Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Losing interest in politics because it just seems to be one group of hypocrites braying at the other.

- The man is a f*cking hero

- Seems like a common sense solution. What took so long?

- See what I mean about hypocrites? How about another example?

- I got to buy a stool to try out these exercises


On this date in 1865 the Congress voted to end slavery. The vote was 119 "yea" and 56 "nay" with 8 Congressmen not voting. It should be noted that every Republican Congressman voted to end slavery (along with 16 Democrats). All of the 56 "nay" votes and all of the not voting (the voting "present" of the day) came from the Democrats.

Just something to keep in mind when you hear the Republicans are the "racist" party.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vienna by Billy Joel

One of his better songs which you rarely hear on the radio.

Linky Links

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

- People with Green Cards should not be prevented from re-entering the country. That said - I'm not worked up over the so-called "Muslim ban". Mostly because of this.

- The real reason Brent Musberger is retiring is because the body count from the Brent Musberger Drinking Game was getting too high.

- 9 facts about Charles Bronson. I love the anecdote about accepting the Death Wish role.

- The protesters are doing more harm than good to the Democrats. Listen to the people cheering the police in deep-blue Portland.

- Heh heh

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Accountant

Saw the movie The Accountant yesterday. Really enjoyed the movie and would highly recommend it. Some great action.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Trump vs the Press - 100% spot on!

- Tommy Heinsohn is the best!

- Speaking of Trump and the press - I did not know this (maybe because the press didn't report it?)

- Heh heh - speaking of the Inauguration

- And speaking of Hillary - Our Children are Watching

- Ben Roethlisberger is a drama queen. But he should retire because as long as Tom Brady is playing the Steelers aren't getting to another Super Bowl. Brady OWNS the Steelers.

Top 5 - Paul Newman Movies

Today would have been Paul Newman's 93rd birthday. Here's my 5 favorite Paul Newman movies - not saying there's his best just MY favorites.

1. Slap Shot - perhaps the best sports movie ever.
2. The Sting - a classic but these days seems a little long
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
4. Cool Hand Luke
5. (tie) The Verdict (tie) Absence of Malice

Just missing the list was The Hustler.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New England Patriots

Please don't hate us but the honest truth is that the Patriots going to the Super Bowl to most New England fans this year is no big deal. This isn't like 2001 when the Patriots were a team of destiny or 2007 when New England was looking to go undefeated. This year going to the Super Bowl was just kind of expected.

People around here aren't planning the big parties like years past. You're not going to have to get to a bar hours beforehand to insure you get a seat for the game. The enthusiasm just isn't there. Don't get me wrong - everyone will still be watching the game but this time as fans and not fanatics.

This year it's not personal - it's business. It seems strange.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rod Stewart

I hope to find something I enjoy as much as Rod Stewart enjoys drawing balls for soccer match-ups.

HT Deadspin

The Day the Democratic Party Died and a New Democratic Party Was Born

An anniversary passed yesterday with little fanfare. The historical significance of the anniversary should not be underestimated though.

On January 22, 1973, former president Lyndon Johnson died and with him died the old ways of the Democratic Party. The backroom deals and arm twisting. The acknowledgement that the Democratic Party was first and foremost the party of the working man and his family. "God, country and a fair wage" could easily have been the motto of the old Democratic Party.

On that same day, 44-years ago the new Democratic Party was also born. On that day, 44-years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v Wade decision which in effect decriminalized abortion and magically turned it from a medical procedure into a woman's right in the process. Since Roe v Wade the Democratic Party has never been the same. Where do you stand on abortion is the first and foremost question any candidate for any office is asked. The abortion party has also become the protest party. "Judge - you and you wife have kids - so you obviously are against having abortions - therefore we must protest you and we must do it naked while throwing pies." Make no mistake this new Democratic Party is about abortion first - every other issue is secondary - including the economy and national defense.

Since January 22, 1973 the Democratic Party has not run a candidate for President who has not been pro-abortion. This includes John Kerry who said he's a Catholic but that doesn't make sense since the Catholic Church is staunchly pro-life. I'm not optimistic that I'll see a pro-life Democratic candidate in my life.

