Thursday, March 31, 2016

In God We Trust

I think we should take "In God We Trust" off our currency. This isn't a religious thing either. I believe in God but I KNOW that our money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Not in the trust of a higher being.

We should take "In God We Trust" off our currency as a reminder that we need our government to be fiscally responsible. We need a government that maintains that full faith and credit. Instead we have a government that runs up trillion dollar deficits hoping to God that those deficits don't someday wreck the economy.

Having "In God We Trust" on our money with the way we've been running our financial system could in fact be viewed as an insult to God. When it comes down to it isn't putting "In God We Trust" simply taking the Lord's name in vain? If that's the case then any time you pay in cash buying something off of McDonald's Dollar Menu you could be breaking the Third Commandment.

Think about that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Importance of a Single Vote

On this date in 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for the price of $7 million which worked out to about $.02 per acre. This purchase was known at the time as Seward's Folly after Secretary of State William Seward who arranged the purchase. Seward was also in charge of trying to get the Senate to ratify the treaty authorizing the purchase. The treaty was ratified on April 9th but it passed by a single vote. 

Think of that. If one person changed their vote from yes to no - Alaska might not be part of the US today.

Happy Birthday Hagrid

OK - I'm a geek. Today is Robbie Coltrane's 66th birthday. Coltrane plays Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. In fact when Coltrane was trying to figure out the best way to portray Hagrid - he asked author JK Rowling how he should play the character - Rowling answered something like, "Just be yourself - I had you in mind when I wrote the character."

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Gary Shandling

Gary Shandling passed away over the weekend. He was a comedic genius and also a man so comfortable in his own skin that many life lessons could be learned from his example.

Here he is with Jerry Seinfeld getting coffee (the jokes about death are a little uncomfortable in retrospect)..

The fact that he was still playing pick-up basketball in his sixties is all the more reason to admire the man.

The WTF Marc Maron episode with Gary Shandling is well worth your time.

The Esquire "What I've Learned" piece from a few years ago is insightful (especially the fact that everyone is uncomfortable at parties).

His August 2010 GQ interview is a must read.

I admit that I was very surprised by Shandling's spirituality. He reminded me of George Harrison in that regard. I hope he's found peace.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter from Kate Upton

Happy Easter from Kate Upton.

Hippity Hop!

Easter Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations on this Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter to you and yours!... Between the NeverTrump crowd and the BernieOrBust die hards - I really think there's an opening for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson this November... Grizzly Slippers would be a good name for a band... Everything that's coming and going from Netflix in April... Sad state of social media reality - if Gary Johnson wants to be taken seriously he really needs to have much more than 137,000 Twitter followers... The Passive Aggression of the Christ (I'm going to hell)... Funny how some people who argue that it is wrong to lie to kids about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny still hold fast to the delusion that Obamacare is a workable solution... Not sure what bothered me more as a kid - learning there was no Easter Bunny or learning that Eric Estrada's first name is actually Henry... Yep - I'm going to hell...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Boaty McBoatface

I agree 100% - the United Kingdom should name their new polar research vessel Boaty McBoatface. In addition to the reasons given in the article - think of the possible marketing and merchandise!

- there could be a children's show that would be a cross between Thomas the Tank Engine and Kratts Creatures. A cartoonish Boaty McBoatface interspersed with biologists explaining to kids about the different creatures that call the arctic home.
- T-shirts, hats and miniature  Boaty McBoatface's. I'm ready to order a shirt that says Crew right now!
- a show aimed at adults about the current mission for the scientists and crew
- a sponsored web site with webcams pointed forward, aft, port and starboard
- multiple sponsorship opportunities such as "Coke the official soft drink of the crew of Boaty McBoatface", etc. etc.

Boaty McBoatface could raise much more than the $287 million it actually cost to build the ship - enough for a Boaty McBoatface sister ship! Bertha McBoatface? Seriously - this could be the best thing to ever happen to educating the public about polar research.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Birthday to Bobby Orr

Happy 68th birthday to #4 Bobby Orr. Not only one of the 3 greatest hockey players in history but arguable the greatest MAN to play hockey.

