Thursday, January 31, 2019


A couple of Patriots nuggets.

It's not that the Patriots beat up on AFC East opponents (they did) it's that they've beaten up everyone.

Tom Brady's name appears 17-times in the Super Bowl record book.

Linky Links

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

- This story of Robert Mueller's past is chilling. Shameful!

- I admit I love this shirt! I'm going to have to buy one.

Navy's first female jet pilot dies at 65

- Interesting - Bill Simmon's Ringer made $15 million on podcast revenue last year

- Holy crap - the lure of the spider-tailed horned viper

- This 72-year old makes me feel guilty for not going to the gym

- Wow!


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

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Howard Schultz for President

First off let me say that I don't like Starbucks. I don't like their coffee (I'm a Dunkin Donuts guy). I don't like their pretentiousness. I don't like their food. I don't like their music. And I certainly don't like their trying for force their politics down my throat when all I want is some coffee.

All that said - I like the idea of Howard Schultz running for President as an Independent.

The Democrats don't like the idea. "Traitor" they squeal. "You're just going to divide the vote and give the election to Trump!" Some have estimated that Schultz could take 7 points from the Democrats (whatever that means).

I think the real fear is Schultz will force them to abandon their most Leftist of fantasies to run on a more centrist platform. He would be the Democratic white male successful businessman saying, "That's crazy!" or "Exactly how would you pay for that?" In short he'd be the adult in the room.

Boycott Starbucks many Democrats are calling out! Good luck with that. When it comes down to it if you force a choice between the Democratic Party and someone's daily grande caffe latte - well don't be surprised to find many urban voters start changing their party affiliation from "D" to "I". And if you picket and protest in front of their daily coffee fix - well don't be surprised if those folks never come back to the fold.

I like the idea of Howard Schultz running for President. Mostly for the entertainment value.

Linky Links

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

- Has science found the cause of Alzheimer's and how to stop it?

- This is so great!

- Can't believe how great the music synchs to this. And yes I am an awful person for laughing so hard.

- Central Planning vs Free Markets in one graph. Yet in the US we now have candidates arguing for government controlled planning of vast sectors of the economy? Plain stupidity!

- Interesting thought. Are the disabled better suited for space travel?

- I think this advice applies to people of any age

- This could be the end for the Mars Opportunity Rover. 15-years is a good lifetime for a rover.

My Walk Up Music

One of the more popular question is "If you played major league baseball what would be your walk-up music?" That's the music that's played before you come up to bat for the uninitiated.

I've always thought it would be great to have God Bless America by Kate Smith as my walk-up music just to mess with the crowd. I'd think it would be funny to see how many people reflexively stood up and removed their caps when it started to play.

For that very reason MLB would probably say, "No you can't have God Bless America as your walk-up music by Kate Smith or anyone else!"

If that was the case - I'd go with Carmina Burana. That would be pretty epic!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Climate Change

This is a very well done and fair video. I have just one problem. The author of the video treats some things that are now variables in the climate change equation as if they were historical constants going forward. The video states that the Sun is getting stronger and this increase in displayed as pretty much a straight line. However, the amount of solar and space radiation that will be getting into Earth's atmosphere will be changing due to the changing of Earth's magnetic poles (and therefore the Earth's magnetic field).

Scientists and climate change advocates should be well aware of these changes by now. Just from the past month:

- Business Insider has a good look at what could happen if the magnetic poles flip including a very informative video.

- Gizmodo - models can't keep up with migrating magnetic North Pole.

- Shifting North Magnetic Pole is affecting everything from cell phones to submarines. (Everything it seems except climate change models.)

- Earth's magnetic field is acting up and geologists don't know why.

Our magnetic fields keep out harmful space radiation but our magnetic fields are weakening while the magnetic poles change. How will this effect the climate? Is there anything humans can do to try to minimize potential harm? Those are the real questions

Try to address the evidence. And try not to be condescending when you do it.

Linky Links

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

- John McAfee is most likely insane - probably criminally insane.

- I think we should 100% support Venezuela's Juan Guaido. Also think most of our energy should be placed in keeping nations like Russia from meddling.

- Speaking of Venezuela - they are the least free economy in the world.

- Heh heh

- Once Venezuela was one of the largest oil producers in the world. Now they are behind North Dakota.

- First paralyzed human treated with stem cells has now regained upper body movement.

- This is 100% why I get out of bed in the morning

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 not steeped in religious theology the Diet of Worms probably sounds more like the title of a Stephen King short story.

Or a very unappealing version of the carnivore diet.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Go Pats!

One week to go until kick-off! Go Pats!

A reminder that Roger Goodell was spotted at the AFC Championship game.

This Week in Musk World

This week in Musk World.

SpaceX hot-fires Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon aboard prior to first orbital launch. Manned orbital missions are getting closer and closer. In other SpaceX news - Elon Musk explains Starship's stainless steel look. There are many thermal property and cost related benefits in going with steel. Not mentioned is how wicked awesome stainless steel looks on a rocket.

Interesting - is Tesla the next great marijuana stock? Their Powerwall could be a boon to growers.

Sentry Mode coming for Telsa cars with Enhanced Autopilot. An ingenious way to utilize the built-in cameras for a 360-degree look at your vehicle while you are away. Cool - Tesla's Sentry Mode will even play Toccata and Fugue in D Minor to ward off would be car thiefs. Kind of amusing that we are the point of talking about these sort of fun enhancements instead of the very survival of the company. Telsa certainly has come a long way.

And finally a Public Service reminder - you don't put gas into a Tesla.

A Little Epiphany

This morning over my first cup of coffee I had a little epiphany. I realized that growing up I was a bigoted "left side of the church guy."

