Friday, December 30, 2016

Milo Yiannopoulos

So Simon & Schuster gave controversial Milo Yiannopoulos a $250,000 book deal. Good for Milo and good for Simon & Schuster.

I've heard Milo speak on the Joe Rogan and Adam Carolla podcasts and he comes off as a witty, intelligent guy. He also comes off as an attention whore. But that just makes him the perfect foil to expose the Social Justice Warriors for just what they are - pompous attention whores. Battling fire with fire!

Milo (I call him Milo not because I know him but because his last name is so long) might be best known for being banned by Twitter and for having some speaking engagements cancelled by snowflake factory colleges. But what the SJW's don't get is the more you try to silence him the more people what to hear what he has to say. And the more you want to silence him like human windbag Howard Dean - the more defenders of free speech will take up his cause.

All this is good for Simon & Schuster. There is no need to advertise Milo's new book. The outrage will fuel the success of the book! The $250,000 advance to Milo might turn out to be one of the biggest bargains in publishing history. Simon & Schuster is a private company but if they wanted to go public now would be the perfect time. Just to fans of Ernest Hemingway they could sell all the stock they wanted.

Hey Howard Dean - you know that Simon & Schuster published Hemingway's books right? Why not call for a boycott of Hemingway too? Sales of The Old Man and the Sea would go through the roof. Simon & Schuster would appreciate it if you could.

Linky Links

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

- KG's "Cuss Button" is the greatest invention of 2016

- My guess is what Bill Murray did to Jon Hamm's hat was not good-natured

- 10 common words you should try to stop using. You should also try to do this with the most common swear words. More creativity in 2017!

- Prime example of how the modern society is often focused on the wrong things

- Heh Heh

- Back in 2008 Obama needed the Jewish vote - 2016 not so much

- Simple plan to read more. I am already doing this.

- Why reunification may be in Ireland's near-term future

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Theo Epstein

Today is Theo Epstein's 43rd birthday. Happy birthday Theo!

I am seriously curious about what he'd want for his birthday. What do you get for the man who has everything? Seriously - what does the man who ended the "curse" for both the Red Sox and Cubs desire for his birthday?

I'm guessing there are some billionaire Cubs fans out there that would absolutely get Theo whatever his heart desired (especially this year). Although it is more likely than not that Theo would just ask for donations to his favorite charities.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Carlton Fisk

Carlton Fisk (who is celebrating a birthday today) was drafted by the Red Sox in 1967. He was the 4th choice overall. Who went ahead of Fisk?

1. Alec DiStaso P Cubs
2. Michael Flanagan P Yankees
3. Ken Singleton OF Mets
4. Carlton Fisk C Red Sox

Can you imagine if Fisk had been taken by the Yankees? Do you think the Cubs wish they had a do-over on this draft? Ken Singleton was good (3 All Star games) but he was certainly no Pudge Fisk.

Linky Links

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

- 27 of the most amazing science photos from 2016

- Another Christmas gone by without getting something I really wanted

- This is awesome! "Give me yer belt Joe Rogan!"

- I agree - for those who know recent Irish history this might be Tweet of the year!

- 45 podcasts from TedTalks. Has to be a couple there I'd enjoy.

Happy Birthday Pudge

69 years ago today - Carlton Fisk was born. Happy birthday Pudge!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Greetings from Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Awesome! 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Top 5 - Otters in US History

Here are what I consider to be the Top 5 Otters in US history. Otter from Animal Housedid not make the list because he's fictional. 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. Sacajawea 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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Birth of Basketball

History says that basketball was invented on this day by James Naismith in Springfield, MA. That's the generally accepted history.

What's little known is the more accurate history may show that basketball was actually invented in Plainfield, MA which was home to Naismith at the time he was developing the rules to the game. But what chance has tiny Plainfield (population 648) have against the City of Springfield?

