Friday, November 30, 2018

Georgia on My Mind - Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton

What a great version of a great song.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

As we enter the Christmas season a gentle reminder - if you play The Christmas Shoes on the jukebox I should be allowed to throw darts at you. No exceptions!... In America the government DOES NOT exist to make us equal but to treat us equally. Any government agency or policy that treats citizens unequally is un-American... Muscular Church would be a good name for a Christian rock band... Heh heh - awesome!... "Coming of Age" stories are a little too spot on if you just reverse the order of those three words... Also as a reminder as we enter the Christmas season - we don't say the word "Hark!" enough these days. Who wouldn't like hearing someone calling attention to something important by exclaiming "Hark!" Or maybe it's just me...

Player Comparison

Here's a player comparison I've been thinking about.

Player A - 1988 G/ 1355 R/ 383 HR/ 1311 RBI/ .313 BA/ .400 OBP/ .965 OPS
Player B - 2439 G/ 1513 R/ 118 HR/ 1013 RBI/ .328 BA/ .415 OBP/ .858 OPS

Both players have impressive numbers - though Player B had 451 more games in which to compile stats. But here's the numbers I was really curious about:

Player A - .278 BA/  .370 OBP/ .495 SLG/ .865 OPS
Player B - .302  BA/ .387 .OBP/ .395 SLG/ .781 OPS

Those are the career road numbers for the two players. You can see a big drop off for both players but Player B basically becomes a slap singles player on the road.

Player A - .348 BA/ .431 OBP/ .637 SLG/ 1.068 OPS
Player B - .354 BA/ .443 OBP/ .491 SLG/ .934 OPS

Those are the home numbers for both players. It should be noted that Player A won an MVP and was a 7 time Gold Glove winner. At home his numbers were almost Ruthian but ironically it was largely his home numbers which played against him when it came time for Hall of Fame voting. Player A was Larry Walker who played the bulk of his career home games at Coors Field. Player B was Wade Boggs who I still say would not be a Hall of Fame player if A - he didn't stick around just to get his 3,000 hits (3,010) or B - didn't play the bulk of his career home games at Fenway Park.

And yes I have a serious dislike for Wade Boggs.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Rick Middleton

The Bruins are retiring Rick Middleton's number 16 tonight at the TD Garden.

It is a well-deserved, overdue honor for Nifty. He finished his 12-year career with 448 goals and 988 points. Both marks are easily in the top 100 all-time in NHL history.

For the Bruins Middleton is 3rd in all-time goals and 6th in all-time assists which makes him 4th on Boston's all-time points leader board.

Thanks for the memories Nifty. You were one of my favorite players growing up.

Linky Links

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

- NASA's Lucy Mission scheduled to launch in October 2021 to explore the Jupiter Trojan steroids looks fascinating.

- Skydiving instructor who died in tandem jump took his own life police say. What a strange story. I have to wonder since it was a tandem jump if the person the instructor was jumping with was just so obnoxious that dropping to his death seemed like the best choice at the time? I know I'm an awful person for thinking that (but now you're wondering that too!)

- Looks like I won't be buying any headphones from Sennheiser. Not worth the security risk.

- Heh heh - dad photoshops daughter in dangerous situations to freak out relatives. I might be a bad dad because I might have done a couple of those in real life.

- Wow - NASCAR viewership has fallen off a cliff. Thanks Obama!

- Well I guess Peter Dinklage should be the next Fed Chair then

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Justin Beiber made a Christmas album - I'd give it as a gift to people I hate... Murphy Brown reboot cancelled after historically low ratings. Who could have seen this coming?... Confession: I have never seen the movie A Christmas Story. Have no plans to see it this year either... "A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer" - Novalis... Not sure if this was just a Massachusetts saying but when I was a kid "book it" meant to run away as in, "the cops are here - book it!" Because kids in Mass naturally run away from books maybe?... Heh Heh... Speaking of Massachusetts things - I think Hollywood should remake a bunch of John Wayne movies but with a Mike Dukakis look-alike in the lead. I would definitely pay to see The Quiet Dukakis or She Wore a Yellow Dukakis... 


Who knew? Muggletonians and Muggletonianism were a real thing. And had nothing to do with the "Muggles" of the Harry Potter wizarding world.

In 1651 two London tailors announced that they were the last prophets foretold in the Book of Revelation. And a new Protestant sect was born.

Even though it was John Reeve who believed he received the "word of God" - the movement was named after his cousin Lodowicke Muggleton (pictured left) who joined Reeve in spreading their new Gospel.

