Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Wilton North Report

The Wilton North Report was a show that I had never heard of by am now fascinated by due to this terrific first person history of the failed late-night show.

I also never knew that Conan O'Brien and Greg Daniels (King of the Hill, The Office, Parks and Recreation) started off as writing partners.

Very fun read - worth your time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rain in the Summertime - The Alarm

This is a song you don't hear much anymore. Whatever happened to The Alarm?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Jacoby Ellsbury was taken in the same draft and round as the Nationals Ryan Zimmerman but while Zimmerman will be the face of the Nationals for years to come - Ellsbury will most likely leave Boston after this season as a free agent... 10 secrets of flight attendants...  Not a fan of snuff films but I would pay money to see Giants coach Tom Coughlin beat the Geico caveman to death with a bat... Let us not forget that Saddam Hussein was a New York Yankees fan... Charles During really was something special... How come none of the Boston sportswriters can get me an update on the status of Tom Brady's playoff beard?... This is what I really wanted for Christmas but once again did not get... There is a fish that survives dangers by hiding in the anus of a sea cucumber. The fish is called the Pearl Fish but I like to think of it as the Jimmy Carter Fish...  This is pretty amusing... If I had a business - I'd add a small charge to each invoice for "opaque retraction". Who would complain? Those small charges would add up... Best pole dance move ever!... Ball peen hammer sounds like it should be some sort of sex act. Is the word "peen" ever used in any other context?... With this cast - how could this movie not be great?... Nice math trick - if you divide 1 by 998,001 you get all three digit numbers from 000 to 999 in order... Funny or creepy? I saw a lawn care company truck that had a bumper sticker that said "Time to Trim Your Bush"...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Movie Characters Doing Lionel Richie's Hello

Hello from Matthijs_Vlot on Vimeo.

Movie characters doing Lionel Richie's Hello was one of the best things of 2012.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here Comes the Sun - The Lost George Harrison Guitar Solo

George Harrison was my favorite Beatle.

Rolling in the Deep on Bells

Very cool - and mesmorizing.

Top 5 - Otters in US History

Here are what I consider to be the Top 5 Otters in US history. List in reverse order of significance:

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

F. Scott and Zelda Fotzgerald doing a Christmas morning dance with their daughter in 1925. More classic Christmas images at Mental Floss.

Detailed View of the Sistine Chapel

Very detailed virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Pretty inspiring way to spend part of your Christmas Day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Causes of Death in America

Interesting chart detailing the causes of death in America since 1970.

My main takeaway from the chart is the fact that all causes of death seem to be trending downward except suicide. So does that mean that if you expanded the chart into the future that eventually all causes of death will reach zero and the only way to die will be to kill yourself?

Only in America!

The Christmas Truce

Very interesting bit of history. Be sure to watch till the end for the reminder that war is hell.

HT Mental Floss

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- In defense of Red Sox mediocre off-season moves.

- This could be a better combination than chocolate and peanut butter. Timothy Olyphant to guest star on Archer.

- Holy crap! Exploding killer lakes! A lake "exploded" in 1986 and killed 1,700 and I never heard about it till now.

- I wish this honest man Godspeed!

- 11 ways to save money in 2013

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Top 5 - Sunday Morning Baseball Questions

Here are my Top 5 baseball questions I'm asking myself this Sunday morning (in reverse order of importance).

5. How come the Red Sox didn't make a qualifying offer to Cody Ross? Boston strategy this off-season has been to over-pay but go for shorter terms. You can't get much shorter term than a one-year qualifying offer. They would have had to pay him $13 million for that season but if they are willing to pay that to Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino for longer contracts wouldn't a one-year deal offer make sense to Ross? Did the Red Sox cost themselves either a power bat at Fenway or a draft pick here?

4. Even more puzzling is why the Nationals didn't offer Edwin Jackson a qualifying offer?

3. The Indians signed Nick Swisher to a 4-year $56 million contract. The signing will cost Cleveland a draft pick which makes me wonder if the Tribe would have been better off using the money they spent on Swisher to have instead kept Shin-Soo Choo? I know that Choo's agent is Scott Boras which means he probably would have gone to free-agency instead but it doesn't stop me from wondering.

2. Why did the Red Sox sign Shane Victorino to such a big contract? I'll be scratching my head over that for some time to come.

1. Why did Ryan Freel kill himself? Let me echo Roco Baldelli - "Lets pay better attention to the ones we love."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Joe Strummer - RIP

Joe Strummer died 10-years ago today. This video seemed a proper tribute.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What if the Mayan Apocalypse was actually The Rapture and we are all still here because we are bad people? Have any really holy people gone missing in the last 24 hours?... Very cool - a knuckleball in slow motion... I saw a bus with "Do Not Pass on Right" written on the bumper. Is that a law? Or can I put that on my bumper too?... Speaking of very cool - on this day in 1970... There should be a Cracker Barrel prevention hotline that gives people options of much better restaurants in the area... Thanks Obama! The Feds shut down a $200,000 NFL survivor pool. I'd be pretty pissed if I was in that pool...  Michael Buble singing Santa Baby is beyond creepy... lists Jacoby Ellsbury's nickname as "Tacoby Bellsbury". That has to be some sort of inside joke for the staff... Jimmie Kimmel's year in unnecessary censorship... 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

State of the Red Sox

This blog will from time to time give to his readers information on the state of the Red Sox. Today is one of those times.

I've been trying to make sense out of the moves the Red Sox have been making in the off-season. When you look at the moves as a whole then only one thing makes sense - there's another shoe (or shoes) to drop. Let me explain.

Shane Victorino? This signing makes no sense except in the light that the signing allows the Red Sox to trade Jacoby Ellsbury. Torii Hunter would have been a much better fit for Fenway's right field but Victorino is a better fit in center. For the record - I would have preferred to milk Ellsbury for one last year and then let him walk as a free agent and pocket the draft pick compensation. Ellsbury has Scott Boras as an agent is is almost a certainty to sign elsewhere next winter so the Red Sox may think getting out from under a potential over-bidding war now would be the best move.

Keep in mind that Ellsbury was originally drafted with the pick the Red Sox got for losing Orlando Cabrera to the Angels and that his eventual replacement - Jackie Bradley Jr. was a compensation pick for the Red Sox losing Adrian Beltre. So they must know the value of these compensation picks but have decided to trade Ellsbury anyway. (All the recent articles saying Ellsbury isn't on the trading block probably means that Ellsbury is on the trading block.)

Stephen Drew makes Jose Iglesias expendable. The Red Sox top prospect is SS Xander Bogaerts who is probably a year or two away from the bigs. Iglesias has unbelievable fielding ability but very little in the bat department. Still he has trade value and signing Drew will allow them to move Iglesias.