Clay Buchholz

Yesterday the Red Sox traded pitcher Clay Buchholz to the Phillies for second baseman / DH prospect Josh Tobias. Before I give my thoughts on the "trade" I have to confess two things; when I saw Buchholz was pitching for Boston most times my first thought was "take the over!" and my second thought usually was "hey Buchholz does kinda look like Hilary Swank".

This was a "trade" only in the sense that Philadelphia included a player on their end. This really was a straight salary dump on the part of the Red Sox. Buchholz's $13.5 million contract had to come off the books to give Boston some in-season flexibility and to get the team under the salary cap. The trade happened now because Dave Dombrowski wanted the Red Sox front office to wrap business up before the holidays.

Buchholz as a player was maddening to most Red Sox fans. He would have seasons like 2010 (17-7 with a 2.33 ERA) or 2013 (12-1 with a 1.74 ERA) but he'd also have seasons where he just sucked or was hurt (which was often). And Buchholz has the potential to continue to be maddening to Red Sox fans. If he pitches effectively for the Phillies there's a real potential for him to be traded for a much better prospect than what the Red Sox got in Josh Tobias. And if the team that trades for him is say the Toronto Blue Jays (Buchholz has a career 11-3 record and a 2.63 ERA at the Rogers Centre) - can you imagine how Boston fans will react if he beats them in a big second half game next season? Maddening!

Even though he could be maddening - I wish Clay Buchholz the best of luck with his new team. Maybe a change of scenery will help him to finally reach his potential. And I'd be remiss if I didn't say "Thank you Clay for being a big part of the 2013 World Series champs - there's so few members of that team still on the roster."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Top 5 - Greatest Single Seasons by a Red Sox Pitcher

Rick Porcello won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award but how does his season stack up in Red Sox history? Well his 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 145 ERA+ doesn't come close to cracking the top 5 seasons by a Boston pitcher.

1. Pedro Martinez - 2000 - 18-6 / 213 IP / 313 K / 2.07 ERA / 285 ERA+ 

2. Cy Young - 1901 - 33-10 / 371 IP / 158 K / 1.62 ERA / 216 ERA+ 

3. Pedro Martinez - 1999 - 23-4 / 217 IP / 284 K / 1.74 ERA / 245 ERA+ 

4. Roger Clemens - 1990 - 21-6 / 228 IP / 209 K / 1.93 ERA / 211 ERA+ 

5. (tie) Pedro Martinez - 2003 - 14-4 / 186 IP / 206 K / 2.22 ERA / 211 ERA+
    (tie) Smokey Joe Wood - 1912 - 34-5 / 344 IP / 258 K / 1.91 ERA / 180 ERA+ 

Notes: Cy Young's 158 K's may seem small but it led the league that year and his ERA+ is smaller than what Pedro had in 1999 but keep in mind that Cy pitched 154 more innings - so I think we can give him a break on the ERA. Roger Clemens finished second in Cy Young voting in 1990 to Bob Welsh of the A's who had a 27-6 record with an ERA that was a full run higher than Roger (2.95 to 1.93). Joe Wood had a great 1912 but his K's and ERA were still second in the league to Walter Johnson of Washington. You could also argue Pedro's 2002 and I'd be OK with that.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Of all the words of tongue and pen / the saddest are / I started the wrong Tight End (lost my Fantasy Football playoff because I started Jordan Reed and his 0 points instead of Cameron Brate and his 13 points)... Heh heh... For the record - despite never using performance enhancing drugs the rumors of such use seem to be keeping me out of the Baseball Hall of Fame... This Dunkin Donuts commercial was pretty funny... Just as a reminder - Britney Spears is an anagram for Presbyterians... Crap - Batmania is so much cooler than Melbourne...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Annie Lennox - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

I'll be enjoying tidings of comfort and joy later today. Let us spring out of our sober selves and soar like drunken eagles!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Roll Tide

