Friday, June 30, 2017

State of the Celtics

The next few days will be huge for the Boston Celtics. Free agency starts July 1st and the Celtics will be making a big play for Gordon Haywood who will be visiting Miami, Boston and Utah before making his decision. Vegas odds have the Celtics as the favorites to sign arguably the top free agent available.

That's Step One.

Step Two is a trade for Pail George from the Pacers. I would send Jae Crowder plus the Celtics 2018 first round pick plus the Memphis 2019 first round pick to Indiana. If the Pacers want Jordan Mickey as a throw in - fine. If the Pacers want the conditional Lakers 2018 first rounder instead of the Celtics first rounder I would say OK but only if Paul George signs an extension with the Celtics. If no extension then only offer the 2018 Celtics pick.

If Paul George does sign an extension then the trade to move from the first pick in the draft to the third would have been basically in exchange for Jason Tatum and Paul George. That's robbery by Ainge (who doesn't get enough credit). I don't think that happens though. Why would George give up on his dream of playing for the Lakers prior to knowing how he fits with the Celtics? The extension talk is just posturing by the Pacers.

Some like the Boston Globe's Chad Finn have speculated that if Boston does trade for Paul George then it will be the end of Avery Bradley's career for the Green. I disagree. Paul George will make $19.3 million this season. If the Celtics shed Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller then that's $15 million right there to cover the cost of the new acquisition. I'm no capologist but I trust Danny's folks will make it work.

I like the idea of Paul George as a one-year rental. Adding him and Haywood to the roster make Boston the best team in the East while still giving flexibility for the 2018 roster when Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart are due new contracts. Plus the Celtics would have two lottery picks in the next NBA Draft!

It's all good!

Gettysburg Remembered

One hundred and fifty-four years ago to this very day Confederate forces under the command of General Robert E. Lee were massed on one side of a small Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg while Union forces under newly appointed General George Meade were amassed on the other side of the small town. Over the next three days these forces were to fight arguably the most important battle in the history of the United States. Yet today you will hear very little mentioned of the battle in either the newspapers or on TV. 

Why was this the most important battle in the history of the United States? 

General Lee had come North out of Virginia to find the Army of the Potomac and to beat it in open battle. If he was able to accomplish this – then Confederate President Jefferson Davis was to give Abraham Lincoln an offer of peace. 

If Lincoln accepted this offer of peace then the country would have forevermore been divided into two nations. If Lincoln refused the offer of peace (which he would have) – then chances are that Lincoln would have lost his bid for re-election to the Presidency. His opponent General McClellan would have accepted the peace plan if elected and again – the nation would forevermore have been divided. 

Think of the implications: 

· How much longer would slavery had survived? Would it still exist today? 

· Would a Spanish Mexico and an English Canada have taken over what are now the Western States? 

· Would Nazi Germany been stoppable in WWII without a “united” United States? 

· Would Communism have been defeated without a “united” United States? 

Luckily we did not have to find out because Jeb Stuart did not return in time to inform General Lee of the Union’s strength; because General Heth ignored Lee’s order to not engage the enemy on the first day; because General Ewell lost his nerve and did not attack and take the high ground when he had the chance and because Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine made their heroic stand on Little Round Top. 

The North won the battle and went on to win the war. For that – we are thankful. 

Months later after the battle, on November 19, 1863, a somber President Lincoln made the following speech: 
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.
Now it’s a 154 years later and you would be hard pressed to find mention of the battle anywhere. Funny – Lincoln thought we would remember the battle and forget his speech but the opposite has occurred. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The United States has always been a forward-looking nation. We tend to dream of the future instead of dwelling on our past. It is one of our strengths. 

Still - we should remember the sacrifice men made today and the next three days 154 years ago to preserve for us the great Nation we have today. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I predict that the Celtics' Danny Ainge signs free agent Gordon Haywood AND trades for Paul George BUT also somehow does not win NBA Executive of the Year... The Yellowstone Super Volcano still undergoing a swarm of earthquakes (and still scaring the bejeezus out of me)... Isaac the Bartender from The Love Boat is my spirit animal... Cool new plane (but what would it be used for - doesn't look like it's built for passengers)... I love these... Just as a reminder - "Britney Spears" is an anagram for "Presbyterians"... This is impressive... In September call-ups the Atlanta Braves should add "the Freeze" to the roster as a pinch runner. What a great way to support his Olympic sprinting dream (and sell a shit ton of his jerseys)...

