Friday, February 28, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Heh heh - Rusty Cohle's OK Cupid dating profile. Funny if you're a fan of HBO's True Detective... Do they call it "Thunder Down Under" because the name "Shirtless White Guys" was already taken?... Big fan of Mike Rowe. Even bigger fan after reading this... Still say that CNN should replace Piers Morgan with Adam Carolla. I would watch that show... Wow - Sandra Bullock could make $70 million from Gravity... New England Church sign: Whoever is praying for snow - please stop!... Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson to publish first cartoon in 19 years. Not much of a cartoon but I'll take it!... Heh heh - Canadians and hockey... On this day in 1983 the final episode of MASH was aired. I was a big MASH fan but have never seen that final episode. Don't see the point of watching it now...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis

I grew up on Harold Ramis movies. Was a little too young for Animal House when it came out but later lived the fraternity life. Caddyshack, Stripes and Ghostbusters all bring back fond memories from my youth - and not just of the movies. Groundhog Day is one of my all-time favorites. Because I associated him with my youth I never though of him as getting old - never mind getting sick or dying. He will be and already is missed.

Here are some appreciations or interviews with Ramis worthy of note:

- Harold Ramis did not disappoint in person

- How Harold Ramis' movies stayed funny for decades

- Harold Ramis and Caddyshack

2Chellos - Thunderstruck

These guys are awesome!

Friday, February 21, 2014

NHL Mount Rushmore

I know the "Mount Rushmore of" whatever memes are tiresome in general but I have to admit the NHL Mount Rushmore has gotten me thinking. The first three are no-brainers - Wayne Greztky, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr. But who would be the Teddy Roosevelt of the NHL Mount Rushmore?

Would it be Mario Lemieux? What about having a goalie on the list? Martin Brodeur is the all-time NHL wins leader as a goalie. Brodeur also has one more Stanley Cup as a player than Super Mario. But if its Stanley Cups you want - how about Maurice Rocket Richard who had 8 with the Canadiens and was the first player to have 500 goals. Personally I would like to see Cam Neely but I'm a parochial Boston Bruins fans.

Who should be that forth person on the NHL Mount Rushmore?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Linky Links

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

- Baseball America's Top 50 Prospect List

- Heh heh - parking at the Grand Canyon 1914 - I think it's amusing because the guy taking the picture probably talked the guy sitting on the edge of death into doing it. I imagine the guy sitting down looking at his potential doom saying, "Frigging Joe - next time I take the picture!"

- US Supreme Court may review legality of home poker games. Is it too much to hope that common sense prevails? Nothing wrong with having people over to your house for a poker game. It's American as baseball and apple pie.

- This was a real douche move by the Phillies.

- Awesome - David Attenborough narrates women's Olympic curling

- Interesting - 10 blogs that specialize in screenwriting

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top 5 - Bon Scott AC/DC Songs

On this day back in 1980 Bon Scott died - some say he choked on his own vomit but his death certificate says "death by misadventure" (wouldn't that be a great name for a band?). Anyway - here are what I consider the top 5 AC/DC songs with Bon Scott as frontman.

1. It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)
2. Whole Lotta Rosie
3. Highway to Hell
4. Jailbreak
5. (tie) TNT (tie) Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) may be the most perfect hard rock song ever recorded. There is no way to improve on that song.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Love TJ Oshie for what he did in the shootout vs Russia. Love him even more for what he said about being a "hero"... Random thought - I still say Luis Tiant was better than Catfish Hunter but it is Hunter who was rewarded with a spot in the Hall of Fame... I have a soft spot in my heart for They Might Be Giants - especially for Birdhouse in Your Soul and the whole Flood album for that matter... When I see Vladimir Putin I can't help but think he's the real life character Karla out of all those John Le Carre novels... According to Ted Talks - the 100 websites you should know and use... I've said it before but John Travolta's best role may have been as the Boy in the Bubble. All downhill from there... PGA golfers Ricky Barnes and James Driscoll share what it was like golfing with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick... Patrick Swayze's Sex Pottery would be a good name for a band or a fantasy baseball team...  Who knew? Great Britain won the Olympic Gold for hockey in the 1936 Winter Olympics... Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play Highway to Hell in Perth, Australia... Funny to remember that Donald Trump blamed Derek Jeter breaking his ankle in the 2012 playoffs on karma because Jeter had just sold his apartment in Trump Towers...