If the movement was named after John Reeve I guess his followers would have been known as "Reevers' and would have put my modern mind to thinking of the "Reavers" of the Firefly universe. Whereas Muggletonians really do put your mind to Harry Potter.

Not for nothing but the tenets of Muggletonianism seem pretty reasonable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Straight Lines - Silverchair

Not much into pop but just felt like hearing this song.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In an effort to help explain local customs let me start by saying a man blowing his nose into his napkin is the universal non-verbal signal to the waitress that he is done with dinner and that the waitress may now clear his plate in New England... OK this was funny... If I owned an NFL or MLB team with a losing record I would put myself on the roster as the the third punter or seventh outfielder because why not? I don't think there's an actual rule against it. I'd pay myself millions too!... But this was even funnier... One of the great put-downs of all-time was by Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast where he described writer Wyndham Lewis as having "the eyes of an unsuccessful rapist"... I have to agree with James Woods here. People who consistently go after Melania Trump say more about themselves than about the First Lady... If I wrote for SNL I'd do a sketch about the Ginger Network which would be a regular TV network but on which all the actors had red hair. You could have Ginger DiNero and Ginger Pacino doing the coffee scene from Heat. You could have Ginger Jimmy Stewart doing a scene from It's a Wonderful Life. Comedians doing impressions of actors while wearing red wigs - simple but still funny (at least to me),,,

The Cliff


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Is that really the sound it makes? Awesome!

- All humans are descended from just two people. Scientists damn well better name those two Adam and Eve!

- Well this made me feel stupid. Jordan Peterson's list of his top 51 literature books. I've only read 14.

- Gross - half the DNA on the NYC subway matches no known organism

- Mitt Romney was right about the GM bailouts

- Very cool!

- Heh Heh

This Week in Musk World

The week started with Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining that Elon Musk is the most important person in tech. More important than Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. While I don't necessarily disagree with Neil - doesn't it seem like he's always "explaining" things? Part of me is bugged by the idea of Neil deGrasse Tyson hogging the science spotlight that rightfully should go to some Nobel Prize winning physicist or you know someone who has actually accomplished something. You know - someone like Elon Musk.

Later in the week Elon tweeted out this list of every all-electric car available in the US. You wonder if he was honestly trying to be helpful or so cocky that he's actually saying "Here I'll save you some time - here's all the electric cars you can buy but Tesla is the best." I think it was probably a little bit of both.

And speaking of Tesla competitors, ex-GM Vice-Chair blasts Tesla, saying saying supporters "like members of religious cult."  The Motley Fool points out that GM's latest moves might be part of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe that guy is an "ex" GM Vice-Chair because he didn't join the cult?

Meanwhile Bloomberg asks Did Elon Musk forget about Buffalo? The article is referencing the so-called GigaFactory 2 solar panel facility which received $750 million in NY State aid (before Tesla bought Solar City). One line from the article confused me. "It's a complete hoo-ha," says John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany. Wait isn't this a complement? In my world hoo-ha's are beautiful, beautiful things. 

Lastly the Wall Street Journal reports that Tesla is the hot spot for young job seekers. First you get the job, then you get the money, then you get the hoo-ha!

Heh Heh

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ricky Jay

The great Ricky Jay has passed away.

No offense to Penn & Teller but Ricky Jay was my favorite magician. If you watch the documentary about him Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay you'll understand why.

Besides Penn & Teller did not have a recurring role on one of my favorite shows like Ricky Jay did on Deadwood as Eddie Sawyer.

RIP Ricky.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Goatex greatly reduces the urge to have sex with goats. "I don't even think about goats anymore." Lay Liotta celebrity spokesman... Trying to figure out if selling these in a hospital gift shop would be funny or cruel... "Do away with all fancies. Cease to be passions puppet. Limit time to the present. Learn to recognize every experience for what it is, whether it be your own or another's." Marcus Aurelius (as an aside Passions Puppets would be a good name for a band)... No matter what anyone says - it really is the best time ever to be alive (especially if you live in the US)... I'm all for small businesses but what sort of Main Street regular barber takes American Express?... Heh Heh... Passions Puppets would also be a good name for a sex doll brothel...

Thinking Clearly

Via the post 5 Pointers on How to Think Clearly

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Linky Links

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

- I agree - Clay Matthews should be in the football Hall of Fame

- 5 elements of effective thinking

- It always bugged me that Greenland looked twice the size of Australia on those globes we had growing up

- Frank Sinatra Has a Cold - one of the great examples of magazine writing ever.

- The only thing that makes me skeptical about this is the fact there was a video camera ready to capture the moment

- ESPN lost 2 million subscribers in 2018

- In case anyone was wondering what I'd like for Christmas - one of these would do very nicely

2019 Hall of Fame Ballot

Picking 10 names from that list is difficult. I'd break my choices into two categories; "No Doubt" and "Had to Think About It but Yes."