The fact that the anniversary of the death of the old and birth of the new Democratic Party does not get any recognition is not surprising. Nobody celebrates or notes May 30th as the birth of the Republican Party.

Linky Links

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

- This is sad

- Heh heh

- The tempting of the media. Not much difference in the mind of the public between aggressively anti-Trump media and fake news.

- Heh heh

- This is a good point. Also look for the media to rediscover homelessness in the US after 8-years of looking the other way.

- Buying a mountain bike. I'm going to start mountain biking this spring.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

George W. Bush

Many people were amused by George W Bush's issues with the rain poncho at Donald Trump's inauguration.

I thought the occasion was right to remind people that George W Bush was actually one of the smartest men to ever hold the post of President of the United States.

Penis Mightier

No reason - just felt like posting this SNL classic skit:
Alex Trebek: Welcome back to "Celebrity Jeopardy" It's been an exciting first round. That being said, let's take a look at the scores. Sean Connery has negative 16,500 dollars.

Sean Connery: Damm you and your daily doubles you brigand! One day it'll be my turn, Trebek!

Alex Trebek: Great. Calista Flockhart, with an amazing negative $58,000. Good job.

Calista Flockhart: [ quietly like all of her lines ] Thank you.

Alex Trebek: And finally, Nicholas Cage is in the lead with $8.

Nicholas Cage: You got lights, you've got cameras - bitchin' technology!

Alex Trebek: I don't know how anyone could get $8, but better luck to all of you in the next round. It's time for Double Jeopardy. Let's take a look at the board. The categories are.. Potent Potables; The Pen is Mightier.. that category is all about quotes from famous authors, so you'll all probably be more comfortable with our next category..; Shiny Objects; continuing with Opposites; Things you Shouldn't Put in Your Mouth; What Time is It?; and, finally, Months That Start With Feb. Mr. Cage you're in the lead, so let's start with you.

Nicholas Cage: Hmm.. what? Where...

Alex Trebek: Okay, Calista Flockhart, why don't you pick a category?

Calista Flockhart: Um no.. pass.

Alex Trebek: You'll pass. Very smart. Mr. Connery, why don't you pick?

Sean Connery: Ah! Well met! I'll take Months That Start With Feb, Trebek.

Alex Trebek: For how much?

Sean Connery: Suprise me, you filthy bastard!

Alex Trebek: Okay, that's completely unnecessary. Months That Start With Feb for $800. This is the only month that starts with Feb. [ Sean Connery buzzes in ] Mr. Connery?

Sean Connery: Febtober!

Alex Trebek:No. [ Calista Flockhart buzzes in ] Calista Flockhart.

Calista Flockhart: What is.. Febturday?

Alex Trebek: No.

Sean Connery: She said turd!

Alex Trebek: I hate you! The answer was February. That's the month that starts with Feb. It was last month!

Sean Connery: Aha! A trick question!

Alex Trebek: Yeah, it was a trick question, Mr. Connery. Why don't you pick a category?

Sean Connery: I've got to ask you about the Penis Mightier.

Alex Trebek: What? No. No, no, that is The Pen is Mightier.

Sean Connery: Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?

Alex Trebek: It's not a product, Mr. Connery.

Sean Connery: Because I've ordered devices like that before - wasted a pretty penny, I don't mind telling you. And if The Penis Mightier works, I'll order a dozen.

Alex Trebek: It's not a Penis Mightier, Mr. Connery. There's no such thing!

Nicholas Cage: Wait, wait, wait.. are you selling Penis Mightiers?

Alex Trebek: No! No, I'm not.

Sean Connery: Well, you're sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Simple Minds - All The Things She Said

A very underrated song in my opinion. And also a reminder that more rock singers should also be falconers.

Fred McGriff and the Hall of Fame

I congratulate Tim "Rock" Raines, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell on their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. A well deserved honor in each case. My issue is how Fred McGriff has been snubbed by the same voters. No "clean" player has been hurt more by comparison to PED contemporaries than McGriff. This isn't a new issue for me.

In 2004 I compared McGriff to now Hall of Famer Wade Boggs with the Crime Dog coming off very favorable in comparison.

