Sunday, January 31, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

When's the last time you heard anyone describe Iraq as a quagmire? At one point everyone in the MSM was describing it as a quagmire. Now not so much. Don't hold your breathe waiting for anyone to admit they were wrong though... Heh Heh Rachael Maddow teabagged by naked Republican... I agree with Ian O'Connor that the person I most would want to see Hershel Walker pummel next is Jose Canseco... Five years ago the New York Times actually had the headline "Can Angelina Jolie Really Save the World?" And it was in the effing Business section... If they called it the iSegway instead of just Segway - would everyone have felt really cool buying one and being seen in public riding one?... Abe Vigoda is still alive - long live Abe Vigoda...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Knew?

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

Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.
Link Links

Some stuff I found interesting and thought worth sharing.

Very sad story about Chad OchoCinco's biggest fan. I liked OchoCinco before reading the article but even more so after reading how he reacted to this situation.

Take a porn star to a hockey game. I think everyone has the same question after reading the ad, "What does that $500 really get you?" Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

The scale of everything. From Quantum foam to the entire universe. Very interesting visual presentation.

Selleck, waterfall, sandwich.

Interesting article on what Frank Serpico is up to now.

Great commercial.

Can the new iPad be used to play online poker? Short answer - not for sites that use Flash and not if you want to multi-table.

Interesting - the deficit based upon which party controls Congress.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union Observation

I believe Ronald Reagan started the "tradition" of having people he considered heroes in the gallery during the State of the Union. Reagan and every President since would then point out the heroes during the speech both to thank them but also to offer them up as inspiring examples of the American spirit.

Last night, if memory serves, the only person Barack Obama pointed out in the gallery was his wife Michelle. Is the message that in President Obama's mind the American people need no other examples of inspiration than Barack and Michelle? I may be reading too much into the situation but the more I think of it the more off-putting it becomes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slice of Life

So I'm driving out to Syracuse for a couple of meetings - it's about a 4.5 hour drive. That's a lot of radio listening and a lot of cell phone calls. Around Albany I pick up the Jim Rome Show (not a huge fan but when I travel I like to listen). I listen and make phone calls during the commercial breaks. The show ends at 3:00 and I switch over to FM hoping to get some music. The channel I was on in Massachusetts has what sounds like a drum roll. I listen expecting to hear a cannon, the start of a song, something.

After about 30 seconds I realize that it's not a drum roll. It's just static. I felt pretty stupid but it did make me laugh.

Thought I'd share.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Super Bowl line came out at Colts -4 with the Over/under at 56. Many people expect that the line on the Colts will increase to -5 or -6. I expect the line on the coin flip to remain unchanged... Seven Golden Rules to help you make a profit from sports betting... Strange Fact #1: The letter "M" comes from a pre-Canaanite hieroglyph pronounced "mem" meaning water and shaped like waves... Just saying but if Jay Feeley hit all his FG attempts then the Jets cover the spread last night and many of the Jets fans feel a little better about things today... This is so mean... Sure the Colts and Saints get to go to the Super Bowl but the Jets and the Vikings get to donate thousand and thousand of division championship T-shirts and hats to Haiti... Cross the Sean Penn character from the movie Mystic River with Mel Gibson from the movie Payback and then make Gibson a cop = Edge of Darkness... Strange Fact 2: Johnny Carson died on January 23rd and Conan O'Brien's last show ended on January 23rd... Haiti to Donate $1 Million to the NHL... Strange Fact 3: They Might Be Giants created the theme music to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show... Today would have been the 136th birthday of one of my favorite authors, W. Somerset Maugham. The Razor's Edgeremains one of my favorite all-time books... Happy 92nd birthday to Tigers great Ernie Harwell. I really hope he also sees his 93rd birthday...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amusing Stuff Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous amusing stuff.

God this was funny

Tweet Repeat: @genebromberg Here's how to increase the awesome in hockey in a single word--capes. Players should wear capes.

Flashier Great Tits Produce Stronger Sperm!!

Tweet Repeat: @FatherKelly I can't believe that there's a patron saint for beekeepers and bellmakers but if you're a rodeo clown you're on your own.