Signing catcher David Ross makes Jarrod Saltalamacchia a trade chip. Pairing Ross with Ryan Lavarnway makes the most sense. Waiting to see where AJ Pierzynski signs to maximize Salty's trade value also makes sense.

I see the signing of Ryan Dempster as the replacement of Josh Beckett's innings and productivity at about half the cost. Good move (would have preferred Dan Haren but who am I?). The signing gives the Red Sox a rotation of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, John Lackey and either Franklin Morales or Felix Doubront. Either Franklin or Felix easily could be turned into a trade chip.

To a lesser degree the signing of Koji Uehara also makes Daniel Bard expendable.

What could be holding up any moves is the signing of Mike Napoli. With Napoli in the fold the Red Sox would be able to take calls on Ellsbury with Iglesias, Saltalamacchia, Franklin Morales, and Daniel Bard as additional chips. It should be noted that the Red Sox have a pretty stocked bullpen and this is the time of year when teams start looking to fill holes in theirs.

Just throwing this out there but how about a trade that sends Andre Ethier and Chris Capuano from the Dodgers for Saltalamachia, Franklin Morales and a top prospect or two?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mandatory Voting

George Will has a column about Eric Holder supposedly supporting mandatory voter registration or possibly mandatory voting. George Will does a nice job explaining why this would be a bad idea. However, I would support the notion of mandatory registration or voting if it meant candidates worth voting for. I would support three caveats to the mandatory voting idea:

1. Each candidate for Federal office would first have to pass the same test that immigrants have to pass in order to become citizens. This would accomplish two things - it would insure that the people running for office have some basic idea of what this country is all about and frankly it would also help weed out the morons.

2. Institute a hypocrisy law where if an office holder is found guilty of a crime that publicly was against - then that office holder would get ten-times the normal penalty. For example if a Congressman was advocating stricter gun laws but was caught trying to get a handgun through airport security or say a Congressman helped pass stricter IRS penalties but then was found to be cheating on his taxes - ten-times the penalty.

3. Any claim against a Congressman, Senator, Cabinet Member or President automatically gets sent to the Supreme Court for resolution.

I don't think that mandatory voting passes the common sense smell test but my three suggestions do - which means they would never get passed by Congress.


Here's three science related articles I've read in the past 24 hours that are worth a read.

- How what you smell can affect what you see. Learned about "binocular rivalry" and the fact that in addition to "right brain / left brain" there is also a corresponding "right nostril / left nostril".

- Cicadas' cycles control their predators. Very interesting but article raised more questions than it answered (but doesn't all good science do that?).

- Why taking antibiotics is like swallowing a hand-grenade.  Interesting history of antibiotics as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holy Sh*t!!

Golden Eagle tries to snatch a kid.

EDIT: Is the video a fake?

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Love learning new words. Some of these I knew but others I will try to add to my vocabulary... Saw The Hobbit on opening night. Three things you should know: 1. the book is being broken into two movies which is OK because Tolkein packed a lot of action into that book, 2. the movie is close to 3 hours long (go to the bathroom before the movie!) and 3. some changes were made from the book - how you view these changes will affect how you feel about the movie... O Chemistree, O Chemistree... If you replace the word "ham" with the word "condoms" then Green Eggs and Ham becomes a very strange gay cruising book... Here's a geeky question that bothers me - if you poked out one of Wolverine's eyes would it grow back?... Here's a geeky joke to go with that geeky question: Two chemists walk into a bar - the first orders H2O, the second orders H2O too. The second chemists dies... As a reminder Rex Ryan needs to win the last game of the season to equal Herm Edwards 4-year record with the Jets. If anyone out there still thinks Ryan should keep his job - let that stat sink in...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Peanut Friends TV Show

Here's an idea for a TV show - take the format of the show Friends (including opening song and everything) but instead of the cast of Friends you'd have a real-life grown up versions of Charles Shulz' Peanuts characters.

Instead of a coffee shop - most of the action would take place at a piano bar with Schroeder being the "piano man". Lucy van Pelt, despite having a Ph. D in psychology, is the hostess at the piano bar restaurant (just to be close to Schroeder). Each week Lucy could give an psychoanalysis of whatever issue one of the gang is dealing with. Sort of a running gag. Schroeder could insist everyone call him "maestro" as a Seinfeld shout-out.

Charlie Brown's sister Sally could be played by a blonde hottie and the character would be sort of a slut. His best friend, Linus van Pelt could be played by one of The Big Bang actors who could geek slap big sister Lucy any time one of her on the spot psychoanalytical diagnosis makes no logical sense.

Peppermint Pattie and Marcie would, of course, be lesbians. Maybe Sue Lynch for Pattie and KD Lang for Marcie? Pig Pen could be a recovering drug addict. How could this not work?

And for Charlie Brown - I picture a younger version of Paul Giamatti. I would seriously watch this show if it were ever made.

EDIT: Literally less than an hour after writing the above I saw this Charlie Brown as Louie video. Too funny!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bane Out-takes

Some spoilers f you haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Awesome Office Notes

These were pretty funny.

My productivity died an early death this Monday morning because of these. Be forewarned.

Royals / Rays Trade

Jeff Passan (a favorite) has a very good breakdown of the big trade that just sent James Shields to the Royals and uber prospect Wil Myers to the Rays.

This trade very much reminds me of the trade that send Josh Beckett to the Red Sox and uber prospect Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins. That trade ended up being a win for both teams. The Red Sox got a final piece that allowed them to meet their goal of winning the World Series while the Marlins got a young superstar under team control. The extra piece that ended up giving value way beyond what was expected in that trade was Mike Lowell who would go on to become the World Series MVP for Boston. Wade Davis is giving off that vibe for me in this trade for Kansas City. Please note that I'm not saying Shields is the final piece for a Royals World Series - their goal is simply to be competitive in the AL Central and I think this trade helps them with that goal.