The History of Business Cards

When playing cards (i.e. ace, king, queen, etc) started being produced in England centuries ago - the backs were left blank because the printing technology was not quite to the point where a uniform back could be printed at a reasonable cost. This blank space on the backs of "cards" was a convenient place to write notes and it became very common for a "caller" to leave a note on a card if the person they were visiting was away. Thus you could stop by someones house and leave your "calling card" with all your pertinent information if the person was out.

Card players weren't fond of that blank space on the back of cards because it made it fairly easy to cheat by marking the cards and so according to Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, "In the 1830s, London printer Thomas de la Rue devised a new process of aligning colors that enabled him to print patterned backs." From that point on cards had a uniform colored back to go with the front which told you which card you held. By then, however, people had grown so used to leaving cards that they often had "calling cards" specifically printed up and it was just a short step away then to our modern business cards.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NFL Tug of War

Here's an idea that I think would be a smash. Have a tug of war tournament between NFL teams. The offense and defensive linemen would be the stars giving them recognition usually reserved to skill players and a big portion of the TV rights could go to the health benefits of retired players in need. A big win-win for everyone involved.

And it would be a ton of fun to watch.

Imagine a tug of war set up so that the losing team goes tumbling into a pond or some other body of water. Imagine fun player profiles between contests. Imagine getting these NFL fixes during the off-season when people like me are Jonesing for anything football related.

All 32 NFL teams would be represented and there would be 4 tug of war matches per half hour show - except for the finals which would be a best of 3 affair. Winners advance and losers go home. That's 16 shows. Play 2 shows per week for an hour worth of low cost content and you have two months worth of NFL content between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.

Wouldn't you watch something like this?

Cool Photography

Some breath-taking or amusing photos worth sharing.

- Simply beautiful

- More complexly beautiful

- This is great. I wonder why more escalators don't have messages?

- The USA loves you

- Trying to decide if we were crueler back in the day or just more honest

- Heh heh - A very A-Rod Valentine's

- Al Capone's cell at the Eastern State Penitentiary

EDIT: Bonus - Borepatch has post on famous photos redone as Legos. Cool!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Teddy Roosevelt - Not a Fan of Valentine's Day

That's an image of Teddy Roosevelt's diary from February 14, 1884. The day both his beloved wife and his mother died. I'm guessing that Roosevelt was not a fan of February 14th. That make's it ironic that one of the most popular gifts on Valentine's Day are Teddy bears - which of course were named after Roosevelt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yankees Shortstop BJ (Before Jeter)

With the news of Derek Jeter announcing 2014 will be his last year - I thought it would be good to remember just how unstable a position shortstop was for the Yankees before Jeter was brought up to the major leagues. Here's the cast of characters who preceded him at short in the Bronx.

- 1995 Tony Fernandez
- 1994 Mike Gallego
- 1993 Spike Owen
- 1992 Andy Stankiewicz
- 1991-1989 Alvaro Espinoza

Jeter is a classy guy and even as a Red Sox fan I root for him. I am of mixed emotions though about the potential of Jeter with 3316 hits needing just 103 to tie Carl Yastrzemski for 8th place on the all-time hits list.

Top 5 - Peter Gabriel Songs

Today is Peter Gabriel's birthday. Here are what I consider his top 5 songs.

1. Solsbury Hill
2. Red Rain
3. Here Comes the Flood
4. In Your Eyes
5. (tie) Big Time (tie) I Have the Touch

Just missing the list San Jacinto, D.I.Y. and Don't Give Up.

Did you know that Phil Collins is his cousin?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I still really want to see an Olympic ski jump event where all the participants have to make their jumps using those flying squirrel suits... US Marine attacks African immigrant and steals his lunch... Roy Oswalt announced he's retiring. It should be noted that he made $97 million in salary in his baseball career. I'm assuming his family won't go hungry... Chad Finn has a good take on how lucky Boston sports fans have been... Every time you hear a sob story about a free agent player like Stephen Drew who was offered a $14.1 million 1-year qualifying offer but has yet to sign with a team the spin of the story will somehow be how the compensation draft pick is hurting the player and a flaw in the system. What is never stressed is the fact that Stephen Drew was offered $14.1 million AND TURNED IT DOWN!... JRR Tolkien as a 24-year old in 1916 during WWI... The Olympics remind me that people flock to watch Ice Dancing but for some reason at all other times people won't flock to the Ice Capades. I think it is because of the word "capades". If they called it Ice Dancing of the Stars people would flock to it. Ice Capades not so much...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Player Comparison

With Spring Training upon us - this player comparison has been on my mind this morning.