Top 5 - Presidential Marriages

On this day in 1919 - Harry Truman married Bess Wallace. Their marriage was absolute and the epitome of love honor and obey (Harry obeying Bess that is). Here are what I consider the top 5 love affairs between Presidents and first ladies in US history.

1. Harry and Bess Truman
2. Ron and Nancy Reagan
3. George and Martha Washington
4. John and Abigail Adams
5. (tie) Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter (tie) George and Barbara Bush

Sunday, June 25, 2017

MY Political Beliefs

"I'm a Reagan Republican." That means I want growth-oriented tax policies, a strong, secure national defense, limited government and maximum individual liberty. - Peter Hannaford from 2003
That quote seems to crystallize my political beliefs. Though I'm no longer convinced that those beliefs make me a Republican these days. And for the record in the last election I voted for Gary Johnson (and would do so again).

Linky Links

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

Dustin Pedroia - too funny

This is so awesome on so many levels

Congress should change the laws so that this never happens again.

OMG - it's true!

2017 headline of the year

You mean "boss" chicken in pants

- Fuck Greenpeace. And fuck you too if you give these bastards money.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life Accordion to Trump

Posted without comment.

Custer's Last Stand

Today the 141st anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn also known as Custer's Last Stand.

The lasting image I have when I think of Custer's Last Stand is the comic portrayal of Custer by Richard Mulligan in the greatly underrated movie Little Big Man.

My favorite historical oddity about the Battle of Little Big is the fact that the Battle also marks the death of George Custer's young brother Thomas Custer. What's odd about that? Thomas Custer was one of the few two-time Congressional Medal of Honor winners in US history. Nobody remembers Thomas Custer though.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NBA Thoughts

Things are getting crazy in the NBA "Hot Stove". Here's some of my thoughts/predictions.

New York Knicks - my guess is Kristaps Porzingis is not traded by the Knicks. Phil Jackson will realize how angry he's made Knick fans even suggesting Porzingis may be available and nothing will happen. Could that change if Jackson drafts 7'0" Lauri Markkanen Thursday night? Yes. If Jackson gets his ego all a twitter and trades Porzingis to show the world who is boss then Boston can offer the best package. Next year's Nets number one and the Lakers first if 2-5 (or Kings 2019 unprotected) plus Jae Crowder is a pretty fair exchange. If Jackson also trades Carmelo Anthony to the Cavaliers straight-up for Kevin Love then the frontcourt of Crowder, Love and Markkanen is pretty decent and with two top picks in 2018 the Knicks are actually in better shape than they are right now. Better chance is that Porzingis stays put and Jackson screws things up.

Cavaliers - Jimmy Butler supposedly says he wants to be traded to Cleveland. Problem is the Cavs don't have the assets. The only real asset the Cavs have is Kevin Love and the only destination I can picture for Love is the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. As a Boston fan I'd love to see Carmelo in Cleveland. The confusion, discord and eventual falling apart would be delicious.

Bulls - whither Jimmy Butler? As I said - I don't think the Cavs have the assets and the Celtics I don't think really want to spend their assets on Butler. So where does he land? My guess is in Minnesota with old coach Tom Thibodeau.

Celtics - I think the draft rumors of Danny Ainge picking Jason Tatum are correct but after that? Who knows? It will be fun to watch and the 2017-18 Celtics will be better than this year's team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Monday, June 19, 2017

State of the Celtics

The trade that will send the overall number one pick in the NBA Draft from the Celtics to the Sixers in exchange for the third pick in the draft is expected to be made official today. Everyone is asking, "What is Danny Ainge thinking?" Some ask the question derisively thinking he's crazy to be gambling on "assets" when "sure thing" Markelle Fultz is just sitting there at number one. And he's trading him to a Division rival? Crazy!

Others are asking "What is Danny Ainge thinking?" because they think/know that another shoe will be dropping. Put me in this camp.