It should also be noted that if sabermetric GM Theo Epstein was in place at the time for Boston then that trade may never have happened and the Red Sox could still be searching for their second Series win. Point is sometimes sabermetrics doesn't tell the whole story. I consider myself a stats guy but I also realize that games aren't won on the spreadsheet.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Fairytale of New York

Perhaps my favorite Christmas song and one of the ones nobody seems to play.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Watched the Pacquiao-Marquez fight while at a poker game. Everyone who had money on the fight (including me) thought Marquez was going to win this time... On this day in history in 1941 - Bob Feller becomes the first major league baseball player to enlist after Pearl Harbor. More than anything that he did on the field - it was this act that Ted Williams always associated most with Feller (and perhaps the thing he was most jealous of)... Interesting look back at The Sopranos by Alan Sepinwall. Put me in the camp who is more curious about what happened to the Russian that whether Tony lived or died at the end... When Marquez knocked out Pacquiao some at the poker table thought he might be dead. Seriously... Ken Levine decodes Hollywood-speak... Hipsters may think they invented snark but that was the name of author Jack London's sailboat over a hundred years ago...Oyster Pirates would be a good name for a band...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thoughts on Red Sox Moves at Winter Meetings

Here are my thoughts regarding the roster moves the Boston Red Sox have made regarding the Winter meetings:

1. I'm a little ambivalent regarding signing Mike Napoli. Three-years $39 million seems a bit much but I've decided to look at the bright side of this signing - Napoli will give the Red Sox about the same OPS in 2013 that the Yankees will get out of Mark Teixeira but at half the price.
2. I hate the Shane Victorino signing. Hate it. 100% agree with Kirk Minihane that it was a mistake. Let me ask you two questions - how is Victorino better than Torii Hunter who got two-years $26 million from the Tigers? The Red Sox would have been so much better off giving Hunter two-years and $30 million than signing Victorino. Much better off. Secondly - how is Victorino even an upgrade over Ryan Kalish? Hate this move.
3. David Ortiz has to be wondering WTF? The Red Sox squeeze Ortiz trying to avoid giving him a multi-year deal and then turn around and sign Napoli and Victorino to more years and the same per year salaries? The optics are bad by management.
4. The Red Sox should have done more to sign Dan Haren. Maybe a two-year $26 million deal would have worked. The money they spent on Victorino would have been much better used on Haren in my opinion. Opportunity missed here.

If the Red Sox had signed Torii Hunter and Dan Haren - I'd be pretty excited about the Sox right now. Instead they signed Napoli and Victorino and I'm honestly left scratching my head.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Killing Them Softly

Saw the movie Killing Them Softly last Friday and to say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. The movie, it seemed, tried to be one part Trainspotting, one part crime documentary and one part political commentary and when put together - it just didn't work.

I had read the book the movie was based on - Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins - so I had no trouble following the plot but the person I was with had not read the book and was thoroughly confused. I liked the book and was looking forward to the movie but there were certain aspects and dialogue from the book that never should have made it to the screen but there it was.

Then you had the political commentary. Speeches by George W. Bush, Senator Barack Obama and others were cut into the film or playing in the background for what purpose I couldn't tell you. George V. Higgins' main message from the book was that criminals are stupid. The movie seemed to try and make some sort of metaphor between crime and the banking crisis.

My recommendation for this movie is simple - if you haven't read the book - save your money. And if you have read the book - save your money.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Renaming Omaha to Obama

This petition for the Obama Administration to authorize construction of a Death Star by 2016 got me thinking.

The petition is completely tongue-in-cheek. Nobody really expects the authorization of a Death Star to be taken seriously. What if you had a petition that was so tongue-in-cheek that some people would be completely taken in by it?

Some people really love Barack Obama. According to some Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were pikers in comparison to "the One".  What I'd suggest is a petition to rename Omaha, Nebraska to Obama, Nebraska. Stirring the pot I'd suggest that all it would take to properly honor this great President is losing an "H", adding a "B" and moving an "M". What's the big deal? Who could be against something so simple?

Some Democratic Congressmen and women would almost certainly be so enamored by the idea that they would introduce resolutions to Congress. The people of Nebraska - I'm guessing no so much enamored. And the more the people of Nebraska would dig in against the change the more the Obamafiles would push for its adoption.

Oh I wish I could make this happen.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Heh heh - I don't condone what happened to these PETA protesters but if you think throwing water balloons of fake blood and yelling things at a biker gang is a good idea - well let's just hope they learned their lesson (and yes I realize this happened in August but it is cold today and I needed a good laugh to keep me warm)...  Well if you say so... Should be pointed out that Adderall is big among poker players because it both gives them energy but also gives them focus. Think of it this way - each hand of poker is like a snap in football... There really is NO EXCUSE for Marvin Miller not being in the Baseball Hall of Fame... The average age of members of the Rolling Stones is over 68-years old. The average age of the members of the Supreme Court is over 66-years old.... How funny would it be if we find out Chris Brown was all and act and that his real manager is Andy Kaufman who faked his death. That would be the greatest story of all time.

Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens

I thought Tommy Hanson and Jair Jerrjens would become the cornerstones of the Braves starting staff. Today neither player is even on Atlanta's roster. Hanson was traded to the Angels for reliever Jordan Walden. Meanwhile Jurrjens was simply released.

I know the Braves are pitching rich but it seems like they got very little in return for players who just two years ago would have garnered at least top prospects. I know that both players have struggled with injuries but it still seems strange.

It also makes me think that maybe the Red Sox look at Hanson and Jurrjens and think Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.

EDIT: It looks like Red Sox GM is "open-minded" about trading Lester.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Linky Links

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

- Awesome time-lapse video of the sky and clouds over a volcanic island.

- Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt going to be the "new" Batman? Cool.

- Fireman Ed is a joke. The Jets should replace him with Lindsey Lohan.

- The Onion names Kim Jong Eun Sexiest Man Alive and China's propaganda organ believes them!

- If each state in the US waged war against each other state - who would win?

- Comparing the murder rates in Mexican states versus various countries.

- Combining two of my favorite things - science and beer: Niels Bohr was given a lifetime supply of beer after winning the Nobel Prize.

What Would It Take to Change Your Mind?

Interesting article from Harvard Business Review but I have to say that if you've gotten to the point where you have to ask, "What would it take to change your mind?" - then you really haven't done your job.

The way I learned and what has stuck with me is the following process when looking at advocating change (a new product or service). This process can be used for just about any new situation though:

1. Ask "What do you have now?" Force the person who you need to make a decision to look at what is currently in place.
2. What do you like about what is in place? Big mistake many make is to assume that just because some people are advocating change that everything about the current system is bad. In many cases there are features of the current system that people really like. They want change but they also want to keep the things that are familiar to them that works.
3. What would you like to change about what is currently in place? This question is the most important because it basically answers why do they want to make a change in the first place. It will also give you the clues to what the important decision factors will be.
4. How did the current system come to be? Why did you choose what is currently in place? This also reveals much about the decision process.

If you properly "qualify" the situation by asking the above questions and craft your proposed solution accordingly - then hopefully you won't need to ask "What would it take to change your mind?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Linky Links

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

- Jon Lester for Wil Myers? Alex Speier has an excellent look at the hypothetical (at this point) deal. For the record - if I'm the Red Sox I probably make that trade.

- A's donate one full playoff share to charity. Nice idea by Jonny Gomes and nice gesture by entire A's team.

- Holy crap! That's a bird straight out of a Stephen King horror story. Feathers the size of Samurai swords! Holy crap!