In 2006 I compared McGriff to Bagwell. Are you aware that McGriff has more career HR, RBI and total bases than Bagwell? Yet McGriff is on the outside of the HoF looking in.

In 2011 I made a case of how steroids using players were hurting the HoF chances of clean players. Probably the only time I can recall really disagreeing with Joe Posnanski.

Fred McGriff deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trump and Fake News Part II

Earlier I speculated that the golden shower jokes would not stop - so far that's true. I also speculated that Trump might retaliate by kicking the White House Press Corps out of the White House and reopen the White House Pool. Looks like the former might happen still waiting on news about the pool.

So how did we get to this point? In my youth the two most well-known (non-sports) reporters may have been Sam Donaldson (who got famous for literally yelling questions at the President so much that he got parodied on SNL) and Geraldo Rivera whose main motivation in journalism seemed to be a narcissistic need to be famous (when you start with a fake name can fake news be far behind?). You had Dan Rather (CBS) and Brian Williams (NBC) making shit up and Wolf Blitzer (CNN) exposing himself as a moron on Jeopardy! And these are the people the public is supposed to trust for "real news"?

Let's not forget that CNN (whose tagline at the time was "the most trusted name in news") made a deal with Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War about what they could and could not report in exchange for "access".

Now President Trump can just shout "Fake News!" any time he doesn't like the line of questioning and who can blame him? If the media complains the public impression would be the media is whining because the President doesn't like to answer "gotcha" questions from people who don't know anyone who owns a pickup truck.

The media made this bed. Years of "Your child's life is in danger - we'll tell you why after these words from our sponsor" and click-bait journalism have withered away whatever trust the public had. Now most of the public just trusts the media that agrees with their own point of view. So what's the point of a President answering any questions from outlets that may disagree with him or who may be blatantly acting for the opposition party?

It used to be the public turned to the media to find out the who, what, where and sometimes why of a story. Now it's a perverted version of Cui Buono - how does this journalist or media outlet stand to benefit from this story?

The media has a long way to go to regain the public trust. I'm afraid they're not up to the job.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Linky Links

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

- I don't own a gun (yet) but I just have to say Mike Rowe's post on guns is awesome!

- Now I really want to try this booze

- Making sense of String Theory. The video is from 2005 - I wonder if the theory still holds up? Seems like all the cool kids are speaking about Quantum Physics these days.

- Fantastic true story of an American  fugitive drug smuggler who became an environmental hero in Australia

- 12 fun facts about Slap Shot. Thank God they went with Paul Newman and not Al Pacino.

Battle of Cowpens

Today is the anniversary of one of the most significant battles in the history of the United States and nobody seems to notice. A short history of the Revolutionary War could read like this:

- The British surrendered at Yorktown after being surrounded by the Continental Army on land and bottled up by the French fleet at sea.
- The British were stuck at Yorktown because they had been so long occupied in the South by battles like the disaster (for the British) at Cowpens
- Cowpens was made possible by Valley Forge and the victory over the Hessians at Trenton
- The French navy was brought into the war because of the overwhelming victory over the British at Saratoga.
- Trenton was made possible by the Continental Army slipping out of Long Island where they really should have been trapped and destroyed by the British
- Long Island was made possible by the victory over the British in the siege of Boston which in turn was made possible by the guns taken from Fort Ticonderoga and by the start of the war at Lexington and Concord.

Of the above - the Battle of Cowpens (which happened 236 years ago today) is probably the least remembered.

If it is remembered it is probably the version that was put forth in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot. In the movie there is a battle without a name in which Gibson's character asks his irregular infantry to get off two shots and then retreat to trick the British into chasing after them. This is the same basic "plot" to the Battle of Cowpens. The Jason Isaacs character of the dark-hearted Col. Tavington is loosely based on Col. Banastre Tarleton who led the British troops at Cowpens. Unlike the battle in the movie, however, in real life Tarleton (nee Tavington) escapes to fight another day.

