Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Many sports pundits are rightfully crucifying the monster Dr Nassas and Michigan State but it bugs me that many of these same people were silent when it was revealed that Philly sportswriter Bill Conlin was a serial child molester... Just posting this without comment... Still blows my mind that Ronald Reagan was the first choice to play Rick Blaine in the classic movie Casablanca... Am I the only one who loses sleep over concern about Tom Brady's lack of a playoff beard?... Superb Owl LII is now my superhero name... Wallaby Pockets would be a good name for a young adult lit hero character... "Loki Never Forgets an Insult" would make a great Trump 2020 campaign slogan...

The Bad in Each Other - Feist

Love this song.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Challenger Disaster

On this day in 1986 the space shuttle  Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch. One of the very few times in my life where I could tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Big Bang Theory should do "very special episodes" but instead of tackling social issues like shows did in the 80's they should tackle difficult science concepts like the Higgs Boson... Heh heh - it's funny because its true... Stunt Custard would be a good name for a band... If you think about it - the novel Moby Dick is an exhaustive story about an elaborate murder-suicide... Heh heh... With all this talk about flamethrowers and the zombie apocalypse has anyone considered the effect zombies could have on estate planning? I mean you could probably avoid any death taxes just by declaring your deceased loved one to be a zombie...  Saw the best MAGA T-shirt last night - Make America Grateful Again

Diet of Worms

Today is he anniversary of the start of the Diet of Worms. This was actually a formal deliberative body in Worms, Germany assembled in 1521 to discuss Martin Luther. To most people unfamiliar with history or steeped in religious theology Diet of Worms sounds more like the title of a Stephen King short story.

It is one of the most important dates in the history of Western Civilization but one of the least known. It is important because it is the formal beginning of the schism between the Catholic Church and what was later to be known as Protestantism.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Jeez - now they teaching robots to ski. We're doomed!

- I guess the Aussies enjoy a good pun

- Interesting - how far humans have dug into the Earth

- Our defenses against asteroids is getting better but they still aren't prepared to save the Earth.

- 7 common words with uncommon relatives. Not making the list "disgruntled" and it's lesser known cousin "gruntled".

- And Bostonians are proud of this

- Marshall Bass Reeves was a true badass and should be a better known American icon

Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1

Remembering the crew of Apollo 1. On January 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee perished in a fire during a pre-launch test for what was to be the first crewed Apollo mission. - Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm confused - shouldn't the Democrats insist that Hillary Clinton deliver the official State of the Union response? Otherwise shouldn't they just "Move On"and stop mentioning her?... Nuclear fusion - the future of energy on Earth? Not to be confused with nuclear fission... A reminder on the wisdom of the masses - a 1967 Gallup poll found almost twice as many Americans supported nuking North Vietnam as opposed to withdrawing... Wait - can this really true? California has 34% of the welfare recipients in the US despite having just 12% of the population of the country... "Anger is a hot coal you hold in your hand waiting to throw at someone" - the Buddha.. Interesting - what happens to your body during a 29-day thru-hike... 18 years ago today - the New England Patriots hired Bill Belichick to be their head coach. And that has made all the difference...

Why You Should Stop Reading the News

"To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week's newspapers." - Nassim Taleb
Interesting article on why you should stop reading the news - either in print or online. It really doesn't add to either your knowledge or happiness. How much time did you spend ruminating, debating and reading up on "shithole' countries? And that was just last week. Time wasted that could have been much better spent. (And I'm just as guilty.)

The article made me think of this quote from the late Michael Crichton about the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. He's so right. In recent years I've seen stories on projects I've been directly involved in and almost always the stories had the facts wrong. And when I was quoted in some of these stories - the quotes were incorrect. But I'm to trust the stories in the other sections are more correct and spot on? Maybe the boxscores (but papers have stopped printing those).

Save your time and improve your happiness. Stop reading the news.

