Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if medical science came out with evidence that taking steroids saved Roger Clemens from having to get Tommy John surgery whether my opinion would change about either steroids or Clemens?... So how does a 3-D printer work? I've said it before but once they perfect printing 3-D blow-up sex dolls - all the dating sites will go bankrupt... As a fan of the New England Patriots - I love Rex Ryan as the coach of the Jets. In fact they should give him a contract extension... I'm surprised nobody has come out with a Tickle-Me Michael Jackson doll. That would be one of the top gag gifts of all-time... If you watch porn backwards - it tells the story of a woman who gives her man sex so he will clean the pool or deliver some pizzas... Very sad about Linda Rondstadt... When people say they were "born and bred" in a particular place - does that mean their parents specifically had sex in hoping to have a baby in that specific geography? I'm Boston born and bred because my parents wanted to make sure I had the right accent?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Linky Links

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

- 33 Shocking Facts that show how the economy has tanked under Obama. Some really depressing stuff in there like #14 that points out the poverty rate is actually higher today than when the War on Poverty began in 1965.

- Heh heh - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in 61 seconds

- Did Bobby Riggs throw the Battle of the Sexes? Very interesting story - I think he did it.

- The ultimate cheat sheet for starting and running a company. Good stuff.

- The story of the space station crew stranded by the Columbia disaster

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Kids today probably think that mustard gas is something that happens to you the day after eating a pastrami sandwich... 22 cast members and one almost cast members describe how their auditions for SNL went... I wonder if the people who now know they will be losing their healthcare because of Obamacare were allowed to change their vote if it would have been enough to elect Mitt Romney... Gabe Kapler has a great take on the PED guessing game...  I wonder who would win an MMA fight in the octagon - Joe Rogan or Jay Glazer... After hearing of Elmore Leonard's death I re-watched the first season of Justified and the Tarantino flick Jackie Brown. I have come to think that Robert DeNiro's best role was as Louis Gara the pot smoking criminal...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NFL Betting

It's that time of year again. The NFL season is upon us and the madness to make NFL bets willy-nilly will soon descend upon many of us. Before you succumb to the the beast consider these two recent posts on NFL betting.

First - when it comes to spotting trends - only a fool will think he's uncovered something Las Vegas wasn't aware of.

Second - only 8 QB's in history (with at least 100 starts) would have made money for you ATS.  And the best of all-time ATS - Joe Montana - would have only made you $3,580 after risking $18,700 (assuming $100 bet on each regular season start). That's not much of a return on investment. And that's on the greatest ATS QB in history! If you bet every Tom Brady regular season start you would only have a profit of $2,930 on $19,100 put at risk.

If you are going to bet - bet for fun and not because you think you'll be able to make it a part time job.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Linky Links

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

- Tao of Pauly reminds me of what a truly awesome song Jump Into the Fire by Nilsson is. One of the all-time great drum solos!

- Pretending to be a male to avoid traumatic insemination! Nature is really messed up sometimes. I mean even avoiding the traumatic insemination means these female insects still sometimes get stabbed in the back

- The Desert of Maine? Can't be that big of a tourist trap since I've never heard of it.

- Timeline of Genital Nicknames. Lots of good fantasy football team names in there.

- Good story on the life and death of Dan Roundfield

-  Separated at birth - Hillary Clinton and The Daily Show's John Hodgman

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Jared Remy and Jennifer Martel

Medicine for the dead has a great post about Jared Remy and how he brutally murdered Jennifer Martel.

Not sure if I would lay so much blame on the Remy's for being bad parents but they had to know Jared was a monster. I would have two additional thoughts to add:

1. If what people are saying about Jared Remy's mother getting Jennifer Martel to rescind the emergency restraining order then I hope the Remy's never get to see their granddaughter ever again.