My guess is Ainge is fine with trading the number one for the third pick because Fultz wasn't at the top of his draft board anyway. If that's the case why not pick up another great asset like the 2-5th pick in next years's draft or the unprotected Kings pick in 2019 and still get the guy you had listed at number one on your draft board? Remember Ainge was the guy who saw the potential of Isaiah Thomas when nobody else in the NBA did and used a draft pick he got basically for free to trade for him. Ainge is an excellent talent evaluator.

So what does Boston do with all these assets Ainge has accumulated? Paul George? How about the Lakers pick next year (or Kings 2019 1st), Jae Crowder and the Celtics 2019 1st rounder. Does that get it done? Or does it raise the stakes to weaken the other contenders who match the offer? Paul could be a one-year rental or he could love Boston like Paul Pierce (another LA native who dreamed of playing for the Lakers). At the least George would allow Jaylen Brown another year to grow into the position.

Jimmy Butler? Another possibility but what price would the Bulls want for Butler? And how would that effect Jaylen Brown's development (Brown is basically just a younger Butler). My guess is the price is judged to be too steep for Butler.

How about the unhappy Kristaps Porzingis? Ainge has already shown he's not afraid to deal within the Division. Why not make a Godfather-type offer to the desiccated husk that is Phil Jackson?

Anthony Davis? This is the Holy Grail and Ainge now has to pieces to make a really attractive offer to the Pelicans.

What about Free Agents Gordon Haywood and Blake Griffin? Haywood has been the most mentioned because of his ties to coach Brad Stevens but Utah can offer more money and now that it's clear that the Pacers will be trading Paul George they will need a marquee player replacement and and the Indiana native Haywood fits that bill to a tee.

Blake Griffin has health concerns but he would fit the Celtics needs the best. The team needs rebounding help. A starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Paul George, Al Horford, and Blake Griffin would be tough to beat. And just think on how deep the bench would be with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier and the third pick from this draft would be. Griffin loves stand-up comedy so the Celtics should put Bill Burr on the recruiting trail.

Lots and lots of questions. And don't expect any answers until Ainge actually acts because like Bill Belichick - Ainge doesn't give away any hints to what he's actually thinking. The Boston press (and fans) having decades of experience with Ainge and Belichick should know this by now.

But apparently not.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Medal of Honor Winner

Please read about Specialist Five James C. McCloughan's heroic actions. The story left me asking two questions - where do we find such men and what took so damn long to honor this hero.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Beware the ides of June!!!... If I were an MLB player my walk-up music would be God Bless America - just to see who stands... I absolutely love this gesture to honor the passing of Adam West... "Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions." - George W. Bush. Something to keep in mind while cruising the Internets these days... See what I mean... I forget - what came first? Bill Cosby as rapist or Bill Cosby as pitchman for New Coke?...  I heard a Beastie Boys song on a classic rock station the other day. Man am I fucking old... Time for another MOAB drop I guess... Whenever you see people complain that Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL just remember that on March 1st he opted out of a contract with the 49ers that would have paid him millions. He OPTED OUT of his contract...

Climate Change and the Sahara

What happened to the mysterious humans of the Sahara?

The Sahara covers an area about the size of the United States and at one point that area was a lush landscape of grasslands and waterlands. Thousands of years ago the climate changed and slowly that area became desert. What caused that change? Was it a change in the magnetic pole moving from South to North (the opposite is happening today). Or maybe a shift in the Earth's axis (which is also happening now). Maybe the humans who lived caused the climate change by angering their Gods. Who knows?

Science doesn't but don't let that stop people from telling you that the science is settled on why global climate change is happening today.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Modest Proposal to Make the World a Better Place

Was thinking this morning that there doesn't seem to be that paragon of pure good these days. A figure like Mother Theresa for example. Oh some may point to the Dalai Lama but for all his goodness there's still the reports of how the Tibet monks mistreated the common people of Tibet (one of the reasons there doesn't seem to be a popular uprising in Tibet to stop being part of China).

It also occurred to me that one figure that seems to have become lost to history is Albert Schweitzer who was world famous for his good deeds an reverence for life.