Just Like You - Ian Brown

Really love this song.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Linky Links

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

- History will not be kind to the Obama Administration

- Amazon agrees to give Massachusetts tax officials data on Mass resellers doing business with Amazon. Can providing States with customer data be next?

- Animals on planes. I think if an airline said that they would only allowed certified service animals on their planes - that airline would most likely win my business.

- Now I'm going to have this chart in my head every time I hear a Steely Dan song

- James Altucher and Tim Ferris - two podcasts filled with valuable life lessons

- I too remember The Traveling Wilburys being old at the time. Turns out not so much.

- Cool - here's what its like to find $8 million worth of cars in a random garage.

Jordan Peterson

I first became aware of Jordan Peterson through Joe Rogan's podcast. I found him to be fascinating. A well spoken man with lots of intelligent things to say and advice and wisdom worth listening to. (In fact I may listen to that episode of the Joe Rogan Experience again this weekend.)

Recently of course Peterson had his now famous interview with the BBC. In that interview Peterson's poise and consistent message was contrasted by media that was blatantly trying to twist Peterson's words into both something he had not said and in most cases the exact opposite of what he had been saying. Poor Cathy Newman's career may never recover from being the butt end of endless Internet memes (like this one).

The Atlantic ran an article Why Can't People Hear What Jordan Peterson is Saying. The article serves as sort of an autopsy of the BBC interview but not quite a condemnation of media putting words into the mouths of interview subjects.

The Guardian had an interesting profile of Peterson and his new book 12 Rules for Life. The profile is worth reading. As for me I'm going to listen to that Rogan interview once again and I've already put 12 Rules for Life on my Amazon Wish List.

Top 5 - Paul Newman Movies

Today would have been Paul Newman's 93rd birthday. Here's my 5 favorite Paul Newman movies - not saying they are 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.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jim Thome HOF

This was the very first thing I thought of when I heard Jim Thome was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Congrats to Thome, Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The judge in the Nassar case should be made the new President of Michigan State University and Aly Raisman should be named the new head of USA Gymnastics... Winston Churchill died 50-years ago today. Here are 10 of his best quotes... I self-identify as a sober man stuck in the body of a hungover man (though this doesn't seem to matter to my headache)... Interesting language tidbit... It is possible that when parents started to tell their children not to be "fresh" (i.e. talking back) is when America started having an obesity problem (that and processed sugary food stuffs). Do you want some fresh fruits or vegetables? No - my parents told me not to be fresh... If I were the President I would sign an Executive Order saying that USA Gymnastics could no longer use the letters "USA" until every single person who had supervisory control over Dr. Nassar is fired or resigned in disgrace.

GE - the Poster Child of the Failure of Obamanomics

After reading this article on the decline and fall of General Electric - I couldn't but help but think that Obama did for GE what he did for that community in Chicago he helped "organize" - left it in ruins.

Once thought to be "too big to fail" it is quickly becoming the "biggest to fail". To quote the article, "GE opened at $29.37 a share on Election Day, when the Dow was at 18,332.43. On Tuesday Jan 23, GE closed at $16.30 (down about 45 percent), whereas the Dow closed at 26, 210.81, up about 42 percent."

Some Obama apologists say the healthy economy during the first year under President Trump is just an extension of and a direct result of President Obama's economic policies. If that's the case how do you explain GE? No company was more closely tied to Obama's economic policies - and following those policies has led them to ruins.

Just like that "community" in Chicago Obama helped "organize".

Linky Links

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

- Interesting Naval fact

- Seneca on the shortness of time

- I love this financial parable. And no I don't own a Ferrari.

- Interesting study. May be time to start taking Turmeric/Curcumin supplements

- Heh heh

- The man who played Barney the Dinosaur now runs a tantric sex business. If you told me a famous Barney from the 1990's would be running a sex business - I would have put my money on Barney Frank.