- Nice look at Notre Dame's head coach Brian Kelly's ability to adapt. Of course they forget to mention that everything Brian Kelly knows about football - he learned at Assumption College in Worcester.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Cure - Lullaby

One of my favorite songs by The Cure. You don't hear it much these days.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder what the updated Vegas odds are of Roger Clemens getting voted into the Hall of Fame. I remember during the summer it was 4-1 that he'd get in on the first ballot and 7-4 that he'd get in on the second ballot.The guy would obviously be a 100% lock without the steroids allegations. It will be interesting to watch... Tom Brady is operating at a level this season that few quarterbacks in history have reached yet he gets very little MVP recognition because we've come to expect this from Brady. Brady is simply unbelievable. Enjoy him while you can... Probably shouldn't write this but I can't be the only person who quietly suspects that film maker Ken Burns may secretly be a woman - can I?...  Bad management - not unions killed Hostess... Interesting stat from SI's Stewart Mandel; of Notre Dame's 12 wins - 9 came against bowl eligible teams. Alabama only had 5 such wins and Georgia just 4... Didn't realize this but Curt Schilling actually had a higher career WAR (76.9) than Jeff Bagwell (76.7). Not reading anything into that - just that it surprised me... The next fuck I give about the Jets "Fireman" Ed will be the first.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Linky Links

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

- Bad Lip Reading of Twilight. These are always amusing.

- This is why I'm a fan of Mike Leach. Too bad he won't be available to fill the BC job.

- This is so sad - Kevin McHale's daughter passes away at age 23

- Rob Gronkowski buys $1.6 million bachelor pad in Tampa. I had him figured for a South Beach guy.

-  Big Stupid Tommy has his list of his 50 favorite books. I should do a list like this too. Of the books on Tommy's list -I've only read 16 but that number will increase as I take Tommy's recommendations to hear.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The things you learn on the Internet - according to Mental Floss "During the reign of Elizabeth I, swan was a popular feast dish, especially when stuffed with the carcasses of nine other birds." Nine other birds? Makes a Turducken look kind of whimpy in comparison... Joss Whedon offers 10 tips for good writing...  Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" pass against Miami. For many guys of my generation that's one of the moments where you'll always remember where you were at the time... Interesting stat - in the last 3-years 21 players entered the NBA draft after just 1 year of college and were taken in the first round. Of those 9 (42%) were from Kentucky... In 1953 the US Army had just 20 divisions while the Soviet Union had more than 200. Because the US didn't have to match the manpower of the USSR those men were able to become the backbone of a boom economy for the US. One of the side benefits of our nuclear bomber program... If the Jets put Tim Tebow on waivers - I wonder how many teams would claim him?...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mark Sanchez is the Assman

New York Jets meet Seinfeld. I really hope someone splices the video of Mark Sanchez getting almost knocked out by his own lineman's ass with the video of Kramer being told that "according to the State of New York - you are the Assman."

For good measure you could splice the video of Frank Costanza saying it was a "one-in-a-million shot doc" with the video of Rex Ryan explaining that Mark Sanchez getting knocked silly by an ass in the face was "a one-in-a zillion play."

Come to think of it - Fusilli Sanchez would be a good nickname for the Jets QB.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Biological Chernobyl

In 1979 about two shot glasses worth of anthrax was released into the air around the Soviet military facility in Sverdlovsk. The deadly biological agent was released due to a filter not being replaced. Around 105 people died because of the anthrax leak. If the wind was right that day the agent could have killed more than 100,000.

Scary history that is not discussed much if at all. Even scarier is the fact that the facility at Sverdlovsk is still open and active.

Good Economic News

Some encouraging reading this Thanksgiving - a blogger who has never been wrong on the economy (according to the Motley Fools) says the economy is now in the best shape since 1997. Wow!

Bill McBride seems like a very interesting guy. Going to add his blog Calculated Risk to the blogroll.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mark Teixeira

It is interesting to note the decline of Mark Teixeira at the plate over the years. Tex may be lucky that A-Rod takes the spotlight off him. Take a look at the numbers:

2008 Age 28 Angels - 1.081 OPS
2009 Age 29 Yankees - .948 OPS (12.3% YR/YR decline)
2010 Age 30 Yankees - .846 OPS (10.8% YR/YR decline)
2011 Age 31 Yankees - .835 OPS (1.3% YR/YR decline)
2012 Age 32 Yankees - .807 OPS (3.4% YR/YR decline)

Teixeira has been declining every year. He's approaching replacement level with his bat. At his rate of decline he'll probably reach replacement level in 2014 but here's the thing (actually three things) - Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter. If he gets off to a slow start in 2014 will his fans or even Yankee management still show him the encouragement he might need to get going? Kevin Youkilis got off to an awful start in 2012 and he really couldn't turn it around till he was shipped out of town. Teixeira is under contract by the Yankees until 2016. He will make $22.5 million per year for every year until his contract expires.

As a Red Sox fan - the cherry on top is the fact that the Angels used the compensation pick from the Yankees for signing Teixeira to draft Mike Trout.

U2 - I Threw a Brick Through a Window

Another lost classic. This song was from 1982 but if it came out today it would be a big hit. Classic guitar from the Edge.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Weird stat - Tony Romo is 21-3 as a starting QB in the month of November. Too bad playoffs are not played before Thanksgiving... I see wild turkeys all the time. I had no idea that they were re-introduced to Massachusetts after I was born... Notre Dame haters will point out that Brian Kelley is lucky he inherited Charlie Weiss' decided schematic advantage on defense... Speaking of the big Notre Dame / USC game - has any other team started as a pre-season number 1 in the polls only to finished unranked? USC looks like they are about to accomplish this dubious feat... Would Reach-Around Elmo be a good fantasy football or band name?... Who knew? There are 293 different ways to make change for a dollar... Fact that really makes you think. Every human originally spent about half an hour as a single cell. If you murder that single cell - do you murder the human?...

I Want This Tie!

I so want one of these ties for Christmas. Normally I hate wearing ties but I think I'd have a lot of fun wearing this one.

Stan the Man Turns 92

Stan Musial turns 92 today. Here's a very good piece on Stan the man and what he means to St. Louis.

Happy birthday Mr. Musial.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Airship Ventures grounded by lack of funding. It is my dream to some day own a lighter than air airship. Some day.

- Tom Brady vs Andew Luck - through the eyes of their fathers. Jackie MacMullan is always a great read.

- If you've ever posted anything online then this was awesome.

- The wit here was so dry - possibly my favorite Wikipedia entry ever.

- Unintentionally Consequential. A new economics blog by Lee Bailiff. Good stuff!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Incredible - The Scale of Space

An incredible look at the scale of space from our sun to the our Galaxy.