Adam West as Batman dispenses some valuable advice

Supercute! plays Misty Mountain Hop on ukulele

More Batman related humor

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First State of the Union Speeches - Lyndon Johnson

With President Obama poised to deliver his first State of the Union address - it is interesting to look back at the first State of the Union addresses by other Presidents. The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia has a compilation of speeches beginning with Lyndon Johnson's first State of the Union address.

Johnson's speech is best remember for his Civil Rights agenda and for his War on Poverty but I found this line the most telling:
Above all, we must release $11 billion of tax reduction into the private spending stream to create new jobs and new markets in every area of this land.
Above all his many legislative wants and wishes - Johnson knew that he had to first "stimulate" the economy. Not with government spending but with tax cuts to the real creators of jobs - the private citizens and the private sector. Johnson emphasizes, "We need a tax cut now to keep this country moving." If a President suggested this today he would be painted as providing "tax breaks for the rich" instead of simply acknowledging the true underpinnings of how our economy works.

Johnson sought to accomplish his aims not by increasing federal spending and involvement in every aspect of people's lives but "with an actual reduction in federal expenditures and federal employment." He wanted to insist on "a dollar's worth for a dollar spent." He wanted "a substantial reduction in federal employment.... While maintaining the full strength of our combat defenses." Tax cuts and reduced government spending? Lyndon Johnson - the forerunner of the Tea Party movement? Who knew?

Too bad that such great rhetoric was not backed up with actions. Instead Johnson's "Great Society" programs started a path of government programs and involvement in almost every aspect of American lives that we still have to deal with today. (To be fair - FDR was the real path blazer in this regard - Johnson just raised the practice to an art form.) Want a concrete example? How about this:
We must provide hospital insurance for our older citizens financed by every worker and his employer under Social Security, contributing no more than $1 a month during the employee's working career to protect him in his old age in a dignified manner without cost to the Treasury, against the devastating hardship of prolonged or repeated illness.
No more than $1 a month? Yeah right. The sprawling growth of a government program couldn't be more evident. Don't get me wrong - I'm not against Medicare or Medicaid but I am against a politician promising it will only cost the taxpayer X when in truth everyone knows the real cost will both be much more and basically forever.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Linky Links

Some stuff I found interesting that I thought I'd pass on.

- Pete Sheppard out at WEEI - it's sad for anyone to lose their job but I'm frankly surprised he lasted this long

- Did Venus go commando at the Australian Open? I this the answer is YES. Seriously - I thought she was the sane Williams sister.

- Interesting look at Red Sox baserunning.

- I thought her name was Prairie Dawn?

- Fun TV pitch generator
Heh Heh - Now We Know Why Obama Won't Release His School Records

HT Instapundit

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown

Just as an aside to the great Scott victory - the Red Sox ownership and front office (especially Theo Epstein) are HUGE supporters of the Democratic Party. The fact that Martha Coakley's gaff about Curt Schilling being a Yankees fan helped contribute to Scott Brown's election must be especially roasting their chestnuts.

It will be interesting to see if Scott Brown is invited to throw out the first pitch at a significant early season game this year.
Unintended Consequences

I travel a lot but I made sure that I wasn't traveling this week because I wanted to vote for Scott Brown in person. I wanted to feel the thrill of finally voting FOR someone - not just voting.

There is an unintended consequence to consider here. Scott Brown has made it a point to express that his will be a victory not just for the average citizen but also a victory against the Democratic Party Machine. This is a point worth considering.

It was the Massachusetts Democratic Party Machine that gave us Martha Coakley. The backroom deals and endorsements that put her in place was perhaps the fatal flaw that put this sequence of events into motion in the first place. Scott Brown is a good man and a good candidate but I can't help but think that if the Democratic Party Machine in Massachusetts let the people pick the candidate in the first place then it could have been Scott Brown against Congressman Mike Capuano or Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca and in that case the results from today's election could have been very different today.

One more thought - Martha Coakley is now my favorite Democratic candidate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ave Maria

The song Ave Maria is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created by human minds. The song is basically the prayer Hail Mary in Latin set to music (versions by Bach and Verdi among others). Every football fan knows what a "Hail Mary" is but I got to wondering this morning how great it would be if you took all the great Hail Mary passes in history (Stabauch, Flutie, etc.) and set them to the music of Ave Maria? I wish I had video editing skills.