- Saddened by the news of the passing of Ursula Le Guin. Truly she lived a full life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Catholic Conundrum

Growing up Catholic many of the nuns I'd run into would explain their celibacy by saying that they were "married to Jesus." I always wondered - if that is the case then how do priests explain their celibacy? Are they married to Jesus too?

Does this explain the Church's stance on gay marriage? Me thinks the Church doth protest too much!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Tide Pods Linky Links

Because how can you not comment on a fad as stupid as this?

- This person has a sense of humor. I hope they were sent into school for a kid's birthday.

- Very funny if you're familiar with the recent Jordan Peterson BBC interview.

- Is this a fun fact or a scary fact?

- Heh heh

- Well you have to wash those Tide Pods down with something.

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

Today is an anniversary that I expect will pass 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 your 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 (although immigration is creeping up the list) - 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.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Patriots Going to the Super Bowl (Again) Linky Links

The Pats are going to the Super Bowl (again) - here are some of the best tidbits from after the 24-20 victory over the Jaguars.

- Heh heh - funny because it's true (also true that this game was just practice for New England and that's how Bill dresses for practice)

- Also funny

- Bill Belichick is the best

- The Jaguars won the popular vote

- Sad Jaguars

- Only the Steelers, Cowboys, Packers and 49ers have more playoff wins than Tom Brady.

NFL Championship Sunday

With all the talk about Tom Brady's hand - I wouldn't be surprised if in the Patriots first series from scrimmage he doesn't throw a bomb to Brandin Cooks. The Jags probably won't be expecting that which is exactly why New England will give it a shot.

Today marks the 24th  anniversary of Robert Kraft purchasing the Patriots. Today will mark the 43rd playoff game for the franchise since Kraft took ownership. There is not an owner in any sport that can claim that sort of success that Bob Kraft has had (and continues to have) with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots are favored over Jacksonville by 7.5 but if you look at the over under Vegas has the Pats line at 27.5 points and the Jags at 17.5 points. That's a spread of 10 points - not 7.5. Something doesn't add up.

Today I'm taking New England (got it at -7 and bought a half point for -6.5) and taking a chance on the Vikings (-3). Good luck everyone!

Linky Links

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

- What if a typical family spent money like the federal government?

- Clint Eastwood getting some head in the 60's

- I'm actually coming around to this point of view as well

- General Mattis' DOD memo on the shutdown

- 100% agree with this point of view

- Heh heh

- Also a big fan of Richard Feynman

Hooked on a Feeling - David Hasselhoff

Don't hassle the Hoff. Especially when he's hooked on a feeling! Love this hokey video!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Metal Detector Guy

A guy with a metal detector on the beach gets lots of people curious enough to greet him with the same question, over and over. "Do you ever find anything good?" The metal detector guy (sometimes its a woman) is always friendly. "Sometimes." "Every once in a while." And if the metal detector guy is extra friendly or if he just craves some sort of human contact he may launch into a list of some of his best finds.

I'm suspicious of the metal detector guy.

I would think that if the metal detector guy was as successful as he tries to make it sound - he would be less willing to share. I imagine if metal detector guy was finding valuables on a regular basis he'd be more likely to tell people he never finds anything - just to keep others from poaching on his metal detecting beaches and special places. If I saw a guy intently using a metal detector and when asked if he ever finds anything good - answers "Never!" I might be tempted to go out and buy a metal detector because that guy is on to something.

I'm suspicious of the metal detector guy.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Personally I don't think I'm very effected by a government shutdown. I kind of like the idea... This is awesome!... I'm also not a military family or someone living on a fixed income dependent on a government check. Seems vastly unfair to be using these folks as pawns in political disputes. The people doing so should be ashamed. Should be but they won't feel any shame at all... The wife of Moses was Zipporah. It is amazing how lost to history she has become. We really know zip about Zipporah... Today's word of the day is "Ambit" meaning circumference, boundary, or sphere of influence. It's also the root of the word "ambition"... Patriots coach Matt Patricia on new endorsement deal with Gillette, "I use razors all the time. Use your imagination."... This is what Matt Patricia looks like without a beard...