Here's my picks:

No Doubts:

Mariano Rivera, Fred McGriff (long been a supporter of the Crime Dog), Curt Schilling, and Larry Walker (people forget how crazy good he was)

Had to Think About It But Yes:

Roy Halladay (sentiment will make his selection easier but is his case actually better than Curt Schilling's?), Mike Mussina (but only after Schilling gets in - Schilling was the better pitcher who is now being punished for being a crazy uncle), Omar Vizquel (guy had 11 Gold Gloves and was every bit the fielder as Ozzie Smith).

That's only 7 choices but that's all I'd feel comfortable with.

As far as steroids guys like Bonds and Clemens - my view is these guys did steroids to get paid which they did handsomely. They knowingly sacrificed their chances to make the Hall for the opportunity to make millions with big contracts. That's the choice they made and they got paid. And now that's all they should get.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees

Haven't heard this song is quite some time.

Linky Lnks

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

- Geothermal heat source seems to be melting Antarctica from below.

- Heh Heh

- Lockheed Martin has started building NASA's X-59 experimental supersonic jet. Cool but why is NASA in the jet business? Isn't their purview space? Is this jet to be part of the new Space Force?

- The 70's were such a more sophisticated time

- This is such a good story. Now do a follow-up on the cadet who gave Bush a chest bump upon graduation.

- Heh Heh

- Started with Antarctic ice - let's end with Arctic ice. And for the record I am not a climate change denier. I am just not a fan of bad or incomplete science.

Amazon's H2Q Situation

There's a lot to be said about the process Amazon used to select its so-called H2Q location(s). Amazon ended up choosing Arlington, Virginia (aka Crystal City right next to DC) and New York City.

In no way do I blame Amazon for this very public playing of one State vs another to get the best deal. Big companies have been doing this forever. And it worked for Amazon.

Cities and States made very significant offers trying to lure Amazon to their locales. Some of these offers are now being criticized. Others are poking fun at them - I mean how can you not laugh at NY Governor Andrew Cuomo when he publicly admits, "It's not a level playing field to begin with. All things being equal, if we do nothing, they're going to Texas." Hey Gov how about lowering business taxes to make your state more attractive to business as a general rule? And aren't you the same guy passing out tax cuts to Amazon who wants to sue Trump because of his tax cuts?

And Columbus Ohio offered to create a task force to prevent an "unacceptable murder rate" if only Amazon would deign to select their fine city. Hey Columbus - how about creating that task force anyway. And just what murder rate do you find "acceptable"? 

Some local politicians are criticizing the NY deal because the land Amazon will now use was supposed to go towards affordable housing.

Cynically I think Crystal City was chosen because its proximity to Washington, DC gives Jeff Bezos a base from which to protest any government action he views as not being in the best interest of Amazon. Bezos may organize mobs the way Cinna did in ancient Rome to get what he wants. And who's to blame him the way the Democrats have been turning a blind eye to "their" mobs?

This story is not over and it will be interesting to see how the rest plays out.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Linky Links

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

- On needing to find something to worry about. I'm not a worrier by nature but I understand this can be a real issue for many.

- Amazon bids on Disney's 22 regional sports networks including the YES Network. This will be a very interesting story to watch unfold.

- 34-years ago today!

- On this day in 1963

- This Farnam Street podcast with Naval Ravikant is worth re-listening to every once and a while.

- Interesting - Universal Quantum Phenomenon found in Strange Metals

- Is there an Alzheimer's vaccine on the horizon?

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Went to a cigar bar last night for a post meal smoke and to watch some football. After just a few minutes I heard them playing Dick in a Box over the speakers. Even at a cigar bar you can't get away from the Christmas music...  Clinton Foundation "donations" down 90%. On positive note - at least this makes it easier for authorities to identify the 10% who are using the Clinton Foundation to launder money... Thanksgiving in Philadelphia... "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein... Heh Heh... Free business idea: T-shirts that say "Got Fists?" on the front with an NHL team's logo. On the back a picture of that team's best fighter with the gloves dropped... How long can people live?...

Very Cool

When you put these British coins together - they form a shield. Via

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Thanksgiving Toast to the Old Breed

Victor Davis Hanson's A Thanksgiving Toast to the Old Breed is worth your time on this Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful for our vets and our military servicemen and women. 

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues

It being Thanksgiving the radio stations will now turn to playing Christmas music. For my money Fairytale of New York is the best Christmas song ever made.