Morning Links

Some stuff I found interesting and thought I'd pass along.

- A good look at the contract situation for Jonathan Papelbon

- First person Tetris = Awesome!

- Jay Leno's 2004 announcement

- "Internet service for dead people"

- Heh Heh

- Map of USA in Beer Labels. I'd argue Massachusetts since Sam Adams isn't brewed here anymore. I'd replace it with Wachusett Brewing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here's a player comparison I find interesting:

Player A: 3584 AB / 176 HR / 3 Gold Gloves / 2 MVP's
Player B: 3180 AB / 164 HR / 2 Gold Gloves / 2 MVP's

These players played the same position and seem pretty even - don't they? Player A had more HR but Player B was hitting HR at a better rate (1 HR / 19.39 AB vs 1 HR / 20.36 AB). Player A is Barry Bonds through his age 27 season (1992) and Player B is Dale Murphy through his age 27 season (1983). The next year - each player would win his league's HR title but Murphy would accomplish it by hitting exactly the same number of HR (36) as he hit the year before. Bonds on the other hand had a huge statistical jump from a career best of 34 to a league leading 46 HR (a better than 33% increase) to win his first HR title.

Nobody but Bonds really knows when he started using steroids but with the big jump in HR from 1992 to 1993 - is it really that big a leap to think that could have been when it happened? The reason I bring this up is because I'm sick of Bonds apologists saying that Bonds was a Hall of Fame player before he started using steroids. Bullshit! Most likely Barry Bonds was no better than Dale Murphy and Dale Murphy is not in the Hall of Fame (thanks in large part to having his career skewered by comparisons to cheating players like Barry Bonds).

What if Dale Murphy took steroids after 1983 and his next season's HR total jumped to 46? Most likely he would have won his 3rd straight MVP and his Hall of Fame selection would have been ensured.

One final point of note - it was mentioned to me recently that the only two players to win back-to-back MVP's and not be in the Hall of Fame are Dale Murphy and Roger Maris. A fact I find very relevant when discussing the forgotten victims of the steroids era.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Morning Links

Some thinks I found interesting and wanted to share.

- The man who created SpaghettiO's and Chunky Soup has passed away

- Lane Kiffin going to USC as compared to the Trojan War

- Awesome card trick using the entire deck of cards

- Jon Stewart's fantastic speech toasting Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors

- Top 10 Poker Hands of the Decade
Obama's Approval Ratings

Barack Obama's approval rating is now at 45%. George W Bush never polled that low during his 1st term in office. Bush didn't hit that low mark until August 2005 - 4.5 years after getting sworn in as President.

If Obama was a Republican President we would be hearing stories about his historic unpopularity daily.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scott Brown and the Average White Guy Vote

It seems you are allowed to poll every demographic except the "average white guy" vote. Well I took an informal poll this weekend of 20 white guys and two black guys - sorry no women were polled because there was football on all weekend. All but one of the 22 polled plan to vote for Scott Brown because they've had enough. And the one guy who is not voting for Scott Brown won't because Brown is a Republican and he just can't cross that line (for some in Massachusetts that's a family taboo). The really interesting thing is the guy who won't vote for Scott Brown doesn't plan to vote at all. Martha Coakley just isn't worth his effort.

More evidence that Scott Brown has the "average white guy" vote is the fact that Doug Flutie is voting for Scott Brown. Flutie is a life-long Democrat who campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton when she was running for Senate in New York and Flutie was playing for the Buffalo Bills. If the Democratic Party has lost Doug Flutie that's just another piece of evidence that the "average white guy" vote is completely swinging to Scott Brown.

I really wish I could bet on this election because I'd load up on a Scott Brown victory.
Mark McGwire

As far as I'm concerned the two relevant stats on Mark McGwire's Baseball page are 583 home runs and roughly $75 million in career earnings. There is no doubt in my mind that both of those numbers were made possible by McGwire's steroid use. That's the deal he made with the devil. He took steroids which allowed him to hit the home runs which allowed him to get his millions of dollars.