A Statement From Tom Petty's Family

A statement from Tom Petty's wife and daughter on the death of rock legend Tom Petty.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Why you should try to live your life with an appreciation of expected value

- Heh heh

- Compelling read on the fall of Uber's founder Travis Kalanick

- Heh heh

- Some science facts are just harder to believe than others

- The only instance of the testimony of a ghost making its way into a murder trial in US history

- Heh heh - took me a second

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Sorry Steelers fans but you know in your hearts that if either Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia was your head coach instead of Mike Tomlin - you'd be playing for a Super Bowl berth on Sunday... Heh heh... If you watch the movie To Kill a Mockingbird backwards it is the story of a black man brought back from the dead to break up some furniture...  Marie Curie was badass... OK I'll say it! Who else forgot Bob Dole was still alive?... 29 of the best small cities in America according to National Geographic... CNN reports that Covfefe Harambe was one of the most popular baby names of 2017...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jo Jo White 1946-2018

Really saddened by the passing of Celtics legend Jo Jo White. His accomplishments included:

- Olympic Gold Medal Winner
- 7 NBA All-Star Teams
- 2 NBA Championships
- 1976 NBA Championship MVP
- NBA Hall of Fame Inductee
- Number 10 Retired by the Boston Celtics

More impressive than any of the above is the fact you'll never hear a single negative word about Joseph Henry White the man. Because he was a "gentleman" in every sense of the word. Also forgotten about Jo Jo White is that after college he first served in the Marine Corps before being able to join the Celtics to play in the NBA.

He will be missed.

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 237 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.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Weed Economy

Parts of the country where marijuana is not "legalized" but "decriminalized" may be heading toward a weed economy nonetheless. This article from yesterday describes how the "free gift" economy is working in Washington DC. You "buy" a near worthless item like a key-chain for $60 and the vendor "throws in" a bag of marijuana for "free" (of course the street value on the bag of weed is also $60). This is just one step below the legal sale environment of places like Colorado.

I think things could also evolve into a more pure barter economy type arrangement. (As an aside did I really use the terms "evolve" and "barter economy" in the same sentence?) In Massachusetts you are now allowed to own 6 cannabis plants for personal use and consumption - or 12 plants per household. Is it really a stretch to think that people you already do business with wouldn't be open to some trading? A haircut could be worth an eighth of an ounce to your barber or hair stylist. Work done on your car? You pay for parts but your mechanic will take a half ounce for the labor. There are many such transactions this barter could apply to.

Even in places where weed is legal you could still have these barter transactions - because avoiding taxes is as old a practice as taxes themselves. 

Too bad I don't have a green thumb.

Ave Maria - Dolores O'Riordan and Pavoratti

This is beautiful on so many levels. Not many could hold their own singing with Pavoratti. Hearing Latin sung with an Irish accent adds to the beauty.

RIP Dolores.

Linky Links

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

Here's a list of 91 things to in Worcester before you graduate (Worcester is home to 10 colleges so kind of a college town but also not if that makes sense.)

- Heh heh - you have to admit this is a possible explanation

- Was Aragon the legitimate heir to the throne of Gondor?  I say yes because both Elron and the King of the Dead recognized him as such.

- Heh heh

- Speaking of Lord of the Rings - you can now live in your own personal Hobbit hole

- It's funny because it's true!

- Heh heh

Monday, January 15, 2018

Linger - The Cranberries

Shocked at the news of the passing of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan.

Linky Links

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

- Agreed - this is an awesome prank

- This would be another awesome prank. To be fair the question should also be asked of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

- 8 rules to do everything better. Excellent life advice.

- Cool science demonstration. "Cancel Momentum" almost sounds like a Harry Potter spell.

- I love Andre the Giant. I wish I got to meet him.

