Monday, December 18, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Who was the greatest tactical military general in history? This report says Napoleon but the report also did not include Genghis Khan. 

- Heh heh - pretty cool

- 10,000-year old woolly mammoth skeleton sells for $645,000

- Awww - I want to visit with the quokkas

-Heh heh - awesome!

- Shane Parrish's 2017 reading list. Lots of great books on this list.

- Wrong on so many levels

Foo Fighters on SNL



Foo Fighters do a medley of Everlong, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), and the theme from Peanuts . Enjoy!

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...

Saturday:

- 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.

Sunday:
- 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.

Enjoy!

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

Awesome!

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".

Enjoy!

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

Depression

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?

Thanks

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 BaseballReference.com 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 BasketballReference.com 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.

Band Names

Here's a list of some suggested band names. Many of which may also works as fantasy sports team names.

- Death Waltz                                                  - Vengeance Quakers

- Sex Clams                                                     - Gynecological Whack-A-Mole

- Spray-On Condoms                                      - Hairy Toilet

And finally Cognitive Sommelier

Friday, November 17, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about those Boston Celtics?... I for one welcome our robot overlords... If Roy Moore does win his election in Alabama - President Trump can solve his problem by making Moore Ambassador to Germany (the age of consent there is just 14-years old). I kid, I kid... Awwww... The Democrats should immediately have Christopher Plummer replace Al Franken as Senator from Minnesota. Call it the Kevin Spacey Recall... "The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out." - JRR Tolkien... Just to give you an idea of current priorities in Boston (not pictured World Peace)... Am I the only one who wonders if that grandma in the Southwest commercial was being held prisoner by that nursing home?... There should be no "new" Tom Clancy novels. It's just sanctioned fan fiction at this point. Tom Clancy died years ago. Let the man rest in peace...

Top 5 - Thoughts on Al Franken


Here are my Top 5 Thoughts on Al Franken:

1. So can we expect to see him on the cover of the next GQ magazine?

2. How soon before we see one of those Hitler in the Bunker videos where Hitler learns about the sexual assault accusations against Franken?

3. Al Franken says that if past inappropriate sexual behavior happened that he was drunk at the time and that he now plans to live his life as a gay man.

4. Al Franken says that if his past sexual behavior can be forgiven he will double his efforts to stop the NRA

5. Sexual harassment and assault are not laughing matters and certainly not to the victims. I mean no disrespect to those who have suffered or who continue to suffer out of fear of stepping forward. However, I think the public scorn and ridicule of those animals who think the "rules" don't apply to them because they hold the "correct" political views can only help to prevent future harassment and assaults. To me the hypocrite Al Franken deserves both barrels of public ridicule.

Why not a similar approach to Roy Moore? His "penchant" for teenage girls borders on pedophilia and I can find nothing funny about pedophilia. If the dad of one of the girls Moore approached pistol-whipped him or beat him with a baseball bat and I was on the jury - that dad would walk scott free with a handshake and a pat on the back.

In my book both Al Franken and Roy Moore are scum. And all the other animals like them are scum too!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Redemption - Johnny Cash



Such a great song by such a great voice.

GQ Magazine


A visual reminder of why I've never read GQ. (And yes I know Tom Brady's been on the cover too - several times - shut up!)

I'm guessing a Venn diagram intersection between NFL fans and GQ subscribers would be rather small.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

Last year I predicted that the re-make of Murder on the Orient Express would do about as well as the recent re-make of Ben Hur. Not sure if that prediction holds true as the re-make of Murder on the Orient Express made more in its opening weekend ($28 million) than the re-make of Ben Hur made in total ($26 million).

I'm on the fence about seeing the movie. The reviews I've seen haven't been all that positive but it's at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. I've made no qualms about the fact that the original Murder on the Orient Express is one of those movies that if I see it playing have to watch the rest. Just love the flick. My gut tells though that instead of paying to see the remake my money would be better off buying the original Murder on the Orient Express on Amazon. In fact for about the same cost of one ticket to the new Murder on the Orient Express I could buy the original and the vastly underrated (in my opinion) Breakheart Pass

While I'm on the subject of Murder on the Orient Express let me revisit one of my pet peeves - there's no such thing as a "world famous detective"!

Bobby Doerr

Red Sox great and Baseball Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr has passed away at the age of 99. The Red Sox put out this response about the loss of Doerr.