One other note that may only interest me. In the movie The Patriot, Gibson's character uses straw soldiers to convince the British to let captives escape. In real life this trick was used but it was used by the British to allow the "captive" loyalists to escape Boston via ships in the harbor under the cover of "troops" placed overlooking the city on Bunker Hill. The troops later turned out to be straw dummies.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Martin Luther King Jr were alive today he be 88-years old and probably a past 1 or 2 term President... Cool "let it ride" story. At this point he has to see it out till the end... Extra Cheese would be an awful nickname to give a girl. Even if she is from Vermont or Wisconsin... Heh heh - speaking of Aaron Rodgers... On that commercial featuring the deaf football team - how do the deaf players hear the referee's whistle?... The comments on the Ginger C*nt's tweet are fantastic... Why Trump won - it is more likely for a DC based or NY Times journalist to personally know a person who has won a NEA grant than a person who owns a pickup truck... The beaded lacewing is my spirit animal... There should be a word for a person who is often alone but never lonely...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump and Fake News Part 1

In the spirit that your gut reaction is normally correct - here's what my gut reaction is telling me about this current maelstrom.

BuzzFeed "published" a series of allegations that are most likely false. I say most likely because I'm guessing there are a few innocuous true things scattered among the lies. The allegations are nothing new - they had been circulating among the Washington media for months but were never brought up because nothing could be verified. Let that sink in - for months professional journalists had the opportunity to verify the allegations but they could not. Why weren't they verified? The Occam's razor explanation would be BECAUSE THEY JUST AREN'T TRUE!

And now any "journalist" that joined in on the Twitter Golden Shower joke fest yesterday has called into question not just their own professionalism and bias but also the credibility of whatever news organization employs them. There will be ramifications.

At the very least say goodbye to the "Nerd Prom". The White House Correspondent's Dinner should have been ended years ago. Now it is absolutely done. And if the correspondents decide to go it alone without the President? They'll just look petty and cruel - which may be what they are at their core anyway.

At the worst - President Trump may turn the White House Briefing Room back into a swimming pool.  If Trump decided to end the daily press briefings and pool reporters traveling with him wherever he goes - who could really blame him? The White House could simply rely on press releases and maybe a weekly YouTube video from The Donald. If criticized President Trump could say that by doing just official press releases he is trying to eliminate the fake news and slander that is rampant in the Washington press. "Don't blame me" he'll  say, "blame the fabulists at BuzzFeed and The Rolling Stone, and all the others who can't be trusted to report the truth."

You know that the Golden Shower jokes will not go away. And Trump will now get to play the wounded husband and father. "My wife and children have to read these lies!" Middle America will not just feel his embarrassment but will also root for him to get even. When history asks how Trump's second term was made possible - Golden Showergate will be the starting point.

The Greenbrier Ghost

An interesting nugget of US history. The only instance of the testimony of a ghost making its way into a murder trial in US history. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Linky Links

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

- It's been a year since the death of David Bowie. Here's a list of his favorite 100 books.

- This doesn't bode well for the Texans

- Interesting

- Flaming Muffins would be a great name for a lesbian punk band.

- Cool flying car

- Some interesting German compound words

- Heh heh

Possum Kingdom - The Toadies

Just felt like hearing this song.


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.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Some Things You Can't Explain

Some things you can't explain.

Over the course of many years I have read and re-read both The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham and also Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. I've found Larry's "enlightenment" instructive and inspirational and Cannery Row is just a fun book to read over a couple summers days at the beach. I've also read many other books by both Maugham and Steinbeck - but never their masterpieces.

My friend Bill bristles when someone comments, for example, that a pitcher has just thrown "another masterpiece". There can only be one masterpiece. That's what makes it the "master" piece. The acknowledged masterpiece for Maugham is Of Human Bondage and for Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath.  I've never read either book. Over the years I've bought several copies of each book but for whatever reason have never actually read them. I've tried several times to read James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses and several times have failed. But with Joyce I can explain my failure - the book is just so dense. I have no such excuse for either Of Human Bondage or The Grapes of Wrath.