Some paraphrased facts from the site - it would take a jet 17 years to get to the Sun from Earth and Voyager 1 has gone just 17 light HOURS from Earth.


ESPN NFL Kickoff Goes All Princess Bride

This is just fantastic! I'm guessing that Willaim Goldman - the writer of The Princess Bride probably got a kick out of it since he's a big sports fan.

EDIT: Trey Wingo and Mark Schlereth give the backstory to how this all came together

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blue Jays / Marlins Megadeal

Here's my take on last night's Blue Jays / Marlins megadeal.

Deals like this don't happen in a vacuum. To understand why the deal happened and who would be the winner and loser from this deal you have to understand the surrounding circumstances. The Marlins finished last in the NL East in 2012 with the big contracts of Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and John Buck. Chances are at worst they can finish last without those big contracts. The Blue Jays' record wasn't much better than the Marlins (73 wins vs 69) but you have to understand that GM Alex Anthopoulis just allowed their manager John Farrell to move over to division rival Red Sox. Anthopoulis had to make a big splash to make a run this year because if Farrell leads Boston to a better record than Toronto this year Anthoupilis would be sure to be asked why he allowed Farrell to move on. The Yankees are the Yankees but Blue Jay fans have to ask why division rival Baltimore became a playoff team in the same time frame that Anthopoulis was running the team with Toronto languishing at just 73 wins.

The circumstances were right for a big deal.

The Marlins get back a number of prospects plus potential headcase Yunel Escobar. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports has a good rundown of what the Marlins will be getting in the trade. It is entirely possible that someone will sit Escobar down and tell him this could be his last chance to be a name player in MLB. If his head is screwed on straight Escobar could equal Jose Reyes contribution for the Marlins at a much reduced price tag. If Escobar doesn't toe the line - then he's a one year headache. In Buehrle and Johnson the Marlins are losing a total of 62 starts at a little better than league adjusted average ERA - it doesn't sound so impressive when you put it like that does it?

The real gem for the Blue Jays in this deal is Josh Johnson who will be in both the second year after Tommy John surgery and his free agent walk year. That's a recipe for a Cy Young type season in the making. Mark Buehrle is a glorified 3rd started in the AL East and Jose Reyes is a player whose game is based upon speed but who will be playing his home games now on an artificial surface and whose contract will end when he's 34 or 35 years old.

If Johnson wins 20 games next year people will say Anthoupolis won this deal but long term I think this is better for the Marlins. If Vegas set the over / under for wins for Miami at 69 then I'd bet that a combination of misfit toys and young players will actually do better than the high salary 2012 team. Jeff Loria will get lots of heat for this deal but it was the right move for his team (and yes - his pocketbook - not arguing that factor in the deal).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

Congratulations to Robinson Cano - brand new US citizen

- Neil Gaiman's 8 rules for writing. You can't argue with the first rule.

- On November 13th Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence

- Anthony Bourdain isn't pissed at Cadillac - he's pissed at the Travel Channel.

- 11 notable Doctor Who fans. Neil Gaiman gets two mentions today.

Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinart

A normal thinking person would probably argue that Mark Sanchez is not the answer for the Jets at QB and that the team has nothing to lose by giving the ball to Tim Tebow. Yet Rex Ryan and those in charge of the NYJ don't seem to be normal thinking people. Too stubborn? Too stupid? Both?

I can't help but keep thinking that Mark Sanchez is no different than fellow USC alumni Matt Leinart except Sanchez was drafted by a team that was determined to sink or swim with their number 1 draft pick while Leinart was drafted by a team run by normal thinking people. Seriously - I bet Matt Leinart wakes up every day thinking "why couldn't I have been drafted by the Jets."

One thing that Tim Tebow doesn't do is turn the ball over. That alone could have meant the difference in a couple of close games for the Jets this season. But instead of going with what will give them the best chance to win - the Jets are sticking with their bonus baby QB. As a Patriots fan - that's just fine with me.

Oh as an aside - I think its funny that that the folks at list Tim Tebow as a tight end (for 2012 season).

Monday, November 12, 2012

History of Science

A little insight into my TV viewing habits - last night I had a choice between a fairly crappy Bears / Texans game and a Band of Brothers marathon on Spike but I ended up watching The History of Science on PBS.

I love Band of Brothers but by now I know the episodes backwards and forwards. The History of Science combines two of my favorite things - history and science. You can watch all six episodes here.

Worth the time. Very well done.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder but Rex Ryan needs to go 7-9 this season just to equal the 4-year record the Jets had under Herm Edwards. With today's loss the NYJ are now 3-6. Rex Ryan - worse than Herm Edwards?... 55 things you might not know about the US armed services... With the Red Sox signing David Ross - it will be interesting to see whee Jarrod Saltalamacchia gets traded to. I think Salty could really rake in the NL. Most speculation has him going to the Mets... It would be interesting to compare the records of the schools kids transferred to vs Penn State's record. The grass is not always greened... One side effect of Obama being re-elected - 4 more years of incessant gold commercials on Fox News...

Veteran's Day - In Flanders Fields

Veteran's Day started out as Armistice Day which marked the end of World War I. In Flanders Fields is perhaps the most storied poem coming out of that war. Here's the story behind it:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow      Between the crosses, row on row,   That mark our place; and in the sky   The larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,   Loved and were loved, and now we lie         In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throw   The torch; be yours to hold it high.   If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies grow         In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 09, 2012

This Picture - Naked Rain

Naked Rain by This Picture is a forgotten classic (can things from 1991 now be termed classic?).

A great song that you never hear anymore. Most people who hear it for the first time think it is some sort of U2 b-side.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day

I couldn't think of a more fitting song for the day than Alice Cooper's Elected.

I voted this morning. It took 29 minutes. How long you had to wait to vote is the new finding a great parking spot. Everyone I've seen talking about voting - the first thing they mention is how long it took.

By the way - Alice Cooper supports Mitt Romney. Go Romney 2012!!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Pitt lost to Notre Dame last night and the key play came in OT when all Pitt needed was a field goal to win. The play before the FG try - Pitt for some reason ran the ball right which put the ball on right hash mark. If they ran the ball to the middle then the kicker would have had a straight down the middle kick and we probably would be talking a bout a huge upset this morning... My prediction for what the election Tuesday will look like... After World War I - France banned the word "Verdun" from many new history textbooks. Today the MSM seem to be doing the same with the word "Benghazi"... 147 days till Opening Day... Remember Joe Biden always means what he says... Some day I will die in large part because I eat too much bacon. I am completely at peace with that scenario. Hmmmm bacon.... This is a tremendous story - a MUST READ...