To get an idea of the man this article written 10-years ago about the last time Doerr visited Fenway Park might be helpful. I take comfort in knowing Doerr wished to someday be reunited with his wife of 65-years. Today Bobby and Monica are back together.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 10


Jerry Jones doesn't want Roger Goodell's contract extended and he's willing to sue the NFL to keep this from happening. The other owners probably don't realize it but Jones is doing them a large favor. Extending Roger Goodell's contract is a horrible idea. Goodell has been a huge failure as Commissioner. Fixing what's wrong with the NFL starts with acknowledging that Roger Goodell has to go.

The next step to fixing the NFL would be to hire Condoleezza Rice as his replacement. Domestic abuse? You just hired a woman commissioner. Black lives matter? You just hired an African-American as the top person in the NFL. Problem with the NFL's optics as disrespecting of the US military? You just hired a person whose popularity among the military is among the highest there is. Pretty much all of the problems facing the NFL would immediately be lessened by her hiring. Extending Goodell would just exacerbate the problems.

Jones is trying to save the NFL owners from themselves. Maybe if a large advertiser like Budweiser stepped up and said unequivocally - extend Roger Goodell and we are all done advertising with the NFL would be the kick the other owners need to avoid this disaster. Ad prices are down 6.7% all of these controversies. Extending Goodell's contract isn't going to help that either.

Another NFL owner making news is Colts owner Jim Irsay who is a fraud of a human being. Potentially Irsay could be facing a fraud class action suit because of the way he strung season ticket holders along with misleading information about star QB Andrew Luck. Irsay is maybe the most unlikable person in the NFL. And that's saying something.

One of the best examples of ESPN losing their way was Jon Gruden's "Turkey Hole". How did cutting away from the live action during a key turnover to show a pre-produced "skit" align with ESPN's mission statement of "To serve sports fans,. Anytime. Anywhere."? Hint - it doesn't. I just hope the folks at the Urban Dictionary come up with a suitable definition for "Jon Gruden's Turkey Hole".

Anyway - on to the picks. Once again let me remind you that I'm just 5-15-1 on the season so you'd probably be better off throwing a dart against the wall then listening to me.

Dallas +3.5 at Atlanta - feel that the Cowboys are just the better overall team.

Two team moneyline parley - Patriots and Rams risking $200 to win $100

Good luck

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Louis CK Says it's true - it's all true. I guess that makes this picture less funny than he intended

- 4 laws of muscle or you are what you just ate

- RIP John Hillerman

- Interesting - Putin's Achilles heel

- Heh heh

- How the tax bill could hit college sports. I've long supported the idea that all college sports related revenue should be taxable.

- Let's not forget how creepy Joe Biden has always been

Veterans Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th day of the 11th month and armistice was signed in 1918 ending what was known then as the Great War but what we now call World War I. To commemorate the end of the war -  Armistice Day was created but this was later changed to Veterans Day which we celebrate today. The aim of the holiday is not just to act as a salute to our veterans but also as a day of remembrance of those who gave their last full measure of devotion .

With the idea of remembrance the site Every One Remembered was created  to recognize, acknowledge and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by 1.1 million service men and women in World War 1.

I did my part by remembering Christopher Lynch a 37-year old Irishman who died on November 18, 1918 (five days after the Armistice was signed). "We will remember them. Today, Tomorrow, Forever."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy 242nd Marines

Today is the 242nd birthday for the United States Marine Corps. 

In honor of the Marines - here's my favorite Ronald Reagan quote:
Some people live their entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. Marines don't have that problem. -- January 1995

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Doc Halladay 1977-2017 RIP


Harry Leroy "Doc" Halladay gone way too early - Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Linky Links

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

- If the DNC doesn't get rid of "Super Delegates" then there's absolutely no cure for the corruption of their system

- All the news fit to print - except the stories our compromised attorneys talk us out of

- What an awesome block

-  Interesting - the "Japanese" cars made in the USA

- A true hero and an inspiration. Thank you for your service! Where do we find such men!

- Interesting - plastic eating caterpillars

- Cool photography - perfect timing

Cuting the Cord

I imagine many are thinking I too want to get rid of cable but I don't want to miss certain network shows or I don't want to go cold turkey with no sports programming but I don't know what my options are. Well friend - I'm here to help you out. Here's the major options for people looking to cut the cord but not all the way.

- DirecTV Now - 60+ channels for $35/month.

- Sling TV - 20 channels for $20/month

- Hulu - live TV plans starting at $39.99/month

- YouTubeTV - 40+ live channels for $35/month

- PlayStation Vue - starting at about 50 channels for $39.99/month. Although for $44.95/month the package in Boston includes NESN (Red Sox and Bruins) and NBC Sports Boston (Celtics).