Bar none.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Great Thanksgiving Story

My favorite Thanksgiving story comes from Gabe Kaplan (of Welcome Back Kotter fame). 

When Gabe was a kid – his older sister was embarrassed about becoming a young woman. She used to have the young Kaplan go into the drug store to buy her Sanitary Napkins. Gabe was curious and asked his sister just what these things were. 

“Oh, they’re special occasion napkins,” she would reply. 

This explanation was enough for Kaplan and he didn’t give it another thought. 

Then one Thanksgiving morning – young Gabe was left alone at home while his parents and older sister drove to the airport to pick up his uncle. Gabe was left with the job of setting the table for Thanksgiving. Then it occurred to him, “what could be more of a special occasion than Thanksgiving?” 

Needless to say – his parents were confused, his sister was very embarrassed but his uncle couldn’t stop laughing when they came home and saw the creative way young Gabe had set the table for Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Top 5 - Best Third Basemen All-Time

Adrian Beltre has announced his retirement. In my mind he's a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. Anyone who votes against him is ignorant to where Beltre stands in regards to the All-Time greats who have played third. Here's my list of the Top 5 All-Time Third Basemen:

1. Mike Schmidt - averaged 37 HR, 107 RBI and 101 runs scored in his career. The 12-time All-Star finished his career with 548 HR, 3 League MVP's and 10 Gold Gloves. The best all-around third baseman in history.

2. George Brett - averaged 19 HR, 96 RBI and 95 runs scored plus a career .305 batting average. Brett was also a 12-time All-Star and he won the 1980 AL MVP.

3. Adrian Beltre - averaged 26 HR, 94 RBI and 84 runs scored. Finished his career with 3,166 hits and 5 Gold Gloves.

4. Brooks Robinson - averaged 15 HR, 76 RBI and 69 runs scored. He was a 15-time All-Star and won an incredible 16 Gold Gloves. He was the 1964 AL MVP and the 1970 World Series MVP

5. Eddie Mathews - averaged 35 HR, 98 RBI and 102 runs scored. Hit 512 HR back when 500 HR really meant something.

If you wanted to switch the order around after Mike Schmidt - I wouldn't argue too much but this is the way I view the list.

Jason Stark had this nugget about Beltre - he's the only player other than Willie Mays to have at least 3,166 hits, 477 HR, an .819 OPS and 5 Gold Gloves. Mays and Beltre - that's it!  First ballot Hall of Famer!

Heh Heh


Linky Links

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

- Good stuff - rules for writers

- But wasn't curling invented as an excuse to drink?

- Interesting - the Trump Administration has saved Americans $26 billion on prescription drugs through increased competition fueled by the approval of 1,617 new generic drugs

- Another of the great pranks in college sports history

- Tom E. Curran with a sobering look at where the Patriots will find themselves next season

- Hawaii's Mars simulations are turning into moon missions. There is a very real race for the moon going on.

- Northern Exposure reboot in the works at CBS. Cool but how about releasing the original episodes on Netflix or something first?

Gunga Galunga

The flowing robes, the Grace, bald, the Boston Bruins hat... striking! Big hitter the Lama.

Love this photo.

Go Bruins!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Boxer - Alison Krauss and Shawn Colvin

Never knew this cover existed. Hat tip to Mitigating Chaos

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I've long said that Condoleezza Rice would make an excellent NFL Commissioner (a big improvement on joke currently holding the office)... The Kansas City Chiefs last night (as played by Glenn Close)... One of the biggest political / football "what ifs" of history is if there was no World War II there was a good chance that Dwight Eisenhower would have been made the head football coach at West Point... An update on NASA's Mars InSight lander (which is due to land on the red planet next week)... I wonder if Jeff Fisher sat at home last night thinking to himself, "There's no way one of my defenses would give up that many points!"... True US history - in the early 1900's there was a prostitute in Chicago named Suzy Poon Tang. She was so good in bed that her name became slang for - well you know... "We live two lives. The second one begins when we realize we only have one life to live." - Steven Sotloff...

Linky Links

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

- This letter is awesome - be sure to read until the end

- Mother Jones - A century of fire suppression is why California is in flames (and this was written a year ago!)

- Trump's sanctions are crushing Iran's job market and potentially destabilizing the regime. Keep the pressure on! That's what you deserve when your biggest export is terrorism.

- Awesome - farting controversy "clouds" dart championship. Let he who hasn't cropdusted while playing Cricket cast the first stone.

- Why you should always take the high road

- Interesting - Lebron James specifically asked Cleveland not to trade Kyrie Irving and especially not to the Celtics

- Outstanding!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Thank You

Cultural Offering kindly listed A Large Regular among 25 Blogs Guaranteed to Make You Smarter. Thank you for that honor.