Player A - 715 G/ 865 H/ 65 HR/ .297 BA/ .350 OBP/ .439 SLG/ .789 OPS
Player B - 892 G/ 948 H/ 139 HR/ .269 BA/ .357 OBP/ .473 SLG/ .830 OPS

What really got me thinking about this comparison is the fact that Player B is only 1-year older than Player A but has played 177 more games DESPITE missing the last two seasons to injury! Think about that for a minute. Player A is Jacoby Ellsbury and Player B is Grady Sizemore.

Best case - if Sizemore is healthy and can return to form then the Red Sox have basically replaced Ellsbury's production at a fraction of the cost. Worst case - they write off Sizemore's contract. It's a no-lose lottery ticket on a guy who is just 1-year older than Ellsbury!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Lamest Post Secret Ever

Post Secret is a guilty pleasure for me.

This has to be the lamest Post Secret "secret" ever. Blowing your nose in the shower? Doesn't pretty much everyone do that? I shouldn't criticize but they categorized it as a "Classic Secret". No way.

100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

Amazon posted a list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.

Looking at the list I've read 27 of the books. But my lifetime isn't over. A number of the books I am surprised I haven't read yet - like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham (I've read pretty much everything else he wrote but not his "masterpiece"). Got some reading to do!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Fat guy in little coat is funny. Fat guy in skinny jeans is just disgusting... Photos of famous authors playing sports... Burt Reynolds reportedly turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. I just can't picture him in that role... If you think about it - "Get your freak on" and "to be happy - be yourself" are two sides of the same advice coin... Classic Santa share his thoughts on Valentine's Day... You haven't seen a person with anal retentive tendencies until you've seen a person eat an orange at breakfast with a knife and fork... Jay Leno says goodbye. Class guy who worked hard to make people happy. How can you not like Jay Leno?... If zombies ate testicles rather than brains would they be scarier monsters to men?...

The True Story of Cinderella

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.

Who knew?

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing.

- 10 facts about Woody Allen and the sex abuse allegations - fucking creep

- Cool history - the back of the Hoover Damn before it was filled with water

- 11 fun facts about Blazing Saddles

- Sad but those involved in the picture do the uniform proud

- Comics (and society) were much different back in the day - Mickey Mouse contemplates suicide because Minnie was unfaithful

Origin of the Term "Lynch"

When most people hear the word “lynch” they think of angry mobs with shouts of “string ’em up”. Or they think of white men in white hoods hanging a black man from a tree. If legend holds – then the origin of the term “to lynch” is nowhere near today’s meaning.

Back in the Old Country of Ireland, back in the days when Spain and England were the world’s biggest powers, the Spanish decided to try to settle things with the English in one fell swoop. So they sent out almost their entire navy – the Spanish Armarda as it came to be known – to do battle with the English.

The weather proved to be against the Spanish fleet and their commander made the tactical error of bringing the fight into the narrow straight between England and Ireland where the smaller, faster English ships had a distinct advantage. The result was a rout and many of the proud ships of the Spanish fleet were sunk in the Irish Sea.

Many Spanish sailors were able to make it to the safety of the shores of Ireland where they found welcome. The Irish and the Spanish had much in common (specifically their Catholic faith and hate of England). Many Spanish sailors settled in Ireland where their dark hair and complexion can still be seen today (descendants of the Spanish gave rise to the term “Black Irish” in reference to the common feature of black hair).

One such sailor found refuge in the sea-side city of Galway. 

The Mayor of Galway was a well respected and much loved man named Lynch. He brought this sailor into his home where he became like a brother to the Mayor’s true son.

Tragically the sailor and the Mayor’s son fell in love with the same woman. One thing led to another and in a fit of jealous rage the Mayor’s son killed the Spanish sailor.

An investigation led to the truth and the Mayor’s son was found guilty of murder. The punishment was to be death by hanging.

Now because the mayor was so well loved and respected – no one could be found that would be willing to act as executioner. With nobody to act as executioner – the job fell to the Mayor himself. Out of respect for the law and in order not to break his oath to the people to uphold his sworn duties – Mayor Lynch had to put to death his own beloved son.

The term Lynch originally meant "brought to justice no matter what the personal cost." Now you can see how far from the original meaning we have come.

Lousy, stinking, lustful Spanish sailors! It’s all their fault!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Doritos Finger Cleaner

This would have been my favorite Super Bowl commercial. Hat tip to Jimmy Jim Jim (or Pitzy as he likes to be called).