2. Other states like Connecticut have changed their restraining order laws so that they can't be rescinded to help prevent this exact type of situation. Massachusetts should make similar changes.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Drew Bledsoe's middle name is McQueen. How did I not know that? I hope it is because his parents were big Steve McQueen fans and not because of a family name thing... Jeff Passan points out that Josh Hamilton is ranked 121st out of 151 players who qualify with his anemic .686 OPS and he still has 4-years and almost $100 million left on his contract. I wonder if Nick Cafardo still thinks the Red Sox should have signed Hamilton... I went to a gang rumble and a Chuckie Cheese birthday party broke out... I was only kidding a while back when I said A-Rod is acting this way because he's building the groundwork for an insanity defense but now I'm not so sure it's a joke... Very cool - guy bikes to all 30 MLB parks for charity... Do gangs even have rumbles anymore? Is that like a 1950's thing and it is all drive-by's now?... I'm not offended by the Washington Redskins name but I hope the people who are also demand that the NAACP change the name of their organization... Interesting update on what Daniel Radcliffe has been up to...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Chad Finn mentioned yesterday that Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a higher slugging percentage than Giancarlo Stanton this season. I had to look that up to double check. While it may have been true so far this season it is certainly not close for their careers. Stanton now sits at .439 and .533 for his career while Salty's numbers are .447 and .423 respectively (not that anyone outside of baseball geeks care about this)...  Excellent point! If the NCAA lets Johnny Manziel slide then Dez Bryant should sue the NCAA for everything they have in the bank!... I know this is post Shark week but I wonder if remoras were called "cuddle fish" instead - would that change the way you look at their relationship to sharks? Would it change the way you look at cuddling in bed?...  25 things that turned 25 this year... 29 years ago Ronald Reagan joked about outlawing the Soviet Union. Today the Russian President just thinks his US counterpart is the joke... Howie Carr on the conviction of Whitey Bulger (audio)... The blacksmith who makes the weapons for Hollywood. It must eat him up a little that he doesn't work on Game of Thrones...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rock Documentaries

Bill Simmons today devoted a lot of words to Showtime's documentary The History of the Eagles directed by Alison Ellwood (who also directed a 30 for 30 feature for ESPN which may explain in part some of the effort by Simmons). I've watched this documentary a couple of times and fall prey to watching it pretty much each time I see that it is on. I enjoyed Simmons' piece but The History of the Eagles - as good as it is may not be even the best rock documentary I've seen in the past 24 months.

Other titles I'd put in the running include:

- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (directed by Peter Bogdanovich). Very interesting history but 239 freaking minutes long.

- Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. Very under-rated flick about a man with more charisma than all the members of the Eagles combined.

- George Harrison: Living in the Material World (directed by Martin Scorsese). This was a two-part HBO special. Harrison was always my favorite Beatle. I would have to place this at the top of my list just because I found Harrison so fascinating a person.

Linky Links

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

- Badger's animated Star Trek script from Breaking Bad

- Good summary of the Whitey Bulger verdict. Time was Whitey was huge news. Now he's a mostly forgotten old evil man.

- Speaking of the Whitey verdict - funny screen cap from MSNBC announcing the verdict

- But it is the insect excrement from God!

- Very cool tiger photo

- Isolated drum loop from Led Zeppelin's When the Levee Breaks. If I had a radio show I would use this as my intro music.

- Interesting look at comic book continuity and especially as it refers to Neil Gaiman's Sandman

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if Aaron Rodgers is rethinking the A-Rod nickname?... Is it "duck" tape or "duct" tape?... "Matt Leinart" is French for "Will QB for food"... Can someone remind me what the point of the Occupy Movement was and what it accomplished?... What if A-Rod was only taking steroids in an effort to transform himself into a centaur?... Regarding that lab grown beef that was in the news recently. If they had lab grown chicken - could it really be any worse than Chicken McNuggets?... Steve Spurrier really is an American original.... President Harding in 1920 started the tradition of answering questions directly from reporters. Is that tradition coming to an end? If I were a Republican President I'd probably stop it... When John Henry takes over the Boston Globe - it will be interesting to see if he keeps Dan Shaughnessy for long. He could hire five up and coming writers for the salary he pays Shaughnessy. It would be the Sabermetric thing to do...

Friday, August 09, 2013

Boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics?

Stephen Fry makes a good argument about boycotting the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia because of their new harsh anti-homosexual laws.

While I agree that the laws in Russia are a giant step backwards when it comes to human rights - I believe that an official boycott would mostly harm the athletes who have been training for years. They didn't pick the venue - why should they be the ones to have their dreams crushed?

I must also say that a boycott of the Winter Games by England would be a rather hollow protest seeing how England is not exactly a winter games powerhouse (they won exactly one medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics). Soccer (they mistakenly call it football) is huge in England. If they really wanted to protest for gay rights - how about boycotting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar instead?

While I am against a boycott of the Winter Games because the athletes would be the ones to suffer that doesn't mean I agree with the anti-homosexual laws in Russia. I think a better way to show our displeasure would be to boycott with our pocketbooks. Don't travel to the Sochi Games or buy and of the merchandise. Get others to do the same. Allow the athletes to sew rainbow flags onto their uniforms to show they are also against the laws. Those are some protest methods I could agree with.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Top 5 - Karaoke Song Choices

So the other night I was in a college bar where they had a Karaoke DJ. I didn't sing because the wait was too long (not a fan of waiting for anything) but I did have a chance to look through the song book. Here's my top 5 for songs I would have sung.