- Wondering what former Patriots and Raiders great Richard Seymour has been up to? He's been trying his hand at being a poker pro (with success)

- Heh heh

The NFL Playoffs in a Nutshell

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Linky Links

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

- This CNN segment brought to you by KY Jelly

- You learn something new every day (or at least you should)

- Environmentalist website Grist comes out in favor of nuclear power

- Heh heh - you just knew moron Sean Penn wouldn't be able to shut his pie hole. Same guy who supported Chavez in Venezuela (which has since turned into a shithole country). And who can forget about Penn's staged humanitarianism during Katrina

- Why saunas are really good for you

- Wait I though Canada welcomed everyone with open arms? Maybe all these immigrants can stay with Sean Penn?

- Heh heh

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about them Patriots? Is there any doubt that Tom Brady is the greatest QB of all-time?... Every postseason TD Tom Brady has thrown (except for the 3 from last night). GOAT!... Offseason announcement all true Red Sox fans are waiting to hear "Today we placed Wally the Green Monster on irrevocable waivers"...  Scientists name newly discovered Brazilian cave spider after Aragog from Harry Potter... Keith Jackson may have been the second best announcer of my lifetime. The best being Vin Scully. Rest in peace Mr. Jackson... Krill oil 48 times better than fish oil? I might have to try some of this... Just saying but the one common thread among "shithole' countries is not skin color but the fact that they all seem to play soccer. Like I said - just saying...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Murder on the Orient Express and the Worst Movies I've Ever Seen

So last night I finally saw Murder on the Orient Express and it was awful! How awful? This was an actual conversation with my girlfriend:

Me: This movie is awful compared to the original.
Her: This movie is awful compared to anything.

I really couldn't disagree. We saw the movie at the Elm Street Draught House a fun, funky theater where they serve pizza and beer. We would have walked out on the film but I had ordered a pitcher of Bud Light and I wasn't wasting good beer. The experience did make me think of the worst movies I've ever seen in a movie theater though.

1. Murder on the Orient Express - gets top spot because it's freshest in my memory. The acting was terrible and they made changes to the characters and plot from the book and original film that only served to further upset me. Hard to believe this movie is at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes because this flick was crap.

2. Basketcase - had a date pick this movie back in high school. We didn't last very long as a couple.

3. Ruby Sparks - can't believe this dreck is at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was so bad that me and my girlfriend walked out.

4. Birdman - I know people loved this Michael Keaton vehicle but I thought it was horrible. Oh one long pretentious shot - crap!

5. Batman vs Superman - I walked out of this disappointing experience about an hour forty-five into the movie.

Really couldn't think of a bad sixth movie so I guess my track record isn't that bad. Your taste in movies may differ.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh - the Illuminati is not a frivolous subject. Hey Charlie what do you think about Taco Bell maybe bringing back the Black Taco?

- This is an interesting story on many levels. Is Trump taking a shot at US newspapers? Canada? NAFTA? All at once? What do US newspapers have against buying American paper? Maybe this is in retaliation for the US media fawning so much over Trudeau winning the handshake battle?

- Interesting look at the Celtics' one-man European scouting department

- Heh heh

- Speaking of Trump and NAFTA. Have to hand it to Trump - he's really maximizing the US's leverage heading into talks.

- Am I a bad person for laughing at this?

- Have to wonder if this is not just a reaction to the Republican Tax reform but also partly because of the upcoming NAFTA talks.

Shithole Countries

Let me say from the jump that the phrase "shithole countries" the way President Trump used it is racist. Yup - to argue against that is to be in denial. It is also true that a place like Haiti is a shithole country. Both things can be true at the same time.

Let's try this hypothetical thought experiment and see how outraged you'd be:

Wife: Honey how do you feel about a trip to Haiti?
Husband: I don't want to spend my vacation in that shithole country.
Wife: How about Norway?
Husband: Ooh - that sounds good.