Here's a reminder of the type of person Robert Gordon Orr is.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think most middle of road voters in America are now thinking along the lines of "Well Barack Obama was bad but at least he wasn't Donald Trump bad"... Strange and intriguing - Kevin Spacey and the Florida Panthers (I think I'm buying one of those sweatshirts)... 90% of the time if you are speaking with someone over the age of 21 and one of their first introductory sentences begins with "My dad was..." - you are speaking with a moron... I agree - this is pure genius... Here's hoping the Red Sox are on the phone right now talking possible trade with the White Sox for disgruntled ace Chris Sale... Hockey parents are the best... Went to a bar that had a drink called the R. Kelly. Hard lemonade is one of the ingredients. That's either genius or disgusting (I vote for the latter)... Cool story about David Ortiz meeting a 92-year old WWII vet... If you are doing a physics special on TV - are you contractually obligated to have at least one scene in a pool hall?... Interesting - scientists now say that walking burns more calories than previously thought...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Midnight Special

It's March Madness but man does not live on brackets alone. This week I'm looking forward to going to see the new movie Midnight Special. It looks intriguing and I really like Michael Shannon.

I have an extra set of tickets that were sent to me by the good people at Grace Hill Media - shoot me an email if you'd like to go (tickets good until April 21st).

Go Holy Cross!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Top 5 - Saint Patrick's Day Irish Music

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Here are my Top 5 Songs for celebrating Saint Patrick's Day (because Oh Danny Boy is shite).

1. Rocky Road to Dublin

2. If I Should Fall From Grace with God - The Pogues

3. Four Green Fields - Makem & Clancy

4. The Foggy Dew - Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains

5. I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphy's

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio lost Florida yesterday and dropped out of the Presidential race last night. That leaves pretty much a Presidential final four of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. The American political landscape is a vast empty wasteland.

I'm not a Republican, I'm a registered Independent who truly believes in voting for the person and not the party but I have supported Republicans for President since Ronald Reagan's re-election. This year I most likely will be checking the box next to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (if he's even on the ballot in Massachusetts).

To be honest - I'm pretty disheartened politically this morning.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not only is today Albert Einstein's birthday it is also Michael Cain'e birthday and Pi Day (3/14)... Yesterday was the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Worcester. Or as I like to call it - 10,000 Maniacs (with apologies to Natalie Merchant)... Hours upon hours of my childhood ruined by facts... Speaking of Pi - back in the 17th century the value of Pi was known to 35 decimals. Today it is known to 1.2411 trillion except in Alabama where by law the value of Pi is rounded to 3.14... Heh heh - the wife of Pi... By the way did you know that if you say "My Cocaine" you are also saying Michael Caine in his own voice?... I want this T-Shirt... In honor of Michael Caine - here's the song by Madness called appropriately enough Michael Caine:

Albert Einstein

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday. Just a reminder that even though E=MC2 is perhaps the most famous scientific equation in history - Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for coming up with it. The reasons for this slight were mostly because Einstein was Jewish. The committee eventually gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect but that was really too little too late.

As smart as Einstein was it makes me chuckle to remember that when Einstein graduated from our equivalent of high school - he finished second in his class. The name of the person who was valedictorian is lost to history but I couldn't help but think of someone back then saying something like, "Yeah Einstein was pretty smart in high school but you should have seen this other guy!"

Also when Albert Einstein first visited the US in 1921 - the US Senate saw fit to debate the validity of the Theory of Relativity - seriously. The Theory of Relativity just turned 100 years old. In this video uber biographer Walter Isaacson explains the Theory of Relativity in under 3 minutes.

Random Albert Einstein trivia; when Einstein lived in Princeton he had a small 17-foot sailboat he named Tinef which is Yiddish for "piece of junk". I find that endearing.

Finally - 10 Myths about Albert Einstein debunked

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Went to see the new Tina Fey movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot last night. I found it enjoyable but it was not what I expected. I didn't think it would be a screwball comedy but also didn't expect basically  a lighthearted 13 Hours but for women.

IMDB has it rated as a 7 out of 10 while Rotten Tomatoes has it at 62% fresh. Both ratings seem about right. I'm still thinking about the movie the day after though and to me that's one of the hallmarks for a good flick.

Linky Links

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

- It appears the Russians are killing people in our country without any reprecussions (and this is not a TV show)

- It's time for some baseball!

- The actual radiation levels at Fukushima

- Interesting - keeping older muscles strong

- Heh heh

Keith Emerson RIP

Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer has died. He was 71 and his death was an apparent suicide. I first learned of his passing via Borepach who was a fitting musical tribute.

When I was getting married the only request I had for the reception plans was that the band be able to play Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Nutrocker. Which to Boston fans of a certain age is synonymous with the Boston Bruins. Nutrocker was the first group song played at the wedding.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Disturbed - The Sound of Silence

Disturbed "The Sound Of Silence" (Official Video) from Warner Bros. Records on Vimeo.