It's really a list of 26 Blogs Guaranteed to Make You Smarter because Cultural Offering should also be included in any such list.

Only a couple of blogs listed that I follow regularly which means I know what I'll be perusing over the normally slow holiday week.

This Week in Musk World

Mostly good news in Musk World this week.

The SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is certified to launch NASA's top missions. Practically this means the Falcon 9 can now compete with ULA's Atlas V for NASA's big launches. Up next for certification - the Falcon Heavy. It should be noted that both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy will be much more cost effective for NASA. With that in mind it will be interesting to watch the politics involved here as the Atlas V is a joint venture of the very politically connected Boeing and Lockheed Martin companies.

Tesla shows off the Model 3 in Japan for the first time. Foreign markets being added and production profitable for the first time seems to indicate blue skies ahead for Tesla.

CNBC takes an "exclusive" look inside Telsa's Gigafactory where the Tesla batteries are made.

Perhaps the big news of the week is the Boring Company finished the LA/Hawthorne tunnel. At the LA end of the tunnel will be a watchtower and Elon Musk would like to hire a knight with a French accent to guard the watchtower and maybe taunt you a second time. I hope that really happens!

The Gettysburg Address

155-years ago today.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The universe has been cooling since the Big Bang. So wouldn't Global Warming be viewed as a sort of anti-aging? Who's against anti-aging?... Heh Heh... Has an American President ever attended an NHL game? Off the top of my head I can't recall it ever happening... Adele should do a cover of the Bee Gees' To Love Somebody - that would be awesome!... Has the show Murphy Brown been cancelled yet? Is anyone watching that show?... 7 of the most bizarre ways to die... Unpopular opinion: John Ford's The Quiet Man was a better movie than Orson Welles' Citizen Kane....

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Linky Links

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

- "Too short" Tom Cruise to be replaced in Jack Reacher reboot. Jack Reacher is 6'5" and a beast in the books but I think if Cruise agreed to do a third film Lee Child would cash that check in a heartbeat.

- Giant meteorite creator bigger than Paris found under Greenland's ice sheet. Randall Carlson proven correct!

- Kevin Durant to the Celtics? Actually I believe I had that "hot take" first.

- Cool - how to make 40 different paper airplanes

- Heh Heh

- Iowa Nation Guard soldiers told to return overpaid wages. The soldiers did nothing wrong and if I were a billionaire I would just write a check to cover all of these funds. Isn't there some billionaire from Iowa willing to step up?

- This is the best college prank of all-time

William Goldman

American master William Goldman has passed away at age 87. There was simply none better. His writing touched so many in so many ways.

I have no idea how many times I've personally seen The Princess Bride. It's simply beyond count. To let you know how much my family loved that movie and how much Goldman's writing permeated our lives, whenever I dropped my kids off at school I would say goodbye by saying, "Have fun storming the castle."

Every time.

In his tributes the movies All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid usually get the spotlight.  Mostly because journalists are writing these tributes and obviously All the President's Men is their industry holy grail. And Goldman won an Oscar for Butch Cassidy (as he also did for All the President's Men).

For me, the movie other than Princess Bride from Goldman that has been part of the fabric of my life is Marathon Man. Interestingly enough Goldman wrote both the books and screenplays for those two movies.

In Marathon Man it takes a master to turn an innocent question of "Is it safe?' into an object of terror. Perhaps Dustin Hoffman's best work with an unforgettable performance by Sir Laurence Olivier as the Nazi Christian Szell. Let's not forget excellent supporting performances by Roy Scheider and William Devane.

Pain is one of the main plot devices in both The Princess Bride (the pain machine and the awesome "to the pain" speech) and also obviously in Marathon Man's  "Is it safe?" scene.  Goldman is also well known for the quote, "Life is pain, anyone who says differently is selling something." I like to think this understanding of true pain came from Goldman being a "long-suffering" New York Knicks fan. I think that James Dolan could believably be listed as Goldman's cause of death by an honest coroner.

One last thing - Goldman did not write Lord of the Flies. That was William Golding. Common mistake.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Hover bikes (flying motorcycles) are here but they're basically just really expensive ($150,000) toys.

- Trump with no hair and a beard reminds me of this other famous businessman - Obadiah Stane from the first Iron Man movie.

- Governor Brown blames global warming for the California fires but if he's a big believer in Climate Change why did he slash the fire protection and emergency management budgets?

- And speaking of Climate Change - widely reported alarming ocean warming study is wrong

- Good life advice from Tim Ferris' Tribe of Mentors. Reminds me of the stories of people who stop at every roadside marker/memorial on a roadtrip and how much more they get out of the journey.