Saturday, November 03, 2012

101 Greatest Movie Villians

Very cool.

I would argue that missing from the montage but could have been included were Captain Hadley from Shawshank, Gary Oldman as both Stansfield in The Professional and as Dracula, Dudley Smith from LA Confidential, and Lee Marvin as Liberty Valance.

Dan Haren

The Angels did not exercise their 2013 $15.5 million option on starting pitcher Dan Haren and instead will be giving him a $3.5 million buy-out making him a free agent. That news comes on the heels of the news that an announced deal that would have sent Haren to the Cubs for Carlos Marmol fell apart at the last minute.

I don't understand this - I don't understand this at all.

First off - Carlos Marmol isn't chopped liver. He's a good reliever with a live arm about to enter his prime (just 29-years old). If the Cubs were willing to give up Marmol then there had to have been other clubs offering something - anything for Haren. By not picking up Haren's option then the Angels get nothing.

I've seen speculation that the Cubs may have been scared off the deal once they saw Haren's medical reports. This could be. Haren does have a bad back but Haren also came back from that bad back to go 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA in September in the middle of a playoff race. That's worth the risk for a team like the Red Sox who have deep pockets but not a deep rotation. 2012 was a bad year for Haren yet his 4.33 ERA for the year would have been the best among Boston pitchers with at least 10 starts. Don't tell me they wouldn't have given up something for Haren.

Could this have been financial? Marmol is on the books for almost $10 million in 2013. But again - by declining the option the Angels still pay the $3.5 million buyout but get nothing in return. This just doesn't make sense.

Friday, November 02, 2012

NYC Marathon

Mike Francesa has a must watch video about the outrage many average New Yorkers feel about the decision to run the New York City Marathon. I agree with him 100%.

The sponsors can't be too happy about this situation. I'm guessing when PowerBar signed on as a sponsor they didn't think they were about to become the official energy bar of the Hunger Games.

Presidential Pardons

If President Obama loses the election one of the most interesting things to watch for will be who he decides to give Presidential pardons to on the way out the door. I'm inclined to believe that President Obama may give Attorney General Eric Holder a blanket pardon. Holder would then become where the buck stops on anything the Administration did that may have been in less than the spirit of the law. Fast and Furious would be the obvious scandal that could stop at Holder's door. In exchange for immunity Holder could take the blame for that. Taking illegal foreign campaign contributions? Holder could step up and say "My bad!" There are any number of examples (and probably many more will see the light of day if Obama loses Tuesday).

Many people have called for Eric Holder's resignation for many years. The President stuck by Holder probably because Holder knew too much. Giving Holder a pardon in exchange for Holder agreeing to take the blame for anything and everything would seem a fair exchange. I'm not sure if the law allows for pardons for crimes that have not been charged yet but hey - when did a little thing like the law stop this Administration?

Just combine the pardon with yet another Executive order - presto chango!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- 10 of the most beautiful libraries in the US. I love libraries.

- This was an awesome Halloween costume. Part of me worries that the kid is an only child and parents to go to that extreme may be a bit smothering. I hope my concern is unfounded because that was an awesome costume.

- 15 Offbeat holidays in November

- Will Middlebrooks and the Red Sox. More like him please.

Red Sox 2013 Starting Pitching

Gordon Edes has a good look at the options available to the Red Sox for their 2013 starting rotation.

Its interesting that Edes doesn't view Alfredo Aceves as a persona non grata with the Red Sox and actually considered him a viable option for the starting rotation. I would think John Farrell would be best served eliminating any headache players from 2012 with Aceves at the top of the list. Aceves is still under team control and will probably only cost a little more than $2 million in arbitration - I'd be dangling him in trade talks.

Also interesting that he doesn't even mention Vincent Padilla as an option. Padilla would be relatively inexpensive to keep and did average more than a K per inning in 2012. He came into town with a bad reputation but he was a solid citizen whose stock with fans went way up as he was one of the only players to attend Johnny Pesky's funeral.

If the Red Sox keep John Lackey then they would have a rotation of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Dubront and Lackey. If that's the case then they have a number of young arms that could step up to be the number 5 starter or fill in if there are any significant injuries.

My preference would be to trade away John Lackey and bring in either Dan Haren or Cliff Lee (if the Phillies are looking to move his contract). Fangraphs has a very good look at Haren whose option may not be picked up by the Angels. It should be noted that 2012 was a bad year for Haren but his 4.33 ERA still would have been the better than any Red Sox starter with more than 10 starts last season.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Proper Words Escape me

It would take more than Hurricane Sandy to keep the honor guard at the Tomb of the unknown Soldier from performing their duty. I don't have the words...

Photo via Marta Evry

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I stayed up last night to watch the final out of the World Series. I have to agree with Chad Finn of the Boston Globe that the Erin Andrews interview of Marco Scuturo may have been the worst live interview in the history of TV... Steve Jobs made small devices that were elegant and utilitarian but I have to say that his yacht is gigantic, butt-ass ugly and I'm not sure how well it would fare in a storm... Random fact about me - when I was younger I memorized both the lyrics to REM's It's the End of the World As We Know It and the words on the Budweiser label (this is the famous Budweiser beer)... Notre Dame is for real! Who saw this coming?... Would "The Taint of Destiny" be a good name for a fantasy football team?... This place looks awesome! Not a fan of going shopping but I would frequent this store on a regular basis if there was one near me. A "liquid delicatessen" what a great idea... The things you learn from the Internet - the word "listen" contains the same letters as the word "silent"... Fordham's kicker, Patrick Murray, has an NFL caliber leg. I wouldn't be surprised to see him playing on Sunday's... If Barack Obama loses the election - the combination of Michele's expensive tastes and his Jimmy Carter level incompetence may narrow his earning potential to the point where he could be broke in five years...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2011 Patriots vs 2012 Patriots

Very interesting look at the statistical differences between last year's Patriots team and this year's.

The bottom line is it can be argued that this year's edition is superior to last year. Keep in mind that last year's team was one dropped pass away from winning the Super Bowl.

Presidential Election Prediction

Mitt Romney is going to win by a landslide on November 6th. He is going to win for 3 main reasons:

1. He has the Republican base energized. They not only will come out in large numbers but are also acting now doing the ground-game get out the vote grunt work.
2. Romney is winning the independent vote mainly based upon his economic arguments and plans. People aren't stupid. They see that the policies of the past 4 years are not working.
3. The above two reasons would give Romney a win but not a landslide. What will give Romney a landslide will be Democrats refusing to vote for Obama. Again some of this will be based upon economic policies but I think many will refuse to pull the lever because of the way the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi was handled. I think the revulsion shown by Democrat pollster Pat Caddell in this video clip is shared by many informed Democratic voters.