- I believe in the soul, the Roll Tide, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the strong side sweep, high fiber, good scotch, and that the teams of Auburn are self-indulgent, overrated crap. Roll Tide
- In Soviet Russia - Tide Rolls you
- Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without taking - and then I gave you Roll Tide - Oh Mandy
- I see Roll Tide people. Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're Roll Tide.
- E = Roll Tide Squared
- Confucius say Roll Tide is Erik Estrada - all else is Larry Wilcox. Roll Tide
- Me Roll Tide - you Jane
- Of all the words of tongue and pen - the awesomest are Roll Tide!
- Latin: "Audio, video, disco, Rolltideo" English: "I hear, I see, I learn, I Roll Tide"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Greatness of Bill Belichick

Just another reminder of how great Bill Belichick is. Graph via USA Today

Origin of Term "Grandfathered"

Say a State changes its drinking age from 18-years old and moves it to 21-years old - people aged 18, 19, and 20 would be "grandfathered" and not subject to the new 21-year old drinking age. People 17-years of age? Well they're screwed.

The term "grandfathered" has become well known and pretty benign but the origin of the term "grandfathered" has some serious racist overtones.

After the Civil War many of the Southern States instituted some new voting restrictions aimed at making it difficult for newly freed slaves to vote. Poll taxes, literacy tests and other nefarious rules were put in place but these new requirements had to also apply to poor whites. How to get around these new rules then? Add another one that said "if your grandfather could vote so can you". Of course prior to the Civil War only whites could vote and if your grandfather could vote - that means you're white too and thus it's A-OK for you to vote.

That's how the term "grandfathered" was born. As I said before the term is pretty benign now and at some point you have to just accept your past and move on but honestly now knowing the origin of "grandfathered" will make me second guess using the term myself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


This is NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin's OFFICIAL portrait! Awesome!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just saying but the cure to the common cold and the answer to who let the dogs out are the two most enduring mysteries of our age... The great Sally Jenkins on DeflateGate II... I can't wait for Donald trump to name the Iron Sheik ambassador to Iran. It will break the Internet... A reminder of what Goodell said about deflated balls... There's a niche available for a magazine covering cool stuff and technology now that Boing Boing has abandoned those subjects in favor of Trump Derangement Syndrome... Thanks Obama!... Joe Biden just raised his speaking fees by 200% by intimating he'd run for President in 2020... I'm calling it right now - Tony Romo is the starting QB for the Miami Dolphins next season...

Thursday, December 08, 2016

It's a Wonderful Cure for Bad Eyesight

It's a Wonderful Life is a staple of Christmas and a tradition for many on Christmas Eve but just thinking of it make me need to nitpick on this one little thing that has always bothered/amused me. 

When Jimmy Stewart is alive and him and Donna Reed are busy making kids - her eyesight is perfect. No eyeglasses for Donna Reed. But when Jimmy never existed - all of a sudden the librarian / spinster Reed needs eyeglasses. What happened? 

Now you can argue that she needs glasses because as a librarian she reads more books but I'm not buying that. I think Frank Capra was trying to send out a pro-sex message. Sex is so good it makes your eyesight better! Jimmy Stewart's cure for nearsightedness (that would be a good name for a band - well maybe not). 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Red Sox Get Chris Sale

So the Red Sox pulled the trigger on a trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale. That now gives them a rotation of Sale, David Price, reigning AL CY Winner Rick Porcello, Edwin Rodriguez and probably Clay Buchholz with Drew Pomeranz being insurance in the bullpen. That's a hell of a rotation. Easily top 3 in baseball (Cubs fans and Mets fans can argue the order). Knuckleballer Steven Wright might be on the outside looking in despite going 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA last season because that's how knuckleballers seem to be treated in MLB.

In order to get Sale the Red Sox gave up perhaps the top prospect in baseball in Yoan Moncada, fireballer Michael Kopech and lottery tickets Victor Diz and Luis Basabe. Much less than I was willing to give up in my hypothetical trade a few days ago. I LOVE the trade!