I don't blame him. If someone approached the young Chris Lynch and offered me millions of dollars in exchange for taking steroids and risking having my name tainted as a cheater - I'll be honest - I'd have a hard time turning down the money.

So I can understand why McGwire did what he did. That doesn't mean I have any sympathy for him. He's not entitled to that. He's also not entitled to my forgiveness for what he did and he's certainly not entitled to a spot in the Hall of Fame.

The real victims here are the people like Fred McGriff whose numbers would have been Hall of Fame worthy if it had not been for the explosion of steroids fueled careers (and yes I know I'm making the assumption that McGriff was clean but I'm pretty comfortable with that assumption). Without the Mark McGwire's and Rafael Palmeiro's of the world - Fred McGriff probably gets into the Hall of Fame. Now those steroid fueled careers and those of others move McGriff down the all-time lists and probably into obscurity.

The real victims here are the untold number of clean players whose careers got stuck at AAA ball because they could beat out the Ozzie Canseco's in skill and production but not the Jose Canseco's. These people had their careers blocked and dreams shattered because they tried to do things the clean way.

So good for you Mark McGwire for finally admitting what we all knew was true anyway. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that when the boos die down that it means the fans are forgiving you. It just means you're not worth the time or effort.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The top Cleveland Indians prospects according to Baseball America. I find it interesting that they project Nick Hagadone to be their #1 starter and Justin Masterson to be their #3 starter in 2013. Those are the two players the Indians got from the Red Sox for Victor Martinez... You do so much better at poker if you stop doing things you know to be stupid. The same is true with life. Such a simple observation that could have such a profound impact on your life if you took it to heart... Heh heh - waaaaiiiitttt!!!!.... The beer can and Elvis were both introduced to the world 75-years ago. Coincidence or conclusive proof of aliens in our midst?... Wow - woman plays kazoo with her hoo-haa - yes her hoo-haaa... The wife of Moses was named Zipporah. It's kinda amazing how lost in history she has become. People literally know zip about Zipporah... Drew Brees writes eloquently about NFL vs. American Needle Supreme Court case in Washington Post. Nicely done. That Purdue education did not go to waste... Heh heh - great quote from Ian O'Connor "It would be pretty cool if Mark Sanchez said he didn't think Pete Carroll was ready to make the jump back to the NFL." Heard ESPN use it but Ian had it first... Tweet of the Day from @DrZibbs "If you asked someone from the #jerseyshore to point out a douchebag..who would they point to? Seriously"... Heh heh - sleep talking man... Who knew? Richard Nixon and Otis Nixon shared the same birthday...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Heh Heh

Safety Dance: Literal Video
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I hope Nick Saban sells his Gatorade soaked shirt from last night on eBay and gives the money to charity. Just the same as what Doc Rivers did after the Celtics won the NBA championship. Face it - Saban will never wear that shirt again - why not put it to some good?... The Big Lebowski rewritten as a work of Shakespeare... If you wanted to see what the "streaker" "idiot" from last night's game looked like click here... On this day in 1835 the US national debt was reduced to $0 for the one and only time in history... Wow! What Britain would look like without the Gulf Stream... On this day in 1821 James Longstreet was born. Many people know him as a famous Confederate General. I remember him best for a line attributed to him in the great book The Killer Angels. Longstreet was considered something of an expert on poker and when asked "How often should one draw at an inside straight?" He answered "Never!" That piece of advice has stuck with me and saved me some money over the years... I've admitted to being a geek and a Doctor Who fan - so I found this amusing... It's a shame! Wikipedia lists many famous people born on this day including Elvis, David Bowie and Larry Storch but they don't list the great sports writer Joe Posnanski. Another example why you can't always trust Wikipedia...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