- If this was an AMC Gremlin I might think of putting in a bid

- Guitarist Roy Clark has passed at age 85. He may be best known as a country guitarist or as co-host of Hee-Haw but Roy Clark (along with Glenn Campbell) was one of the best guitarists of the past century - bar none.

Creepy Porn Lawyer Arrested for Domestic Violence

"Creepy Porn Lawyer" Michael Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Proving karma is real - and so is humor.

The photo to the left is actually from his firm's website. So was this one.

Both have been since taken down I believe.

This is my favorite (so far).

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Original Nutty Buddy

An actual product from days gone past. I wonder if they still sell them? Would make great gag gifts for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ideas that Can Change Your Life

Shane Parrish had a recent thread on Twitter that simply said,"Name one idea that has changed your life." There was a lot of gold in the responses. Some of my favorites (other than some of the Farnum Street ones I may have already linked to in the past):

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." - Anne Dillard

"If it takes 2 minutes or less do it now. Don't put it off."

"Money's only value is how it allows you to spend your time."

"You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do." - David Foster Wallace

"Our expectations and our fears of our future selves are self fulfilling." (AKA "He who says he can and he who says he can't are both right.")

"Easy choices hard life, hard choices easy life." - Jerzy Gregory

One of my favorites in life was not on the list; "It doesn't count unless you do it." - Doug Stanhope. I always hear this in my head when someone says something like, "I was thinking about doing X" or "Doing Y would be a great idea."

Who Did It Better?

Charlie Chaplin in the "original" meme.

Or Stan Lee co-created Mister Fantastic in the updated version?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Interesting profile in the NYT of Shane Parrish and his Farnham Street blog. Forget how I found Shane's blog and podcast but I'm really glad I did.

- Jocko Willink's Veteran's Day message. Should be must reading for everyone.

- Good look at the year Drew Brees is having and how it could change how people look at his legacy.

- Speaking of Shane Parrish - the surprising power of the long game.

- Heh Heh

- 10 amazing facts about Stan Lee

- Speaking of Stan Lee - I think this photo sums up how many of us felt at the news of passing

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Boston sports primer - people who complain about Tuukka Rask taking time off for personal reasons are not Bruins fans, people who complain about Al Horford's contract or play are not Celtics fans, people who bitch about losing to the Titans Sunday are not true Patriots fans and finally people who sing Sweet Caroline at Red Sox games molest collies... Interesting - A bubbling pool of mud is on the move and nobody knows why. Also Bubbling Pool of Mud would be a good name for a Primus cover band or a euphemism for a loose bowel movement... And speaking of bowel movements - sorry but the Chic-fil-A "tonight is nugget night" promotion sounds more like something Danny Thomas or John McAffee would tell their mistress than something geared to make me hungry... Love this photo... Words in a Cunning Order would be a good name for a blog or a publishing company... Don't find someone who looks at you the way Trump looks at the President of Morocco...

Stan Lee

American icon Stan Lee has passed away at age 95.

Interesting interview of Lee by Rolling Stone from a couple of years ago about the origins of the X-Men.

My daughter tells me that the Stan Lee cameos may continue after his death as he reportedly filmed several two years ago when his health was in question. I'm hoping that's true.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Elon Musk asked Tesla owners what they'd like to see improved/fixed and the responses were pretty interesting. (And no I don't own a Tesla.)

- The US had the largest decline in CO2 emissions in the world. Another example of how the Paris Accords were nothing but a sham.

- Good advice

- Eddie Rickenbacker (a personal hero of mine) on witnessing the end of World War I

- Heh Heh - love Rondo!

- Finally some common sense! The Union of Concerned Scientists becomes the first major environmental group to public support nuclear energy.

- Devastating - the carnage of World War I in two images

The week in Musk World

Busy week in Musk World with a series of comings and goings. The week started auspiciously with SpaceX's Starman, still seated in his Tesla Roadster, passing Mars.

Meanwhile on Earth, Elon Musk walked the distance of the Boring Company's tunnel under LA. The tunnel is scheduled to open December 10th. That should be fun.

And Robyn Denholm was named new Chair of the Tesla Board. Interesting to note that she has a telecommunications background.

That telecommunications background might come in handy to help Musk on Space X's Starlink satellite broadband project. Things aren't going so well there with Musk recently "allegedly" firing several top engineers working on the project.

Of all of Musk's "projects" I feel that the Starlink idea is the least feasible. And it seems I'm not alone in my skepticism.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veteran's Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an Armistice was signed to end the carnage of World War I. November 11th became Armistice Day cross much of the world but Wold War II caused the day to morph into Veteran's Day instead because what's the point in honoring an Armistice agreement that wasn't adhered to?