Excellent cover. Just learned this version existed.

If you think of it - the phrase "sound of silence" is very thought provoking.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Axis of Awesome 4 Chord Song is awesome! Pop music explained. (HT Borepatch)

- News you can use - how to detect a credit card cloner at the gas pump

- Great job MLB! I hope the Fort Bragg game becomes an annual event.

- The New England Patriots as a business model.

- Pop Warner wrongful death suit might open "floodgates". Unfortunately it might not be too longer before kids under high school age are prohibited from all contact sports.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

No I did not watch the GOP debate last night. I wasn't around a TV. And if I was I probably would have been watching the Boston Bruins game instead anyway... Great - just what we need! More signs of the Apocalypse... Saw a pregnant gal yesterday with thigh-high leather boots with 6-inch heels. My immediate thought was "She'll make a great mother"... Seriously - the GOP Presidential field makes the Cleveland Browns QB situation look stable in comparison... Food That Looks Like Dongs would be an awful name for a band (or for an early bird dinner special)... Trump is polling at 38% vs Hillary Clinton. Here's what 38% looks like... Not for nothing but if Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is allowed to participate in the debates against Hillary and Trump (if it comes to that) - then Johnson has a real chance to win the election. Nobody really wants to vote for Hillary or Trump... Heh heh... The GOP's new slogan should be "The Republican Party: Embrace the Suck". Have the bumper stickers been made up yet?... Where have you gone George W.? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you... I'm all for marijuana legalization but I am afraid that legal weed could just be a gateway drug to the Metric system... Heh heh - Hillary says she speaks to God daily, but won't reveal her fee...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Top 5 - Basketball Players from Holy Cross

Holy Cross made the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney by winning the Patriot League title. Go Crusaders! In celebration here's who I would pick as the Top 5 basketball players from Holy Cross:

1. Bob Cousy - no brainer. They even have a statue of him outside the Hart Center
2. Tommy Heinsohn - averaged 23.4 points as a Junior and 27.2 points per game as a Senior.
3. Ronnie Perry Jr. - was an All-American in both basketball and baseball.
4. Togo Palazzi - two-time All-American. Played 6-seasons in the NBA
5. Jack "the Shot" Foley - Worcester's own Jack "the Shot".  In his Senior year Foley was second in the country in scoring.

The Truth About Pop Music

I agree with Paul Joseph Watson 99% about the dumbing down of pop music (that last 1% is because I do enjoy some Cold Play songs as a guilty pleasure).

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Thinking about changing my name to Sugar Ray Chris Lynch. Just like the idea of people calling me Sugar Ray... I would love to own one of these tree houses... Just a reminder - the New York Yankees practice batting in cold weather by clubbing baby seals... Tough call to decide who had greater Presidential love affair - Harry and Bess Truman or Ron and Nancy Reagan. RIP Nancy... It's stories like this that explain why I want Marco Rubio to be the next President... Seriously I've decided to self-identify as a Sugar Ray. Please respect my Sugar Rayness... I wonder if Ernest Hemingway had CTE from all those years of boxing and drinking?... With Carl Crawford accepting a back-up role with the Dodgers despite his $20 million salary - it makes me wonder if Pablo Sandoval could accept back-up role with Red Sox... When I die I would like my ashes spread over people protesting things I'm in favor of. I also hope it rains that day so that my ashes get extra sticky... Who knew? Bon Scott wasn't even the original lead singer for AC/DC. It was a guy named Dave Evans who Scott replaced after about a year... Happy 63rd birthday to Jim Ed Rice...


Well it's official. AC/DC has by all accounts seemingly become their own cover band. Lead singer Brian Johnson has been told to stop touring immediately or risk total deafness. The band in response says they will make up the cancelled tour dates later this year with a "guest vocalist". The story is veering off into serious Spinal Tap territory.

The news about Brian Johnson comes after the news that band founder Malcolm Young was forced to retire due to dementia. That news comes after the news that drummer Phil Rudd needed to be replaced because he was under house arrest for threatening to murder someone. Meanwhile Angus Young is 60-years old and still dresses as a schoolboy - and that's the most normal thing about the band.
Here's a very good history of the band from The New Yorker a couple of years ago.

And if AC/DC does become their own cover band - they should be aware that it will be tough to top these two guys.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Linky Links

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

- What female sports reporters have to go through on the road genuinely makes me angry

- Connor McGregor not running away from Saturday's loss

- Scary how unsecure your personal information really is

- Amazing that this was just 15-years ago. Nomar at that point was on a level with Larry Bird in Boston. Now he's mostly forgotten.