1. Dire Straits - Romeo and Juliet

2. Theme Song to The Love Boat (I'm a fun guy and this is a fun campy song)

3. Tom Petty - American Girl

4. Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun (bringing back my college days)

5. Monty Python - Sit on My Face (OK - maybe I'd only threaten to sing this song - but I do know the words)

Monday, August 05, 2013

Player Comparison

This player comparison has been in my thoughts the past few days:

Player A - 1061 G/ 150 HR/ 681 RBI/ .281 BA/ .382 OBP/ .861 OPS
Player B - 1092 G/ 137 HR/ 555 RBI/ .274 BA/ .364 OBP/ .828 OPS

Very similar players. Player A is Kevin Youkilis who Yankee fans should remember was supposed to be the third baseman for the Yankees this season - not Alex Rodriguez. Many people are wondering if Alex Rodriguez' career is basically over but the same could be said for Kevin Youkilis. He was signed for 1-year at $12 million. No way he gets that sort of money next year. Maybe he doesn't get any offers. Maybe at age 34 he calls it quits.

It was all over for Player B after his age 34 season and Baseball-reference.com lists him as the most similar to Kevin Youkilis. Player B is former Youkilis teammate Trot Nixon who was a Red Sox mainstay but then ended his career in the uniform of two other teams - playing a combined total of 110 games for first the Indians and then the Mets.

Youkilis was also a Red Sox mainstay but has now worn the uniforms of the White Sox and Yankees for a combined 108 games. Scarily similar.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

A Patriot's History of the Modern World

The story of  Mitch Daniel's saying Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is not to be taught in public schools as history made me think of A Patriot's History of the Modern World (From America's Exceptional Ascent to the Atomic Bomb: 1898-1945). The book was written by Larry Schweikart and Dave Dougherty. Schweikart also wrote A Patriot's History of the United States. I haven't read this one but have put it on my Amazon Wish List (feel free to give it to me as a gift if you like).

I doubt some students would like A Patriot's History of the Modern World as much as Howard Zinn's book because A Patriot's History is real history which means slow going on the reading as each page has facts and details (many of which surprised me and I feel like I know US history fairly well). Meanwhile Zinn's book is as easy going as reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (because the two books hold many things in common).

If you are a "blame America first" type person I doubt you'll appreciate the truth of A Patriot's History like how Progressivism was originally fired by a Liberal interpretation of Christianity (and now so-called Progressives want nothing to do with religion). Or if you want to know how the history of the income tax should effect what our discussion on taxation is today (those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it and all that).

Anyways - if you like US history then A Patriot's History of the Modern World should be on your reading list.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Linky Links

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

- The new Cosmos trailer. Neil de Grasse-Tyson takes the place of Carl Sagan and it will be on Fox instead of PBS. Very cool.

- Jimmy Fallon, the Roots and Robin Thicke sing Blurred Lines. Very wholesome. I like this original version better (NSFW)

- Alexander Wilds stunning insect photography.

- Speaking of fantastic photography - the winners of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

- Laws for the Navigation of Life - These 22 "rules" are simply inspiring as is the author Peter Safar.

John Henry Buys Boston Globe

Red Sox principal owner John Henry has reached an agreement to purchase the Boston Globe for $70 million.

I read about the transaction in three articles this morning. First one via the Globe, the second was via the NY Times, and the last was via Breitbart. What was interesting was the Globe article did not mention the pension liabilities at all (an important nugget for the business section to overlook completely don't you think), the Times just said that John Henry was not assuming the "Globe's pension liabilities", and then Breitbart said that the pension liabilities are estimated at over $100 million. Adding in those pension liabilities really puts a different spin on the real net for the NY Times in the deal - doesn't it?

What maybe bugged me the most was the fact that the Worcester Telegram and Gazette was lumped into the deal like it was an after thought. The Telegram and Gazette was the paper I grew up with. I have to think if the NY Times Company never touched the T and G that it would have been worth more than $70 million by itself today.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Jake Peavy just sounds like the name of a baseball player but Peavy Jake sounds like the name of a character from a Guy Ritchie film like Snatch... 8 people who were banned from baseball other than the Black Sox and Pete Rose. I especially like the Ty Cobb story... The name Manhattan started out being called Manahatchtaniek which is Lenape Indian for "the island where we all became intoxicated" after the Indians were made drunk by the white men...  In the future will sex dolls be available via 3-D printing? If so you may want to invest in printing companies. Also could be bad news for dating sites like Match.com if you think about it... Pawtucket Red Sox manager Gary DiSarcina made a great point, "If you said at the beginning of the season, Jose Iglesias for Jake Peavy, everybody takes it"... I would love to watch a show where a Dalek (from Doctor Who) asks scientists and writers questions in his Dalek voice. That would be awesome...