According to the Rasmussen Poll 55% of people polled pick Alabama to win BCS Championship game while 37% say Texas will win. According to - 57% of bettors are taking Alabama -4 points while 43% of bettors are taking the points and Texas... A couple of Texas fans having some fun imitating Alabama fans... Terry Francona is moving Jacoby Ellsbury to left field and having Mike Cameron start in center. I wonder if moving Cameron to right and having JD Drew play left was considered. Cameron's arm is good enough for right field and having Drew play left could save some wear and tear on his often fragile body... Now I feel kinda bad - Cowbell girl is sight impaired... There were four main reasons that Robbie Alomar wasn't a first ballot Hall of famer; 1. some people are still upset about the spitting incident, 2. some people won't vote for anyone on their first ballot, 3. the recent AIDS rumor about Alomar (homophobia), and 4. some writers use their ballots for "look at me" moments (see Jay Marrioti and him not voting for anyone). I'd bet that for many who didn't vote for Alomar that these reasons overlapped... Terry Glenn joins the Maurice Clarrett Ohio State Alumni All-Stars... Heh heh - the Beatles doing a Marlboro cigarette commercial... Tweet of the day from @Erik_Seidel "Obama still not addressing the security breech that allowed Joan Rivers back in the US"... Interesting column by Pete Thamel on J.C. Percy, the anonymous Boise back-up who made the call to execute the fake punt... The Booby Hatch presents Suck It (probably NSFW)...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I agree with Lou Merloni on the Adrian Beltre signing. I was actually looking forward to Casey Kotchman starting at 1st and Kevin Youkilis starting at 3rd but I have to trust Theo on these things (although there is such a thing as too much tinkering)... Speaking of mixed feelings - ESPN to launch 3D Network... This is a Horned Frog... With Boise State beating TCU and returning almost all of their starters on both offense and defense - they have to enter next year as the preseason #1? Right?... This is a Hypnofrog... I think Boise State used the power of cowbell to turn the TCU players from Horned Frogs into Hypnofrogs last night... I haven't checked this "fact" for myself but supposedly the Wikipedia article on Jesus of Nazareth is only 25 words longer than the Wikipedia article on Snake Eyes of GI Joe. That's both funny and screwed up at the same time... This is bukkake... Do you think the reason nobody has tried a remake of the show F Troop is because the name probably would mean something different today?... Cincinnati had 60 reported homicides last year. An interactive map...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Ten gadgets that defined the decade... I'm thinking of starting a rival site to Sons of Sam Horn - gonna call it the Seed of Kevin Romine... My life is incomplete because I did not get a Big Bag 'O Stamps for Christmas... I don't find Dane Cook funny and because of that Erik Lindgren may now be my favorite poker player... How many people in New England are going to have trouble distinguishing between Brian Hoyer (back-up QB to Tom Brady) and Jed Hoyer (former assistant Red Sox GM and now the GM of the Padres)?... Holy crap - Hit Girl movie trailer - warning lots of violence and a little girl saying bad words...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blogroll Update

Cleaning up my bookmarks and updating my blogroll:

- Sports by Brooks

- One if By Land

- The Immaculate Consumption

- Life Photo Archive
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

This pretty much sums up the weather in Massachusetts rights now... This throw-away line from Bill Simmons actually stopped me in my tracks: "2009 the year when Kobe and A-Rod led teams to championships, Tiger became a pariah and Norv Turner became a top-five NFL coach. Yikes!" Yikes indeed! Have we entered a bizzaro world? That would explain Barack Obama winning the Nobel Prize... Heh heh - I'm at the coffee shop... On Twitter one trending topic was "#whoremembers" which was supposed to read as "Who Remembers" but was read by many as "Whore Members". I'll take "The Rapists" for $200 Alex...

Friday, January 01, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam New Year's Day Edition

Miscellaneous New Year's Day thoughts and observations.

Per - if you bet $100 on every game the Red Sox played this past decade you would have lost a total of -$1,170. If you bet $100 on every game the Yankees played this past decade you would have lost a total of -$5,233... Today is JD Salinger's 91st birthday but of course he easily could have died years ago under an assumed name and nobody would know.... Did anyone get Hasselhoff drunk last night? Now I want a cheeseburger... Interesting stat via Dan Wetzel: Teams TCU beat are 6-0 in bowl games. TCU beat those teams by an average of 20.8 points... I wish Rooney Rule meant every team had to interview at least one Irish-American. We got screwed over during the No Irish Need Apply Era... Happy 30th birthday to Elin Nordegren. Her first New Year's Eve and birthday as a quasi single woman. I'm there for you Elin if you need comforting... Today I like West Virginia over Florida State and Oregon over Ohio State...