Are you outraged at the husband for being a racist? Or did you think "Yeah - I'd much rather vacation in Norway than in Haiti." If you were outraged - my advice to you is to get a grip because Haiti is a shithole complete with a State Department warning against visiting.

If Trump had singled out Venezuela instead would the racist overtones have been lessened? Because Venezuela has become not just a shithole under Leftist rule but an utter shitshow. My guess is if he did single out Venezuela that Bernie Sanders and the Socialists would all be up in arms. Sean Penn might even have come out of hiding to Tweet mean things.

Are you upset because the use of the word "shithole" is un-Presidential? Were you equally outraged when Barack Obama used the word "shitshow" to describe Libya? If not then you are a hypocrite. Are you in the "think of the children" brigade? Well then I'm guessing Bill Clinton saying oral sex doesn't count as sex and the news of the day being about nothing but Presidential blowjobs made you a Republican for life. No? Then you are just a hypocrite.

Again I am not a Trump supporter and I did not vote for the man. I'm just not going to fake outrage at every little thing. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I might be crazy but if Donald Trump would just randomly Tweet lyrics from Jethro Tull's Aqualung - that would really make my 2018... Heh heh... If the Harvey Weinstein story isn't called Grotesque Violations - someone is missing out on a great title... If the Democrats want to fight to give back the right to vote to felons - shouldn't the NRA be fighting to also give these felons the right to own guns legally again? Compound bad ideas... Heh heh... Secondhand Alcohol would be a good name for a band... As I get older I find myself peeing in the shower more often. Boy does that make the people who own my gym angry... 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. Second biggest question is if he ever changed his password from "password"...

Top Movies On Netflix

Sometimes I have to comment on something I've seen, heard or read just to get it out of my head. This is one of those times.

I read this list of the 10 Best Movies Currently on Netflix and the more I thought about the list the more it bothered me. The list starts with The Godfather but then nowhere on the list is The Godfather: Part II which is also on Netflix. There's some argument about which movie is better but everyone agrees The Godfather: Part II is one of the 10 best movies ever made - never mind currently on Netflix.

Then the list ends with Nicholas Cage's National Treasure at number 10. National Treasure? Are they saying the films currently on Netflix are shit? Did National Treasure beat out Bruce Willis' Armageddon for the last spot?

All of these lists are subjective but outside of The Godfather the top rated movie on the Mental Floss list according to the IMDB Top 250 is Memento at number 50. Are the other Top 50 movies on the IMDB list not on Netflix? Other movies on the IMDB list include Sunset Boulevard at 54, Oldboy at 66, Full Metal Jacket at 90, and Inglorious Basterds at 97.

Sure all good movies but Top 10? Come on. How about an all-time classic like JAWS or The African Queen? How about something like Ip Man (84% on Rotten Tomatoes), Gangs of New York, Dead Poets Society, or how about freaking The Shawshank Redemption (which just happens to be freaking #1 on the IMDB list). Or what about freaking Schindler's List (#6 on the IMDB Top 250). Or how about To Kill a Mockingbird (another all-time classic).

That's from a quick perusal of the movies on Netflix and I just named 10 that are obviously better that National Treasure. And I didn't even look at Comedies, Documentaries or International Films. Thanks for nothing Mental Floss.

Rant over.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Top 5 Schoolhouse Rock Songs

Another thing that makes me feel old - Schoolhouse Rock just turned 45-years old. It debuted on January 6, 1973 on ABC. 

Here's what I consider the top 5 Schoolhouse Rock Songs

1. I'm Just a Bill
2. Conjunction Junction
3. My Hero, Zero
4. No More Kings
5. Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here

Linky Links

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

- This is pretty cool!

- "One of the most profound life lessons you could ever learn came from Calvin & Hobbes"

- Heh heh - Bills fans at birth

- Very cool story - good on you Dana White!