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Linky Links

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

- 12 Harry Potter revelations from JK Rowling

- The Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane - the replacement for the space shuttle?

- The Ballad of Leno and Letterman - told by Jerry Seinfeld (I wonder if Leno will be a guest on Letterman now?)

- REAL anti-masturbation video from BYU - Wounded on the Battlefield (in this particular war I have millions of Purple Hearts)

- I want a print of this - Salvador Dalek

- Heh heh

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Woody Allen

Let me say this right up front - I think Woody Allen is a fucking creep.

Like many I thought his early movies like Sleeper were funny but he stopped being funny a long time ago and I never bought into his pseudo-intellectual artiste crap. Interiors may be the single worst move I've ever seen. It is mind-bending to me that people still defend this real world Uncle Roy because of the artistic merits of his movies. I hope those defenders read this Esquire article about Woody hiding his creepiness is plain sight in his movies.

Or maybe read the last paragraph of this 1976 People interview and see how enjoyable Manhattan remains as a movie. An interview in which he announces his predilection to pre-pubescent girls which happened a decade BEFORE he "allegedly" molested Dylan Farrow.

Of course Woody, like Roman Polanski, will still have his Hollywood defenders. Craven souls who defend Allen out of hopes to someday work with the master. I would love a SNL-like skit where the Alec Baldwins of the world after an audition would have to allow Allen to over-night babysit their children at his Manhattan-Land Ranch  in order to get a part. Sadly I think we know that plenty in Hollywood would probably be only too happy to take that risk if it meant even a chance of furthering their careers.

Perhaps the best take I've seen on this creep was by Molly Lambert at Grantland. Well worth the read - if your stomach can take any more reading about the fucking creep named Woody Allen.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I really have no interest in the Sochi Winter Olympics but that would change if someone like the NFL Network got Randy Moss and Willie McGinest to do commentary on events like curling, figure skating, ski jumping, etc. I'd watch that 24/7... Cool - Hindenburg flies over Manhattan in 1936... Only 55 days until MLB Opening Day... Very cool sunset... Tom Brady is 3-2 in his Super Bowls but those 2 losses came by a combined 7 points. Think about that Peyton Manning fans... I'm looking forward to Cosmos. Really looking forward to it... Prop bet for next year's Super Bowl - will the outside temperature at kickoff be higher or lower than Peyton Manning's Super Bowl QB rating (73.5). I'd go with the over... I agree that this is the worst way to die... How would Batman at his athletic peak have done in the Olympic Decathlon? Gold Medal - right? I can't suspend belief in a Super hero how would lose to Bruce Jenner... Maybe a better question would be could Batman at his athletic peak beat Mark Twain at wrestling? Here's shirtless Mark Twain in 1863 when Twain would have been 28-years old...

Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl Hangover

Some leftover Super Bowl thoughts.

- The Seahawks were just dominant. As a Patriots fan I concede that this year's Pats team wouldn't have stood a chance against Seattle so there's the consolation of thinking it was much better to lose in the AFC Championship than to get beat in the Super Bowl.

- What's worse to hear - a poker bad beat story or a Super Bowl square "what if" story? If Denver failed on its 2-point conversion at the end of the 3rd quarter I would have won $2,000 in one of my pools.

- How scary looking was the guy the NFL had bring out the Lombardi Trophy? I expected his entrance to be accompanied by the Undertaker's WWE music.

- The Broncos are now 0-4 in Super Bowls where they wear orange jerseys. Patient "Doc it hurts when I do this". Doctor "Well don't do that." Denver stop wearing orange jerseys in the Super Bowl. Problem solved.

- Some good commercials last night but my all-time favorite Super Bowl commercial still remains the Budweiser Upside-down Clown.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Linky Links

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

- Sorry Canadians but this is how many in the US think of our neighbor to the north

- Interesting read on the eroding legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. One basic truth of the US is that most Americans aren't interested in history or the past - they are only interested in today and the promise of tomorrow.

- BC and Holy Cross to play football again in 2018 and 2020. I won't consider it a rivalry renewed until a game is scheduled at Fitton Field or Holy Cross wins a game. I'm hoping at least Holy Cross was paid a pretty penny for these two games.

- Cool - volcanic eruption as seen from space

- Five ways Oculus Rift will go beyond gaming.

- Documentary Heaven. I can't wait to spend hours on this site.