Right now I have HBO Go, Amazon Prime and YouTube (regular YouTube not the pay version). And this is fine for me. I want to watch less TV not more and I like going out to watch a game. But to be honest the PlayStation Vue option with the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics is tempting me to come back on the dark side. I no longer have Netflix but that siren song is also calling.

The Tim Ferris Entrepreneur MBA

The great Tim Ferris, according to Entrepreneur.com, recommends the following 10 books for any entrepreneur. Here's a list of the books so you don't have to endure the click-bait slideshow:

- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

- The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

- Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull

- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

- Dune by Frank Herbert

- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

- Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Of the books I've only already read Dune and the Richard Feynman book. I've added the rest to my Amazon wish list to remedy that deficiency.

Monday, November 06, 2017

I Contain Multitudes



Recently read Ed Yong's book I Contain Multitudes and I recommend it highly. It is an excellent explainer of the world of the microbiome - a world we know so very little about but also a world that we mess with on a regular basis without proper context for what damage we may be doing to ourselves and our world. We are trying to sterilize our environments but in reality are may be making ourselves more susceptible to more damage and more dangerous things. This book should be MUST READING for any high school biology class.

On Earth we have single celled and multi-celled organisms (like ourselves). This is only possible because of long ago there was a merger between an archaeon and a bacterium. Something that was in Ed Yong's words "so breathtakingly improbable that it has never been duplicated." Another way to describe this could be to say it was a miracle. Maybe even a "let there be life" type miracle.

There's no guarantee that this miracle happened anywhere else in the universe. Not sure Ed Yong thought he was writing a book that might strengthen a person's belief in a higher power but that's what it did for me.

Anyway - I highly recommend I Contain Multitudes (and the videos too!).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Patriots actually got more in return for Jimmy Garappolo (a 2nd Rd pick plus Brian Hoyer) than they got for trading Jamie Collins a year earlier (3rd Rd pick)... So Rand Paul was assaulted by a neighbor while Paul was mowing his lawn. Not excusing the attack but I do have to wonder just how early was Paul mowing his lawn? And who mows their lawn in November?... Inadvertently giving birth to the show Rick and Morty... "If the able and good withdraw themselves from Society [Government], the venal and ignorant will succeed." John Tyler 1783... Heh heh... Hillary Clinton's campaign manager's name was Robby Mook. She had a mook run her campaign and people were surprised she lost?... The Violent Femmes song Gone Daddy Gone has the best rock xylophone in history... Best random Halloween costume - guy wearing Red Sox jersey holding handful of losing scratch tickets - dressed as a Masshole... Can a welcome mat be viewed as an invitation to enter an unoccupied home?... Henry Miller's 11 Commandments of Writing... Just a reminder - the Red Sox magic number is now 163...

Linky Links

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

- How to clear the data off your old phone before you sell it

- Nice shot

- Where the top American-made cars are manufactured

- Is Roger Goodell deliberately pushing the NFL leftward? By Jason Whitlock?

- And in a related story - Vin Scully says he will no longer watch another NFL game because of the Anthem protests. 

- I love these stories.

- Agreed - still the greatest tourism poster ever made.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 9

So last week I wondered about what would happen if a major advertiser pulled out of sponsoring the NFL and I also laid blame of most of the NFL's problems at the forehead feet of Peyton Manning and what do you know. Papa John's blamed advertising with the NFL for the company's sluggish revenues. Shots fired. From the official pizza sponsor of the NFL!  Some trace Papa John's "rant" against the NFL to Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys who also owns 94 Papa John's franchises. But keeping in mind the common thread of suckitude - Peyton Manning also owns 32 Papa John's. If you love the NFL and America - it's your duty to boo Peyton Manning whenever you see him.

Some (like me) suggest the ratings drop is primarily due to people "cutting the cord" and getting rid of cable. Others are blaming the ratings drop on crappy Thursday night and crappy early Sunday morning London games diluting the product. Others are staying away from the violence of the NFL because of the damage caused by CTE. Some are boycotting the NFL over the National Anthem protests by the players. A controversy that's not going away. Whatever the reason viewers are abandoning the NFL and they aren't coming back.

On another front President Donald Trump's war on the NFL took another turn as the proposed new tax codes hits the NFL in another vulnerable spot - the NFL's penchant for blackmailing cities into ponying up tax dollars for new stadiums.  Viscerally Trump has hit the NFL in its two weakest spots - protests over the National Anthem and tax dollars for billionaire team owners. You have to hand it to him its a genius move. Is Trump finally getting revenge from the NFL for what they did to the USFL? I mean Trump can easily negotiate away some other proposed unpopular tax code changes but what elected Congressman or Senator is going to bat for the NFL these days and still remain electable? Genius.