- Things that makes me feel old

- I'm going to go with "just blowhard loudmouths"

- WTF? Seriously - WTF!?!?


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.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

NFL Thoughts and Observations

With the NFL playoffs starting today - here are some of the NFL thoughts and observations that have been swimming around in my head.

First let's address the ESPN story about friction between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. I think "11 out of 12 Patriots fans think ESPN can eat a bag of dicks" would be a good starting point. An article using unnamed sources exclusively is refuted by a joint statement from Kraft, Belichick and Brady. The report is refuted by the agent for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo plus also from Jimmy G directly. Again - 11 out of 12 Patriots fans feel ESPN can eat a bag of dicks. Sadly that feeling is also now being extended to the once great Boston Globe too as many people think John Henry uses the Globe sports to take gratuitous swipes at the other pro franchises in Boston in an effort to make the Red Sox somehow look better in comparison.

The only 2 ESPN employees that the Patriots themselves and  Pats fans feel comfortable with are Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi. Reiss because of his hard work and solid reporting and Bruschi because he's a Pat for life. Reports from ESPN by anyone other than Reiss and Bruschi are immediately suspect. This goes back to the Tom Jackson quote about how Belichick had lost the Pats locker-room and that the players hated their coach. New England went on to win their first Super Bowl that season. So let me quote the great Bill Belichick "fuck you!" Tom Jackson and the same in regards to everyone else at ESPN (except Bruschi and Reiss).

In any organization as successful as the Patriots there always exists the potential for disagreement over who should get the credit for success. But in New England it is clear that Kraft, Belichick and Brady are mostly responsible for the success and all three will be acknowledged for their efforts with enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. That's not to say that things are perfect but every other NFL franchise would gladly swap places. Every other NFL franchise.

Speaking of other NFL franchises - let me remind people that a Mike Tomlin coached Steelers team was once beat by Tim Tebow. In the playoffs!

Hey Andy Dalton that's great that Bills fans have been flooding your charity with donations since you beat the Ravens with a late dramatic TD pass. But that TD pass cost me $250 as I had Baltimore on the moneyline. How about using some of that cash to put things right with me? Oh and by the way - I can't look at you and your dumb hairstyle without thinking about Mister Softie. And it should be said that Mister Softie has never won an NFL playoff game either. (Boy I'm really bitter - better have some more coffee.)

We've been over (and over) the fact that the Patriots really had no choice but to trade Jimmy Garoppolo and that Belichick did Jimmy G a solid in trading him to the 49ers. It should also be noted that since 2004 the Patriots have played Cleveland 5 times and the 49ers only once. Trading him to San Francisco also greatly lessens the chances of Jimmy G beating New England. There's value in that.

Things are pretty cold out there but just remember that the Atlanta Falcons led in the Super Bowl 28-3. Let the memory of what happened next warm your heart.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Alex Trebek recovering from blood clots on the brain. Prognosis looks good. Alex is the man!

- Holy crap! Only people over 35 probably get the joke.

- Interesting - Obamacare to die in a whimper. If insurance companies could offer a plan with full Obamacare coverage but also other lower cost plans more customized to individual needs - how many people would buy the Obamacare coverage? Almost nobody?

- Heh heh

- Interesting new potential solar cell window technology

- If you really wanted to ban slaughterbots - you never should have given them such a very cool name. Slaughterbots! I don't think they understand how most people will think this is cool technology.

- Chelsea Clinton denies being a Satanist. Maybe it was just a phase?

Kyrie Irving

Last night the Celtics beat the Cavaliers 102-88 and yesterday Jackie MacMullan had a tremendous article on Kyrie Irving and the trade that brought him to Boston. Well worth the read.

After you read that - listen to this audio from Kyrie Irving immediately after the game. He gives some great insight into his relationship with his dad and his personal motivations. Well worth your time.

As good as the Celtics looked last night some have said that Cleveland will have the edge in the playoffs once Isaiah Thomas is healthy. I don't necessarily disagree with that but to those folks I would remind that Danny Ainge still has the $8.4 million injury exception to use to further improve the Boston roster.

