Friday, November 17, 2017

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.