There is a point in honoring the Veterans who fought in both these wars and others or who have worn the uniform. Recently saw this description of what makes a "veteran":

"A 'Veteran' - whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve - is someone who, at one point at his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'the United States of America', for an amount up to and including his or her life."

The men and women who risk or who have given this "last full measure of devotion" are more than worthy of a Day in their honor.

By the way, that railway car used to sign the Armistice in 1918 was later used by Hitler as the venue chosen for the French to sign their surrender to the Nazi in World War II.

US - China Trade Relations

The White House has warned Wall Street executives to stay out of the US-China economic negotiations. I agree with the White House here because the "greed is good" ethic should not extend to enriching yourself or your firm at the expense of what is right for your country. Force the CEO's of these firms to have to register as "foreign agents" if any and I mean any of the firms underlings tries to engage in this sideline type negotiations.

Imagine how the average investor will react if a firm like say Goldman Sachs is constantly referred to as "Goldman Sachs a registered foreign agent of China". Make it so because in my mind when I hear about these executives engaging in these sorts of things all I can think of Ellis from Die Hard. And remember how "helpful" Ellis was in that movie.

The efforts to make China play by the rules isn't just limited to President Trump's tariff. The US, the EU and Japan are also submitting proposals to the World Trade Organization to curb China's "cheating" when it comes to trade.

Finally, the election results on Tuesday also seem to indicate that voters in general are in support of the Trump Administration's battle vs China when it comes to trade. Honestly though I think that support may be overblown for the simple reason that the average voter is either not paying much attention or doesn't care. If they support or oppose Trump their reasons for doing so are pretty much baked in by this point and don't rest on him trying to finally reign in the Chinese.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Happened 43-years ago today.

Linky Links

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

- It's near impossible to fully appreciate the good JJ Watt did in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey but this Yahoo! article is a good start.

- This thread is awesome. The story has such a great punchline that I literally "laughed out loud" and the comments are just as good.

- And speaking of awesome (in the literal sense) - the Grand Canyon

- Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) was 80-years ago this week.

- I love Ben Franklin

- This is a sad recognition of the state of things. Description of things that could be reports of today's news but 2200-years earlier. And a reminder - Kristallnacht was only 80-years ago.

- Ford may be "teetering" on the edge of a Junk Bond rating but I feel confident in the management and products of the company. I drive a Ford and I would recommend it to others.

Happy 243rd Marines

Today is the 243rd birthday for the United States Marine Corps.  In honor of the Marines - here's my favorite Ronald Reagan quote:
"Some people live their entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. Marines don't have that problem." -- January 1995

Friday, November 09, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

An underlying problem with today's media is they don't spend enough time telling people about heroes like Major Brent Russell Taylor and too much time on self-aggrandizing asshats like Jim Acosta... Heh Heh... This Steven Pressfield post on What Works and What Doesn't (when it comes to motivation for writing) reminds me of the quote from Annie Dillard - "How we sped our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"... There should be a unit of measure called "the Acosta" where every time Jim Acosta appears on air CNN loses .01 ratings points and for every five times CNN loses an advertiser... I think President Trump would win a lot of good will among GOP die-hards by offering an important posts to Scott Walker. Can you imagine the number of heads on the Left that would explode if he tried to make Walker Secretary of Education?...  Heh heh - speaking of open positions in the Administration... Conversely in a show of bipartisanship new House Speaker (assuming that happens) Nancy Pelosi should throw Hillary Clinton to the wolves over the email server investigation. I think this would secretly please many people on the Left who just want Hillary to go away and it would make Pelosi look evenhanded in any moves against Trump regarding the Mueller Investigation. Just saying... 

Theory of General Relativity

A little brain candy this morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Conspiracy Theories

Heh Heh - via

Political Prediction

If the nation is heading towards a new debt crisis as the very respected Ray Dalio has predicted - and if it happens in the next two years - then Donald Trump is almost guaranteed to be re-elected in 2020.

Now that the Democrats have re-taken the US House of Representatives and especially if Nancy Pelosi is made Speaker once again - if a debt crisis happens (no matter the cause) - the Democrats will take the brunt of the blame in people's minds.

"The economy was doing great until the 'crazies' took control of the House" will be the talking point of every Republican up for election in 2020. Correlation will absolutely equal causation in the political ads. And President Trump will once again echo "Jobs Not Mobs" as THE campaign slogan of 2020.