Anyway on to the picks for the day. With a season record of 4-14-1 there's nowhere to go but up!

Dallas -.2.5 vs Kansas City

A two team moneyline parlay on the Eagles and Seahawks (risking $200 to win $140). Go birds!

Good luck.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes. Just a reminder of how smug certain people were.



A year later and that smugness is being replaced by the hard reality that Barack Obama instead of saving the Democratic Party may have destroyed it. And that the person "trusted" to lead the Party after Obama has issued the following apology:


OK that last bit was "Fake news" but not too much of a stretch when you think about it.

I'm no Trump supporter but I do understand the feeling of those who believe that no matter how "unfit" Trump may be to be President - he's still preferable to letting the smug kleptocrats run the country.

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- Hulk Robots - 3D printed synthetic muscle can lift 1000x its own weight

- This is awesome!

- Bettor X - Great gambling story

- The interesting case of Cowboy Bob the bank robber who fooled the FBI

- I can't tell if this is real or a joke. That's where we're at as a society. Either way - please don't eat onions for 48-hours before class.

- And we come full circle


Friday, November 03, 2017

Bob Feller


Bob Feller would have turned 99-years old today.

Just 2 days after Pearl Harbor Bob Feller volunteered for active duty in the Navy. He was the first professional athlete to do so. Ted Williams always said that it was Feller's patriotism that he always admired most about the man and Williams admiration of Feller was great.

Donna Brazile vs Hillary Clinton

Very interesting development yesterday as an excerpt of Donna Brazile's upcoming book caused a firestorm. Basically Brazile asserts Hillary Clinton and her campaign took over the Democratic Party long before the primaries even started. They used the promise of erasing Barack Obama's campaign debt to sideline him (and Joe Biden) and then turned the DNC into a fundraising machine as a way to funnel millions into the Clinton campaign coffers.

Think of it like this. Guy currently running waste management company runs up a big gambling debt. The mafia forgives the gambling debt in exchange for control over the waste management company. The guy running the company is retiring anyway and doesn't want that debt hanging over his head and the mafia wants a way to launder money. It was pretty much like that - except supposedly legal. The Bernie Bros must be - and should be pissed off today.

I say supposedly legal because this arrangement could be a big reason why the DNC refused to turn their email server over to the FBI after they claimed they were hacked. The DNC didn't want the fact they were being run by Hillary Clinton exposed any more than the mafia would want it publicly known that they were running a waste management company. My guess is Clinton Campaign also wasn't 100% sure what they were doing actually was legal.

Part of me thinks this scheme was reminiscent of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury having the Federal Government assume the Revolutionary War debts of the States in exchange for the States supporting the Federal Government. But then I remember that Hillary Clinton is much more like Uncle Junior than Alexander Hamilton.

All I know is that it is going to be very awkward if Donna Brazile and Hillary Clinton get booked to do book signings at the same Costco.

Neil Gaiman - Make Good Art



It never hurts to hear this speech every once and a while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

ESPN

To serve sports fans. Anytime. Anywhere. - ESPN Mission Statement
That's been ESPN's mission statement from the very founding of the company. But in recent years the company has moved away from this basic, straight-forward objective and the company and bottom line has suffered for this lack of focus on sports.

Hollywood star has a new movie coming out? Let's have him/her do the Bristol "carwash" and appear on every show to promote the movie. How does that "serve sports fans"? It doesn't. Insert certain "approved" political leanings and beliefs into the sanctum of sports? Sure as long as it's the correct political beliefs. How does that "serve sports fans"?  It doesn't. You could go on and on about programming on the various channels that no longer serves sports fans.

Simply put ESPN has lost its way and is no longer serving sports fans anytime anywhere. And it's very continued existence is in jeopardy because of this lack of focus on what should have been a simple mission statement.

Another round of layoffs is imminent at ESPN. And nobody is surprised. ESPN losing 15,000 subscribers A DAY. Nobody is surprised.

As that last article mentions ESPN is even at the point of potentially no longer being able to afford the NFL rights for Monday Night Football.

Disney acquired ESPN because it was a moneymaker. Was. As in past tense.

Now that ESPN is a drag on the bottom line - would anyone be surprised if the suits at Disney sell off the property to an Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple? I wouldn't be surprised. In fact I expect them to make that very move in the next couple of years.

The mission statement was six simple words. And the company couldn't stick to six simple words. They lost their way. And because of that they started losing viewers, losing money and losing value.

And its probably too late to get back on the original path.