Some people are concerned about Sale's weight and delivery. Such talk just reminds me of the trade that brought Pedro Martinez to Boston with Carl Pavano and Tony Armas going to the Expos in exchange. Pedro was too thin they said at the time. His delivery is an injury waiting to happen they said at the time. Well that trade worked out OK.

Now I don't mean to compare Sale to Pedro - or to Randy Johnson for that matter (even though height and lefthandedness make that the first comparison that comes to mind). This trade is all about winning now and I like that. I don't care if Moncada goes on to win an MVP in Chicago - as long as Boston gets to the World Series in the next three years. If that happens this trade is a win for Boston.

Since I predicted this trade a few days ago so why not try my hand at a couple more predictions:

1. The Clay Buchholz experience will be traded before the start of the season (maybe even this week)
2. Boston fans and writers will come up with a much better nickname for Chris Sale than "the condor".  That's a mediocre nickname at best. (I also predict some hack Boston writer will use "Condor No Big Unit" after Sale's first loss with the Red Sox.)

Linky Links

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

- I like that West Virginia is paired with New Zealand. That just seems to fit in my mind.

- Very thoughtful interview of Jon Stewart on Trump, the election, fake news, etc. Well worth the read.

- With this "tease" - Joe Biden just raised his speaking fees 100%

- The best recommendation General Mattis can get as Secretary of Defense in my opinion.

- So only the Panthers and Raiders have spent less than the Patriots these past 4 years?

- The science is settled

The Buckler

There's Christian Rock but no Christian Wrestling - I say we change that.

This time of year I always think of the following Bible verse:

"As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those who trust in him" - Psalm 18:30

I got to thinking that "The Buckler" would be a great name for a Christian wrestler. I went out to to dinner once when this idea first hit me and there was a non-alcoholic beer on the menu called - you guessed it - Buckler. Vince McMahon has to make this happen.

Here's the idea - a Christian wrestler who only wrestles to spread the Gospel. He' gets sponsored by Heineken (they make Buckler beer) and the other wrestler's make fun of his religion in order to get him to lose his cool. Can't you picture Brock Lesner getting the Buckler in a choke hold and saying, "Where's your Moses now?" (like Dathan from The Ten Commandments). Goldberg could pile drive him and ask, "Your God, your God - why has he abandoned you?"

The Buckler in turn could come out with a signature surrender hold called "the crucifixion." The Buckler's entrance music could be some gospel standard or something by Creed. You hear "Onward Christian Soldiers" over the PA and McMahon says, "Is that the Buckler's music I hear?"

It would be controversial and that's what wrestling thrives on. This could be huge.

So let it be written - so let it be done.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Top 5 - Best Versions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Every Christmas I make it a point to re-read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. If you just want to watch the holiday perrienial then here's my rankings:

1. Scrooge - with Alastair Sim
2. A Christmas Carol - with Patrick Stewart
3. Mickey's Christmas Carol
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol
5. Scrooged - with Bill Murray

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Sorry but I don't care what an actress wears on the red carpet or what cleats and NFL player is wearing today. Sorry just don't care... AKA the saddest Christmas ever... There should be a Cracker Barrel prevention hotline that gives people options of much better restaurants for those about to eat at Cracker Barrel... The type of man we need helping run the country... "Coming of age" stories are a little spot on if you reverse the those three words...Who knew? Barry Manilow's hit I Write the Songs was not written by Barry Manilow... So will Commissioner Goodell be in attendance as Tom Brady breaks the tie for all-time wins by an NFL QB today in Foxboro?... I'm an awful person for laughing at this...

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 bald Bill Burr or a younger version of Paul Giamatti. I would seriously watch this show if it were ever made.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Truth About the Island of Misfit Toys

It is the Christmas season which means soon holiday classics will be on TV constantly. I need to get off my chest the truth about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. The thing about the misfit toys wasn't that they were squirt-guns that shot jelly or cowboys who rode ostrich's. The really strange thing about these "toys" was the fact THEY WERE ALIVE!