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Hear me out - it is well known that Daniel Day Lewis is a method actor who gets into his character to the point he basically becomes that character like his portrayal of Lincoln for example. Why not trick Lewis into thinking he was cast as the lead in a movie about Albert Schweitzer? Pay Lewis whatever it takes to get him to take the role and then let him become Schweitzer. Have Lewis travel the world as Schweitzer and then keep coming up with excuses for movie production delays. Lewis could be "playing" Schweitzer for years and years before he caught on.

Sure it could be the most expensive practical joke in history but wouldn't it be worth it? You once again would have a paragon of good walking among us.

Just a thought.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Adam West

An American icon passed away this weekend. Was Adam West a comedic genius as some suggest or simply a man with a very good sense of humor, uncommon humbleness and a rare generosity of spirit.  Doesn't matter - he was Adam West and to an extent he exemplified the best in us.

There was a reason Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel thought of him as Lookwell. There was a reason Seth McFarland wanted Adam West as the mayor on Family Guy. He was wanted because he was funny and one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.

His Batman touched the American psyche as noted by the fact that the day he passed the organist at Fenway Park played the theme from his Batman show between innings in his honor. The Batmobile from his show recently sold at auction for $4.2 million. Proof of the tangible contributions and impression Adam West made in many ways to the lives of so many.

Loved how Adam West listed himself in the Yellow PagesThen this this story of him getting kicked out of a Hollywood orgy.

Oh and I also endorse this idea. All the other Batman's should attend his funeral.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Patriots Super Bowl Rings

The new Patriots Super Bowl ring is a thing of beauty. The Patriots deserved their celebration. Some may take the fact that it has 283 diamonds as a swipe against the Falcons but in New England 28-3 has become synonymous with "never give up". That's why you'll see 28-3 signs on heartbreak hill in the Boston Marathon for decades to come.

Admiral William H. McRaven

University of Texas 2014 commencement speech. Great advice.

Thursday, June 08, 2017


I've decided that I'm not going to believe in ghosts. Why? Well the reason is pretty simple.

Every kid is taught that ghosts say "boo!" Who decided this? It's become unanimous. According to our culture and accepted norms - ghosts say "boo". But why would your spirit in death be saying something you never said in life? When was the last time you said "boo"? Were you impersonating a ghost?

The only explanation is that nobody has ever spoken with a ghost. And that must be because they don't exist. Logic.

As an aside - I think it would be funny if someone re-cut the movie Ghost so that Patrick Swayze's dialog after he dies is replaced by someone just repeating "boo!" over and over.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Long Strange Trip

I would say I' a fan of the Grateful Dead but I'm hardly a Deadhead. Last night I finished the documentary on the Dead - Long Strange Trip - on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it.

First thing to discuss is the length. Some may be scared off the documentary because they've heard it is 4 hours long, which is true. However, Amazon Prime has broken it into 6 cohesive "acts" or episodes which is very manageable. This is easily one of the top 5 music related documentaries I've ever seen (I'll have to do that list soon).

The documentary follows the band from its formation and its crucible of the "acid test" to the death of Jerry Garcia. From a band going out on the road and coming back as broke as when they departed to the money making machine they became at the end. Some very amusing and insightful stories were told along the way.

Now I know some would argue that there has not been an end and that the Dead lives on but Dead and Company or the other band offshoots are just not the same (although I must admit I'm thinking about seeing them at Fenway Park this summer).

So watch the documentary. I think you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Why Trump was right to leave the Paris Accords

- Draw your own conclusions

- One of the all-time great photos

- History will not be kind to President Obama (and for damn good reason!)

- Debbie Wasserman Shultz Crank Yankers failure (you can't make this shit up)

- Heh heh

- Very cool - Dinosaur "Mummy" unveiled with skin and guts intact

- Good advice


That was General Eisenhower's D-Day speech 73 years ago today.

Here is the speech Eisenhower planned to give if things went badly. Thank God he never had to give this speech.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Happy Birthday to Robert Kraft

Happy 76th birthday to the best owner in pro sports - Robert Kraft.

Question of the Day

If a man goes to a family petting zoo and publicly has sex with one of the goats - is he a pervert? What if having sex with goats isn't against his religious beliefs? Is he still a pervert? Or are you an Islamophobe?