And to Isaiah Thomas - we love you right back!

Cool Photo

Cool photo by Daniel Bieber of a flock of starlings that suddenly takes on the shape of a giant bird.

You can see a large image of the photo by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Scientists find potential Alzheimer's treatment by accident

- Falcon Heavy is impressive

- If Paul Sorvino followed through on this threat and I was on the jury - I would guaranty acquittal

- Excellent advice

- Interesting - scientists at MIT create new method for turning CO2 into fuel

- Heh heh

- How to be 10% happier. 2018 is the year I will try meditation.

Rick Hall RIP

Rick Hall, founder of FAME Studios and creator of the "Muscle Shoals" sound, has passed away at age 85.

Rick Hall really was an American original and I highly recommend the documentary Muscle Shoals which goes through Rick Hall's story and the influence he had on American music. I've watched the flick a few times which is the highest compliment I can pay a video.

If you enjoy that movie and music in general - I would also recommend The Wrecking Crew (which was kind of the West Coast Muscle Shoals) and also Sound City (which documents much of modern rock from Fleetwood Mac to Nirvana).

Thank you for a life well lived Mr. Hall. RIP.


Incredible photo of Stealth Bomber flyover at Monday's Rose Bowl. Click here for larger version of photo. Photo taken by Mark Holtzman (@westcoastaerial).

Found via Darren Rovell.

EDIT: Here's an article on the backstory to how this photo was actually taken

Monday, January 01, 2018


Protests in Iran against the ruling mullahs have become so wide-spread that the media has no choice but pay attention and report. And unlike the previous administration President Trump seems to believe that Iran is part of (or the actual root) of the problem in the Middle-East. Not part of the solution as President Obama so wanted to believe.

"The Obama administration's lack of support for the Green Revolution [in 2009] was part of a pattern in which it did not hold Iran accountable for any provocation. It would seem it was part of a general approach that began Obama's first week in office in 2009 of wanting to reach a deal with Iran at pretty much any cost."  Obama was "soft" on Iran from the start and wrong on Iran to the finish.

A recent Politico article documented that the Obama Administration was so blinded by a desire for a nuclear deal with Iran that it went so far as to stop the DEA from cracking down on Hezbollah drug-running.

Project Cassandra makes the Iran-Contra affair look like "small potatoes".  But will there be the media outrage and coverage over Project Cassandra and the Obama Administration's shameful and most likely illegal dealing with the Iranian Mullahs? I doubt it. David French does a good job of detailing on how Obama kept giving Iran and inch and they (and Hezbollah) would consistently take a mile.

So what is going to happen to the regime in Iran? Who knows. It is so hard to get any real information from the talking heads. And one should always be aware that most of these talking heads have an agenda. Many of them wish to protect Obama's legacy which as more and more days pass seem like an indefensible position.

How many times can a "news" outlet like the New York Times put forth wrong ideas about Iran and the positions of President Trump and Obama?  It's things like this that make it hard to gauge the signal from the noise.

And what happens if President trump repudiates the Iran Nuclear Deal this month? I don't know but I'm glad that the world seems to be watching.

New Year's Day

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky
"You regret 100% of the New Year's Eve shots you take on New Year's Day." Chris Lynch

New Year's Day Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Note to future self - never bet week 17 NFL games again. And also never, ever bet on or against the Ravens. They find a way to screw me every time... Interesting look at how Canada's foreign policy had a horrible year. Horrible year... Has to be noted that Baltimore has not made the playoffs since Deflategate. The karma is very real... This is true... My New Year's resolution is if I see anyone driving a new luxury car with a big red bow - I'm going to do my best to run that car off the road... USA! USA! USA!... Today is Elin Nordegren's 38th birthday. I'm there for you Elin if you need any comforting. I'm there for you baby!...