Some things you just can't explain.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The biggest unanswered question from John Podesta's email hack is whether or not he ever got that knock-off Viagra he was looking for... Cool - NASA announces two new asteroid missions... "The best time for a man to do Kegel exercises is while he urinates." - John Kerry...  Heh heh... Death Waltz would be a great name for a heavy metal Lawrence Welk cover band... This is quite a hiking accomplishment... Speaking of unanswered questions - is Brian Urlacher still rocking the suddenly found hair he had going on last January?... Tommy Heinsohn is the best... Speaking of band names - Vengeance Quakers would be a good name for a band... I still say that salad bars should be renamed "vegetable buffets"...  Cool... People forget that 2016 started with the death of the immortal Abe Vigoda. It is possible that so many celebrities died last year as revenge from the Angel of Death who was finally able to defeat the Great Vigoda...

Origin of the Poolroom

Back in the day before state run lotteries - local bookies would run numbers games and these tickets for the "pool" were often sold in a "poolroom". The numbers would be drawn once or twice a day and in order to fill the time between drawings - the operators at many locations put in billiards tables. Billiards was changed or Americanized by adding pockets and creating the game pocket billiards which we now know simply as pool.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Yeah I think I'm going to eliminate Vermont maple syrup from my diet after seeing this.

- I love Arnold

- This is hilarious!

- Very cool! I'm sure we will hear much more about this new star as we get closer to 2022.

- It was only a matter of time. For the first time streaming eclipses disc sales in 2016.

- How to live a creative life

The Armada by Garrett Mattingly

I think most people who are familiar with the story of the Spanish Armada have the impression that the story went something like this;
In 1588 the Catholic Spanish King sent a fleet of ships bigger than anything ever previously assembled to Protestant England in order to crush the English military and remove Queen Elizabeth from the throne. However, the smaller, faster English fleet coupled with a major storm combined to defeat the Armada and usher in a new era of Rule Britannia.
The true story is much different. The two fleets were actually pretty fairly matched and in the end it was a lack of provisions (especially gun powder and cannon balls) that caused the Spanish defeat. The Spanish ran out of ammunition and the English at the end were able to hammer away at the Armada from close range with devastating effects.

The battle and the results didn't much change the balance of power between England and Spain but surprisingly it had great political ramifications in France.

Garrett Mattingly tells this true story in his fascinating 1959 book The Armada. I highly recommend this book to fans of military or world history. Thank you to whoever first recommended this book to me.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I was at the game in Miami this weekend where Tom Brady passed Dolphins legend Dan Marino on the all-time passing yards list. No public announcement was made. I thought that was very disrespectful to both players... Heh heh... With Bob Dylan being named a Nobel Prize winner in 2016 - can Alice Cooper being named US Poet Laureate in 2017 be far behind?... Size matters... When people ask me if I've seen Rogue One I always respond, "No - how does it compare to the original Spy Kids?" just to confuse people... Speaking of Tom Brady - good take on how Roger Goodell actually helped the Patriots by being such a jackhole... I would love if MLB would start referring to left-handed pitchers as "Left-wingers" and right-handed pitchers as "Right-wingers" just to mess with people...  How about "NO THANK YOU!"... I think the owl on Hooter's logo - one eye should be colored pink and the other brown. Who's with me?... Ummm...

Thursday, January 05, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

A little late to the game on this but here's my New Year's resolutions (in no particular order):

- I want to read 30 pages of a book a day (found that a book a week was impractical because most of the books I read are too thick to manage that)

- Try to eliminate liquid calories from my diet with the exceptions of beer and coffee (or in other words just drink more water)

- Try to eliminate "white" carbs from my diet (bread, pasta, rice, etc.)

- Exercise for an hour a day (even if it's just going for an hour-long walk)

Linky Links

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

- Why was Carrier moving to Mexico in the first place? Out of control federal regulations are the root problem

- Heh heh

- Very amusing story about librarians going old school to save some of their favorite titles

- I laughed way too much at this

- Carrie Fisher script doctor extraordinaire

- It's funny because it's true

Milt Schmidt

Hockey and Boston lost a legend yesterday as Milt Schmidt passed away at age 98. Bruins fans revered Schmidt not just because of his playing, coaching and stint as GM with the team but more so because of the type of person he was. Schmidt was a humble, tough, hardworking man who remained a part of the local community long after his playing days were over. And when Canada went to War - Schmidt was there to answer that call serving 3-years during World War II in the Canadian Royal Air Force.

Here's a fairly recent (2015) interview with the legend.