The Aristocrats!

Lab Rats

Where do the white lab rats and mice come from? Think about it. Are they some sort of snow rodents? I don’t think so. They are probably some sort of genetic anomalies. I think scientists should have to note that fact in their findings. Instead of reading something like, “Scientists find that excessive caffeine causes cancer in lab mice” – the report should read, “Scientists find that excessive caffeine causes cancer in genetically altered rodents.” Makes a difference on your reaction doesn't it? 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver - Primus

Just felt like hearing this song today.

Otto Frederick Rohwedder

It bothers me that whenever you see a list of great Americans these lists always seem to exclude Otto Frederick Rohwedder. He's the man credited with inventing sliced bread. What's greater than sliced bread?

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Dick Cheney on George H. W. Bush

Recently came across this quote from Dick Cheney regarding President George H.W. Bush:
If you were to go out and design a President to be Commander in Chief in a crisis like Desert Storm, you couldn’t do any better than what we had with George Bush. In terms of his experiences, combat pilot in World War II, UN [United Nations], China, CIA, Vice President. He was a delight to work for in that regard. So a lot of what followed after that, whatever successes we enjoyed and so forth, you have to start with the man. 
I thought that was worth pondering.

Linky Links

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

- Expiring vs long-term knowledge. Another argument for spending more time reading books and less time on social media.

- One of my favorite paintings

- If I lived in Spokane I'd so apply for this. I'd even let them call me Bill, Randy or Dave for the day.

- Another of my favorite paintings (and yes I am going to hell)

- Scott Adams on Kathy Griffin.

King Phillip's War

One of the least remembered episodes in New England's history is King Phillip's War.
The bloodiest war in America's history, on a per capita basis, took place in New England in 1675.
At the center of this cataclysm was one man, Metacom, leader of the Pokanokets, a tribe within the Wampanoag Indian Federation. At an early age, when relations between the natives and settlers were less stressed, Metacom was given the nickname of King Philip by the English, because of his haughty mannerisms. One of the many ironies of this conflict is that Philip was the son of Massasoit - the same Massasoit who had helped the Plymouth Pilgrims survive their first winter in the New World. A father's kindness would became a son's curse.
This war almost drove "white" settlers from New England but the settlers prevailed by killing scores upon scores of Indians. It is no coincidence that beyond that first Thanksgiving you never really hear about Indians in conjunction with New England history. That's because they were almost all dead.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Top 5 - Famous People who Started as Accountants

Here is my Top 5 list of famous people who started off as accountants.

1. Bob Newhart - started out in accounting. This isn't really surprising. Bob is a favorite of mine.

2. Peter Falk - before he was an actor he was a CPA - who knew?

3. John Grisham - I think most people knew that the famous novelist was a lawyer but did you know he received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University?

4. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell - he graduated from Cal Poly University-San Luis Opispo with a degree in business and accounting. It would be kinda cool to bring a UFC champ to an IRS audit.

5. (Tie) Kevin Kennedy - the former MLB Manager was a CPA. Supposedly in the minor leagues he did his players’ tax returns to make extra money. He's the only guy on the list who was probably better as an accountant than in the profession he's best known for. (Tie) Gibby Haynes - lead singer of The Butthole Surfers. He went to Trinity University and earned his degree in accounting. After graduating he worked for over a year at an accounting firm before starting the band. Pepper is one of my favorite songs. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Kathy Griffin really wanted to set fire to her career she could put that severed Trump head for sale on eBay with the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood... I'm adding all of these drives to my bucket list... "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane" - Marcus Aerelius. Sounds like pretty good advice for using the Internet these days... Very cool. Faster please!... Mae West said it 100-years ago and it is still true today, "Those that are easily offended should be offended more often"... I'm confused - is Covfete the new Harambe? Or are we all still "stuck on stupid"?... If a monogamy gene could be isolated in humans - could future prenup agreements require that gene to be activated prior to marriage?...  It's funny because it's true!...  Was very surprised to learn that in the modern world more people die from suicide than from war and violent crime combined... I did not know this. Good knowledge to have... There should be a Kickstarter to replace all of the statues of Confederate generals in the South with statues of Gregg Allman...