When the post election postmortem is done I think the numbers will show that in state after state many more Democrats voted for the federal offices of Senator or Congressman than voted for the Democrat at the top of the ticket. These folks may not vote for Mitt Romney but by not voting for Barack Obama they will be widening the gap which will be the difference between a slim victory and a landslide.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Very Nice Story

Good for Andrew Luck and the Colts. This was a very nice story.

Top 10 Comedy Screenplays

Ken Levine got me thinking with his post of what he considers the 10 best comedy screenplays of all time. I like Ken's list but my taste in humor must be very different because I came up with completely different choices. In order to stop thinking about the subject I decided to jot down my top 10. Here they are in no particular order:

The Thin Man
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Groundhog Day
Blazing Saddles
Catch 22
The Princess Bride
Being There

And for my 11th choice - Used Cars. Just missing the list My Man Godfrey, The Naked Gun, This Is Spinal Tap, and My Favorite Year. These lists are completely subjective but I think my list would stand up to anyone's.

8 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If I was running for President - I'd announce that I was replacing the TSA will local police and FBI agents and that I was going to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. That should be good for at least 10 points in the polls... Very cool - how to eat a Triceratops. Make sure you see all the illustrations... According to Deadspin - of 58 ESPN and Sports Illustrated baseball writers - none of them predicted a Tigers vs Giants World Series. In Italy they could have been arrested for those faulty predictions... In 10 years what will seem a stranger team name - the Utah Jazz or the Bronx Islanders?... Regarding Bobby Valentine - the Boston media should learn from the Internet - DO NOT FEED THE TROLL... Thank you CNN for putting the image of a self-lubricating catheter into my head. Yeah - thank you very much for that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Presidential Debate - Round Three

Some quick thoughts on last night's Presidential Debate.

Some people are using a boxing analogy to describe the debates but the problem with that analogy (if you want to go with it) is Mitt Romney opened up such a big cut on President Obama in the first debate that the fight would have been called and Romney given a TKO by now. The President is still bleeding from that first round.

In a debate on foreign policy I was very surprised that we went the full 90-minutes with neither Fast and Furious or NATO being mentioned. Very surprised.

Every debate there's always an answer you wished your guy gave. This is how I wish Mitt Romney would have responded to the "horses and bayonets" jab from the President: 

"Bob was nice enough to start us off tonight with a question about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was during that crisis 50-years ago that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise first entered the American consciousness as the backbone of US defense. Now the Enterprise is about to be scrapped at a time when it could still be of great use around the globe. I'm guessing those folks in Norfolk, VA who may be losing their jobs because the battle group is being decommissioned probably don't appreciate being compared to 'horses and bayonets' . And Mr. President - submarines existed in 1916. In fact it was a German U-boat sinking the US Lusitania in 1915 which effectively got us into WWI."

Now that the debates are done - I can't wait for the "Hitler in the Bunker" video where he wants to discuss the President's strategy for the 4th debate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ESPN and the Presidential Election

ESPN just announced that Chris Berman will be interviewing both President Obama and Mitt Romney during the November 6th Monday Night Football telecast. I would much rather see ESPN use this opportunity to have Jon Gruden break down film from their debate performances.

How great would be it to have Gruden refer to the President as "this guy" with Obama sitting right next to him?

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The mysterious origins of the 8 glasses of water per day rule. Very interesting.

- 22 amazing slow-motion GIF's

- 99 life-hacks that could make your life easier. I've posted these before but they are so good they bear repeating.

- UMass coach awards two scholarships in a very cool way.

- The missing women of LoTR

- I love tree houses.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Big fan of the show Louie by Louis CK. The show is like a series of mini comedic art-house movies. The show has some recurring characters but linear progression of story-lines are completely optional. The problem with the show for most fans is the fact there are so few episodes. I have a potential solution to this problem.

Louis CK has tons of stand-up buddies. Don't you think he could get some of them to do their own half-hour comedic art-house movies which would be produced by Louis. Don't you think Steven Wright could have some interesting stories to tell in a manner true to the spirit of the show. You could even have some episodes where the guest comedian pretends to be Louis. Like having Steven Wright dye his hair red.  Louis could have his six episodes per season and his buddies could do another six.

Just a suggestion.

Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney?

With the passing of George McGovern - I thought it worthwhile to repost this: It’s been almost 40 years and coming up on 10 Presidential elections since Hunter S. Thompson released his political opus Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. Reading the book today it is almost impossible to not wonder what Hunter S. would make of the current election contest between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The easy assumption would be to think that Thompson would support the Democrat Obama but would that really be the case? Too long an article to post here. Too much time invested by me to just give it away. Buy the essay Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney? Revisiting Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. It's just $.99 and is well worth your time and money.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With the way he's blown a once commanding lead in the polls - it has to be said that if Obama was an NFL coach - he'd be Norv Turner...  Gradient view of Sun. Very cool... Worth mentioning that George W. Bush helped save Africa from total devastation from the AIDS virus but he was never even mentioned for a Nobel Prize. Tell me again what Barack Obama did to deserve his?... "First you get the money, then you get the binders, then you get the women," Mitt Romney as Tony "Scarface" Montana... In the last debate Mitt Romney was asked why he isn't like George W. Bush. It was patently unfair that Barack Obama wasn't made to answer why he isn't like Jimmy Carter... Wow - former Notre Dame football coach Ty Willingham now an assistant women's golf coach at Stanford...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Lee Iaccoca endorses Mitt Romney for President. The article notes that the endorsement should help Romney in Pennsylvania (Iaccoca's home state) and in Michigan but I'd add that Iaccoca will also help nationally among Italians, seniors and Catholics.

- Mad Men and Presidential Debate Mashup.

- Fantastic look at what Bill Snyder has meant to both Kansas State and Manhattan, Kansas.

- Very cool video from the ISS (International Space Station)

- Wow - just wow!

The Granderson Trade

The Tigers beat the Yankees and the seeds of that defeat for the Yankees were sown back in December of 2009 when as part of a three-team trade Curtis Granderson was traded to the Yankees.

Here's what I wrote about the trade at the time.

Granderson supporters will say their guy hit 43 HR. Big deal! For the record - Austin Jackson had a .856 OPS with 260 total bases while Granderson had an .811 OPS and 293 TB. Let me also add that Jackson is under team control until 2016 and by the way he had a .353 batting average against the Yankees in the Tigers sweep of the series.

I'd say the Tigers won the trade even if it was just Granderson for Jackson but the Tigers also got Phil Coke (who had 2 saves against New York) and Max Scherzer (who beat the Yankees in game 4).

Mitt Romney Addresses Al Smith Dinner

This is so awesome!