I'm certainly not rooting for a debt crisis. And I agree that to avoid this all the Democrats would have to do is not be crazy. But I'm a realist - thus the prediction. Donald Trump will be a two-term President. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Linky Links

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

- NASA's InSight Mars mission to test what's under the surface of the Red Planet

- Supreme Court declines to take on Net Neutrality challenges. And I'm honestly confused on how to feel about this.

- Wow - I want to try this to see if it works (but I'm not sure if I own a sewing needle and thread)

- New discovery sheds light on mystery of pyramids construction

Supplementation with spermidine could improve memory of adults at risk for Alzheimer's. But if Pharma companies want adult males to swallow this they are definitely going to have to come up with a better name.

- Deadwood movie is in production! And the gang's all back! But I do wonder what the plot will do with Gerald McRaney's character (have an idea but will keep it to myself).

- And speaking of Alzheimer's - AI detects Alzheimer's six years earlier

Flotsam and Jetsam - Election Results Edition

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder that none of our politicians are perfect. Even George Washington had his faults. He didn't like whiskey for one... I want to buy rolls of these stickers and wear one every day... If you raped Peter Pan could you also be charged with statutory? Or would it be elder abuse? Exactly how old is Peter Pan? Asking for a friend... I still think the word "orgasm" should be replaced  with the word "culminate"... From now on if someone tells me "You look familiar" - I am going to respond with "Ya you too. Were we in a police lineup together?" Just to see how that goes over... Heh Heh... Biological Puppets would be a good name for a band... I'm putting the words "Election Results" in this post just to see how many Google hits I get...

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

One Year Ago Today

Last year on this date the Red Sox announced Alex Cora as their new manager. And Cora made this "prediction":

"Every win we're going to celebrate... hopefully there's like a hundred and something... if we do that that means we're going to have a parade here in Boston." - Alex Cora November 6, 2017.

Give that man a new contract!

Link Links

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

- I wish this unicorn was on my ballot because he would have gotten my vote. (Can't believe how non-plussed the girls watching seem to be - I would have been going nuts!)

- Inigo's guide to networking success

- Your periodic reminder of how to get rich (without getting lucky)

- I wish there was someone on my ballot that I loved as much as the guy on the right loves his pint

- I would so love to try this!

- Well when you put it that way

- I completely agree with Bill Belichick on this. Anyone who knows anything about Belichick knows there's no coach in the NFL who respects the military more or whose actions prove that respect.

Elected - Alice Cooper

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on - this song has been playing in my head today.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Daylight Savings

OK time for my yearly screed. Daylight savings is stupid. And we should get rid of it. Can you think of anyone who is actually in favor of daylight savings? Me neither.

Why do we continue to put up with this stupidity? Oh and don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour tonight because we are all dumb monkeys.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Iran Sanctions

Looks like the Trump Administration will reinstate all sanctions against Iran - possibly as early as Monday.

And I say good! George W. Bush identified the Axis of Evil but only Trump seems to be doing something about both North Korea and Iran.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Suddenly NFL people are wondering if Nick Mullens is going to do to Jimmy G what Tom Brady did to Drew Bledsoe... Any time I see Newt Gingrich - I picture him as Santa's gay half-brother to see if it makes him more likable... 10 Commandments of Irish Pub Etiquette... Quote of the Day: "I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened." - Mark Twain... Heh Heh... Rental Soap would be a good name for a band (or a really bad business start-up idea)... When a bad guy with a gun meets a good guy in a cowboy hat...

Bob Feller

Hall of Famer Bob Feller would have turned 100-years old today. He won 266 games and struck out over 2,500 batters but that's not the impressive thing about this hero.

Just 2 days after Pearl Harbor Bob Feller volunteered for active duty in the Navy. He was the first professional athlete to do so. Ted Williams always said that it was Feller's patriotism that he always admired most about the man and Williams admiration of Feller was great. 

Rest in peace to a hero who did Cleveland and America proud..

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Podcast Recommendation

Really enjoy the back from the dead Jeselnik & Rosenthal Vanity Project podcast. This podcast is the rebirth of the old Rosenthal & Jeselnik Vanity Project which was cancelled by the NFL Network.

 I may be childish but the humor of this podcast is right up my alley. Don't expect much hard NFL news and especially don't expect predictions.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder - the Red Sox magic number is now 163... Ben Franklin's thirteen necessary virtues. Sound life advice then - sound life advice now... I still say that salad bars should be re-named "vegetable buffets"...  This is such an emotional photo... "The wide world is all around you: you can fence yourself in, but you cannot forever fence it out." - JRR Tolkien... Henry Miller's 11 commandments of writing... Halloween came and went last night as quietly and as uneventful as any Halloween in my life. I hardly even knew it was Halloween...