Now any high school biology student can tell you that life comes from life. These misfit toys were probably the offspring of some sick minded magic elves who must have gotten too "friendly" with some of the toys they were working on and fondling day after day. They were put on the Island of Misfit Toys probably as an attempt by upper management of Santa's Workshop to cover up some of the sick shit that was going on when the lights got turned off at night.

Let's be clear here - we aren't talking about misfit toys either - we are talking about FREAKS! If my kids got a choo-choo with square wheels that was alive - I would freaking BURN IT WITH FIRE! I would also then have to start spending thousands of dollars on therapy probably for the whole family. You could bet that Christmas and Santa would take on whole new meanings (and nightmares) from that day forward.

God help the children who ended up getting those freak misfit toys on Christmas morning.

And don't even get me going on the heroin backstory to The Little Drummer Boy.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Chris Sale

Supposedly Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale is on the trade block. If you're Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, who do you offer up in exchange for a top pitcher under team control for another 3-years?

Nobody is asking me but here's what I'd offer:

- Yoan Moncada 2B/3B - considered by many to be baseball's top prospect
- Eduardo Rodriquez SP - only 23-years old, MLB ready and who has shown flashes of being a rotation mainstay (somebody has to make room for Sale)
- A top Single A prospect that is mutually agreeable.

For the White Sox - that's a pretty good haul. For the Red Sox - what fan wouldn't be excited about a rotation that features aces Sale, David Price and Cy Young winner Rick Porcello.

So let it be written. So let it be done.

John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

Many people look at the firing upon Fort Sumter as the spark that lit the Civil War but I think the real spark came back in 1859 when John Brown and his "army" of 21 attacked and occupied the armory at Harpers Ferry, VA.

The next day, US Marines under the command of US Army Colonel Robert E. Lee (how's that for irony) attacked Brown and his men. When the gun smoke cleared, 10 of Brown's men were dead (including 2 of his sons) and Brown was taken prisoner and shortly thereafter he was hanged. In fact on this very day 157 years ago.

I find it slightly amusing that most history books and mentions of Brown on the Internet either gloss over or omit completely the fact that Brown was almost certainly insane.

I'm not making any moral judgments on Brown's actions. I'm just saying that he was crazy. Seriously. When I first saw a picture of John Brown - I thought I was looking at Charlie Manson circa 1850.

The John Brown / Charles Manson analogy isn't that bad. Brown raided the armory because he wanted to arm slaves to start a full-fledged slave revolt. Charles Manson has said that he killed those folks in the Hollywood Hills because he hoped that blacks would be blamed and that would spark a race war in the US. This may be one of those things that I only find interesting. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Joe Thornton

It has been 11-years since the Boston Bruins traded Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks. It was a trade that caused me to try and cancel my cable TV because I was so pissed about it (I didn't want any of my money going to NESN which is co-owned by the Bruins and Red Sox).

Jumbo Joe, the former first pick of the NHL draft was traded for Wayne Primeau, Marco Strum and Brad Stuart. Can you see why I was pissed?

If Thornton played his entire career in Boston, his 900 points would put him 4th on the all-time Bruins scoring list (2 points ahead of Rick Middleton but behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk and Phil Esposito). Can you imagine if Joe Thorton on the front line had been coupled with Zedeano Chara on the back line this past decade? I can - that's why I'm still pissed off about the trade.

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- Death of an American hero

- In my mind July 9th (7-9) will always be Jeff Fisher day. I agree with Tom E. Curran - how does Fisher still have a job?

- This is probably true

- Cool - for $129,000 you can own Dangerfield's yacht from Caddyshack

- Heh heh

- This holiday season - please keep this in mind

- One dose of magic mushrooms can stop depression for months

A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Let the Christmas rumpus begin!