We Don't Throw at .260 Hitters

This was really the beginning of the end of Alex Rodriguez as an elite hitter. The myth goes that Jason Varitek said, "We don't throw at .260 hitters" right before he smushed his glove in his face. That must have crushed Mr. Half-Centaur's confidence.

He never recovered.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

When I see something like this - first I laugh and then I remember that TGI Friday's was started as a single's bar.

- Awesome photo - the Milky Way over Mount Rainier.

Very cool look at Peter Gabriel's song Biko. One of my favorites.

- The was the answer from the last debate that was the nail in the coffin of Obama's campaign.

Bill Murray for Cubs Analyst

Bob Brenley is leaving his post as the color analyst for Cubs games on WGM. In my opinion WGN should throw whatever money it would take to get Bill Murray to replace Brenley in the broadcasting booth.

This would make lots of sense financially for WGN. How many out of town cable systems would pick up WGN just to hear what the immortal Bill Murray has to say? Rain delays alone would become epic!

Plus whatever network that is about to broadcast Roadhouse could get to sponsor the Murray family calls to Kelly Lynch! That sponsorship money by itself could pay Bill Murray's salary!

Who could possibly be against this idea?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Incredible Microscopic Images

Here are 11 incredible microscopic images.

This image of garlic just blows my mind. I'll never look at garlic cloves the same.

This is an image of butterfly eggs on Mistletoe. But if it was a Rorschach test - I'd say it was boobs.

This is a fruit fly larvae (or a crazy Minnesota Vikings fan).

The house spider one is just plain scary.

Presidential Debate Round Two

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner famously said, "We don't have a plan. We just don't like yours." That single sentiment seems to encapsulate the entire Obama Campaign strategy. That's the sort of strategy you run when you don't have any ideas of your own and your record isn't exactly something to be proud of.

Mitt Romney wants to make the US more competitive for companies by lowering the corporate tax rate. President Obama says he too wants to lower the corporate tax rate to which the natural follow up question becomes, "Well why haven't you done that already?"

Mitt Romney says he wants cut tax rates by 20% across the board while at the same time eliminating or reducing some deductions. The reduction in revenue would be paid for with the elimination of these deductions (capping deductions at $25,000 would be a place to start) and through growth in the economy. President Obama says the math doesn't add up because he never counts the growth in the economy - almost like he doesn't believe in it.

Mitt Romney says he believes in something called "self-deportation" which at first blush seems ridiculous. But when you think of it illegal immigrants come to this country because it is the land of opportunity. If state benefits like healthcare, welfare or in-state tuition are denied and if employer e-verification was enforced then the illegal immigrant would probably decide to go back home or to get a green card. The question last night was asked to paint Mitt Romney as a person Latinos should be afraid of but instead Romney turned it around. He asked why the President did not keep his promise to enact comprehensive immigration reform his first year in office. That was something he pledged to do and has no excuse for not doing.

The people out of a job know the President's job policies haven't worked. The people paying double at the pump for gas know his energy policies haven't worked. Middle class families who have seen their disposable income shrink by an average of $4300 while facing rising costs everywhere know Obama hasn't been good for them.The people paying attention know that the President blamed the deaths in Benghazi on a YouTube video for two weeks before coming clean to the American people. The failures of this Presidency are staring everyone right in the face.

Last night Mitt Romney was asked to describe how he isn't like George W. Bush. It was unfair that the natural follow-up question of the President explaining why he isn't like Jimmy Carter never got asked.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ryan's Debate Strategy

Interesting look at how Paul Ryan prepared for his debate against VP Joe Biden.

Luck favors the prepared mind and I must say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are really doing a great job both in preparation and in taking care of the little details. That bodes well for their campaign which in turn bodes well for the country.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

 The Patriots are now 3-3 but easily could be 6-0. No team wants to play the Patriots come playoff time. I wish certain fans and talking heads would take a deep breath and shut up... Awesome Live Jump photo... If the Geico commercial that has Gallagher smashing watermelons ended with Gallagher getting shot by a sniper - I'd consider switching insurance companies... I saw a study that said bacon was the best cure for a hangover. I felt like the study validated my whole existence... Most Red Sox fans I know root for Derek Jeter. The most common adjective used to describe him is "classy"... Arlen Specter has died and he took the secret of where Jimmy Hoffa is buried with him to the grave... I think iit would be funny to redo the movie theater scene from Cape Fear with a laughing Joe Biden playing the Robert DeNiro role and Paul Ryan as the Nick Nolte character... Unbelievable tweet of the day:

: Derek Jeter had a great career until 3 days ago when he sold his apt at Trump World Tower - karma?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chuck Yeager and the Sound Barrier

65-years ago today Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time. The movie The Right Stuff captured the essence of the moment.

Starry Night With Real Stars

Van Gogh's Starry Night reproduced using images from the Hubble Telescope.

Very cool!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With the Yankees and their fans becoming completely disenchanted with Alex Rodriguez it seems the unthinkable may become thinkable. Could the Yankees start the 2013 season without A-Rod? If so - who would they get to replace him? How about this scenario - Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes? Stranger things have happened... Never thoughts I'd be saying this (especially not this year) but the fact is UMass may actually have a better football program than Boston College at this point. Seriously.... Agent Coulson resurrected for Josh Whedon's ABC SHIELD TV show... I can't explain it but the name "Carl" Ripken  really amuses me. Thanks for the laugh inept TBS personnel... I hate when I hear a cell phone ring on TV because it almost always has the same ring as my phone. Makes me feel like a dope when I realize it was just the TV... Block Me Amedaeus would be a good name for a fantasy football team... Did Bobby Valentine just validate the idea he's a complete phony?... All you need to know about men is the fact they all understand what a DD bra size means but they can't tell you anything about dress sizes... Just a reminder to everyone who watched the VP debate this week. Joe Biden was added to the ticket by Obama to add "gravitas"...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hezbollah's CFO Flees to Israel

Hezbollah (the Party of God) CFO flees to Israel with $5 million and classified documents.

I know that this could be big news but a few things amused me about the story. First - I like to go out of my way to mention that Hezbollah means "Party of God" because I think in doing so it makes it easier to get liberals to hate them. This probably explains why you never see any MSM story on Hezbollah mention it.

Secondly - I know the Israelis probably care more about the documents than about the $5 million the CFO stole but I can't help but imagine some Hezbollah stooges cursing the CFO for stealing the payroll money.

What Happened at Benghazi

Powerline has a very graphic description of the attack on our people in Benghazi. Must reading!

I can't help but read the description of what happened that night without wondering what a huge difference a contingent of heavily armed Marines would have made.

EDIT: The Weekly Standard has a piece on the timeline of the Administration's storytelling. The actions of the Administration have been heinous - yet not a single person is going to be held accountable. Disgusting.