on 2008's Hugh Jackman's athletic ability (though I think he's too nice to pull the heel moves needed to win).

Thanks to "Chuuch" for putting this thought in my head.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not sure about anyone else but this is the least enthusiastic I've been about an MLB Hot Stove offseason in decades... The mysterious disappearing number 80. Seriously I've watched this a dozen times - what happens to number 80?... According to the most similar batter through age 22 for Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi is Dave Winfield. Wow! No pressure rookie... I still say that salad bars should be re-named "Vegetable Buffets"... Cool - New York City a directly overhead view... "The best time for a man to do Kegel exercises is while he urinates" - John Kerry... I wish also had a "similar player" feature. I'd love to know what players were similar to Celtics Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Bionic devices turn humans into super-strong workers

- Words to live by

- Should we try to contact alien life? Honestly I think it's a waste of time and effort.

- Laws are for the little people. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

- Interesting - Square could be a game-changer for Bitcoin

- And we think we take sports seriously.

- Using the blood of the young to fight aging in the old.

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick moved into third place on the all-time win list by NFL coaches. I wanted to mention this because sometimes we take his greatness for granted. As a Patriots fan I'm truly grateful he's our coach.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 11

Football great Herschel Walker has come out against NFL players protesting during the anthem. Once again helping to keep the issue in the public eye. An issue the NFL would dearly love to see go away. As an aside - Herschel Walker and the Hanukkah Goblins would be a great name for a band.

The anthem protest, Jerry Jones vs Goodell, CTE, declining TV ratings, Jim Irsay as human butt-plug - none of these issues are going away and now there's a new wrinkle to deal with.

Most people have focused on the impact unreimbursed employee business expenses under President Trump's new tax plan would effect teachers but it would also impact NFL players. So far this year NFL players have been fined $2.1 million but those fines are currently deductible expenses. Under the new plan - not so much. This could loom as another brick in the wall against Roger Goodell's judge, jury and executioner style justice and another big issue when the contract between the NFL and NFLPA comes up.

Scrap Roger Goodell as Commissioner already! He's clearly part of the problem not the solution. Why can't these supposed great businessmen who own NFL teams see that?

I've been so crap this year on my picks that I actually went 1-1 last week and my winning percentage went up! Now 6-16-1 on the season. Here's today's picks (I'm due for a big week ).

Baltimore -2 at Green Bay - Lord help me I'm betting on Joe Flacco.

Kansas City -9.5 at NY Giants - taking two teams coming off their bye week.

New England -6.5 vs Raiders (in Mexico City) - got that Pats earlier in the week. Line's now up to Pats -7.5. I'm guessing great American Tom Brady will once again wear this decal on his helmet and Pats are undefeated when he does that.

Malcolm Young - RIP

Malcolm Young, one of the founders of the legendary rock band AC/DC has passed away at age 64.

Today might be a good day to re-read this New Yorker article from a couple years ago that does a good job detailing how Malcolm and Angus Young created one of the all-time great bands.

I'll go to my grave thinking that AC/DC's It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll) is the perfect rock and roll song. There's no way to improve it and no cover will ever be as good.

RIP Malcolm.

Gettysburg Address

154-years ago today.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

State of the Celtics

The state of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Fresh off a beating of the World Champion Golden State Warriors - Boston now has a 14-game winning streak going. Not only did the Celtics beat Golden State -they held the high scoring Warriors to just 88 points! In a now "3 and D" league nobody in playing better "D" than Boston.

The team was led the other night by second-year star in the making Jalyen Brown who turns out was playing despite the fact his best friend committed suicide the night before. Danny Ainge took a lot of heat for taking Brown with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but Brown is shaking out to be at least the clear 3rd best player from that draft class and an argument can be made that he's the best overall with many preferring him over the second pick Brandon Ingram and 1st pick Ben Simmons not yet showing he's durable enough for the NBA. (Don't sleep on Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon who was the 36th pick in that draft either.)

Ainge should also be praised for clearly winning the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. Even if the Nets pick ends up being number 1 overall in this year's NBA Draft and even if Isiah Thomas returns from injury to once again be an All-Star - Kyrie Irving has been the perfect fit for Boston on and off the court. How can you not like a guy who picks number 11 for his uniform to honor his dad whose number 11 is retired by Boston University. A dad who insists on letting his son be the "big baller" on the court while he quietly supports his son from the stands.

Oh and about that Nets pick - right now the Lakers (6-10) actually have a worse record than Brooklyn (6-9) and the Celtics own LA's pick. There's currently 8 NBA teams with a worse record than the Nets. Danny Ainge knew what he was doing.

Speaking of Ainge knowing what he's doing - how about Jayson Tatum? Tatum was the 3rd pick in this year's draft but he's easily been the best player out of that draft so far. Trading the first overall pick for Tatum and the Lakers' number one next year is making people think of the Joe Barry Carroll trade for Parrish and McHale. Ainge knows what he's doing.

Ainge clearly knew what he was doing when he signed Brad Stevens to be the coach. You cannot mention the best coaches in the NBA without bringing up Stevens' name. Players now want to come to Boston because they know Stevens will make them better players.

I'm going to end this State of the Celtics by bringing up Al Horford. This is not an afterthought. Horford to me is to the Celtics what Phil Hartman was to SNL. He's the glue that holds the show together. Al Horford quietly does so many things well - 15.5 points per game, 9 rebounds and 4.4 assists - that he's easy to overlook. Celtics fans know his importance and how good an overall player Al is. And we appreciate that as a free agent he chose to play here.

The State of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Danny Ainge knows what he's doing.