- Who knew? International cactus smuggling is actually a thing

- The story of ZIMA (delicious delicious ZIMA)

- This is too bad. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would have been perfect as the Sandman.

John Stuart Mill Quote

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." John Stuart Mill

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Periodic Table

Today marks the 147th "birthday" of Dmitri Mendeleev's periodic table. I would put this "discovery" on par with Newton's "discovery" of gravity or Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Connor McGregor

So Nate Diaz choked out Connor McGregor at UFC 196 last night but remember the Irishman is still the 145 weight class champion and still he has the best entrance song in sports (The Foggy Dew by Sinead O'Connor).

I also say McGregor would be perfect to play Mad Sweeney in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

RIP Bud Collins. To me he was tennis. Wimbledon just wasn't Wimbledon without him. That said I think the McEnroe brothers are ready to take up his mantle as far as TV duties are concerned. However, it will never be the same as tennis will never be as popular again as it was during Collins' heyday...  Heh heh... OK - I'll say it! Both Holly Holm and Miesha Tate have very nice butts. And both could kick my ass... Jeez - maybe Keanu Reeves really is John Wick... Just because I make the observations that all incarnations of Wonder Woman have had large breasts and shaven arm pits doesn't make me a misogynist... Hmmm - the Celtics made a run at the Bulls' Jimmy Butler at the trade deadline? Just as interesting is the fact that this has been leaked. It wasn't by the Celtics so it was either the Bulls or Butler's camp. Interesting... A Pizza Night Light? Yes please!... Just as a fantasy baseball reminder - any time this spring that Peter Gammons writes "Player X is healthy and on a mission" - avoid that player like the plague... Supposedly Douglas MacArthur didn't spend a single night in Korea during the entire duration of the war. Can that really be true?...

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Dougie Hamilton

The Bruins beat Calgary last night 2-1 but it is Boston outcast Dougie Hamilton that is in everyone's thoughts. The guy didn't want to play in Boston and the Bruins front office shipped him out of town. It's that simple.

Too many Bruins fans overvalue Dougie Hamilton. Yes he was the 9th overall pick of the 2011 draft but the guy has less points this year than Torey Krug (27 to 30) and while Hamilton is a minus 11 in his 63 games Krug is a plus 7 in his icetime in the same number of games. Oh and did I mention Krug is making $2.1 million less than Hamilton?

The Bruins made the right movie shipping the turgid Hamilton out of town.

Smiling Bob the Enzyte Guy

It occurred to me that this being March means I've now been posting on this blog for more than 12-years now. One of my first posts was on Smiling Bob the Enzyte Guy. I think it still holds up pretty well.

I've tried to keep this blog entertaining for the past 12-years but I know in my heart of hearts that I'll never be as entertaining as

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh - this picture is so good

- What space travel does to the human body.

- NASA's supersonic airliner of the future

- Did an asteroid destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

- Because I also liked Zima

- Every Playboy Playmate centerfold ever! (I'll be back in five minutes)

- Does seem like the best way to respond to a Trump supporter

Proposed Healthcare Changes

I used to think that Donald Trump's suggestion regarding removing the "lines between the states" regarding buying healthcare was a good idea. After reading this Weekly Standard piece - not so much anymore.

Having said the above - here are three changes I would make to the healthcare system in the US:

1. Make dropping a subscriber due to a pre-existing condition illegal. I know that this is part of Obamacare but since I want to scrap Obamacare - this is one part I'd like to salvage.

2. Increase the maximum contribution to FSA (Flexible Spending Accounts) from $2500 to $5000. Also change the "use it or lose it" aspect of FSA's so that any unused monies can be deposited into either a 401K or IRA account prior to April 15th the following year. With more pre-tax money at stake and money that doesn't have to be used by December 31st - people would become more circumspect on how their healthcare money is spent. That should help make the healthcare system more cost effective. And the money not spent being, in effect, pumped back into the stock market would be good overall for the US economy.

3. Change the healthcare plan being "owned" by the employer to being "owned" by the employee. The employer would offer a healthcare plan but also offer the cash equivalent of that plan to the employee in case the employee had a plan from a previous job or just a plan they wanted to be part of (maybe via a fraternal organization or the like). A Catholic hospital could offer a plan that did not include coverage of birth control or abortions but non-Catholic employees would be free to use the cash equivalent to purchase plans that do. Problem solved by a common sense approach.

EDIT: I was a dope and confusing HSA's with FSA's. Fixed.