Main Street in Worcester runs North and South. The Church I attended growing up, Saint Peter's, was on Main St. "South" (which was also the name for the general section of the city I grew up in - Main South).

There were three doors to the church in the front and doors on either side. Me, my family and I realized this morning pretty much everyone who lived on the west side of Main Street - meaning the Clark University towards Park Ave neighborhoods - not West Side (capitalized meaning the Tatnuck section of Worcester) - we all used the left side front entrance of the church and sat in pews on the left side of the church. If we ever entered through the middle door in front of the church - we generally made our way over to the left side entrance to the church nave or sat on the left side of the center aisle. I can't recall ever entering the church through the right side front door.

The right side of the church? Well that was for the people who lived on the east side of Main Street (not to be confused with Worcester's East Side which is generally considered to be the Shrewsbury St. section of the city). I'm talking about people who live on Kilby St., Gardner St., and Crystal Park. Those neighborhoods. Those people.

The people from Clifton, Florence, and Dewey Streets - well we consciously or unconsciously self-segregated ourselves from those people. We sat on the left side of the church because we looked down on the people who sat on the right side. We lived on the "right" side of Main Street. The "good" side of Main Street. And we stuck together.

It took me 40-years to suddenly come to this realization.

Sure I knew some of the people and families who sat on the right side of the church. I even dated a girl from Crystal Park. But to be honest I think I always felt the people on my side of the church were superior.

Now I wonder how much different and richer my life could have been if I just sat on the right side of the church every once and a while. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if any of the Las Vegas sportsbooks will have a prop bet on whether Julian Edelman throws a pass in the Super Bowl? I'd throw a few dollars on "Yes" - just a hunch...  "Sin" originally meant "to miss the mark". Ask yourself what are you aiming for with your life? What is the mark you wish to hit? Maybe the real "sin" in the modern sense is aiming too low with your life... Someone should make a video of the accomplishments of the first 2-years of the Trump Administration with photos of President Trump set to the music of Carmina Burana. You would definitely get people watching two separate movies as Scott Adams likes to say... A "quantum leap" in general vernacular is used to denote a huge jump forward but shouldn't it be used to denote a tiny change instead? The quantum world itself is beyond microscopic... I'm a little surprised that Ed O'Neill is not in the cast of the new Deadwood movie. O'Neill was the original choice to play Swearengen and David Milch loved working with him on John from Cincinnati. Maybe O'Neill was unavailable?...  Cool - the library from Castlevania does exist. I've never seen Castlevania but I do love me some libraries... My name is Chris and I drink way too much during football season. Hi Chris!...

Curt Schilling and the Hall of Fame

This past week four new members were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Roy Halliday and Mike Mussina.

Not making the cut was Curt Schilling who garnered 60.9% of the vote (75% is needed for induction). What bothers me is I truly believe Schilling was kept out of the Hall because of his politics and his personality.

Now don't get me wrong - I think Schilling can be a real horse's ass but this isn't supposed to be a personality test. This is supposed to be an honor earned for on the field performance and I believe Schilling earned that honor for his deeds in both in the regular and in the post seasons.

Schilling is one of only 16 players in MLB history to have over 3,000 strikeouts. Of the pitchers in the 3,000 K Club - all of them are in the Hall of Fame. Except Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens who is being black balled for another reason *cough*steroids*cough*. Membership in the 3,000 K Club normally equals induction but not for Schilling. Why? Because some writers don't like his politics.

In terms of playoff performance - he was one of the best when it came to the biggest games. Schilling went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 12 post season series. In winning 3 World Series titles - Schilling was named co-MVP in one and had the legendary "bloody sock" postseason heroics in another. (For comparison sake - Mike Mussina went 7-8 with a 3.42 ERA in his postseason pitching opportunities.)

Schilling had three 20-win seasons. He went 22-6 in 2001 and 23-7 in 2002 for Arizona. Both of those seasons he finished 2nd in Cy Young voting to teammate and future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson who went a combined 45-11 with 706 strikeouts in those two seasons. In 2004 Schilling went 21-6 for the Red Sox but again finished 2nd in Cy Young voting. That year Johan Santana also went 21-6 for the Twins but had a better ERA and more K's than Schilling. You have to wonder if Schilling had won just one Cy Young award if it would have been too hard for voters to justify excluding him.

I've made the argument that Schilling's three 2nd place seasons were better than the three seasons that won Jim Palmer his Cy Young awards.

People have argued that Schilling is "trending" towards induction next year. But that doesn't give the people who voted against him simply because they don't like his politics or personality a pass. Besides what if politics gets even more divisive in 2019? Seems like that's going to be the case. More reason for these self-righteous voters to double-down on not voting for Schilling.

It isn't fair. It isn't right. It it casts shame not on Schilling but on the baseball writers who vote and on the the Baseball Hall of Fame itself.

Top 5 - Paul Newman Movies

Today would have been Paul Newman's 94th birthday. Here's my 5 favorite Paul Newman movies - not saying there's his best just MY favorites.

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

Just missing the list was The Hustler.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Gas Prices

James Woods posted this picture of gas prices in California 10-days ago. Today I got gas in Maine and it cost me $2.14 a gallon for regular. What are the people in California getting for that extra $2.86 per gallon they are paying for regular? Anything?

If the government of any New England state tried to raise the price to $5 per gallon there would be an immediate tax revolt.

And if they were successful in raising it to $5 - the economy of that state would immediately implode as family budgets were thrown out of whack and people packed up and moved.

$5 per gallon for gas? That's insane.

Linky Links

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

- Churchill in Hitler's bunker. (Via)

- Scientists say "Planet Nine" can't hide much longer. The hypothetical planet is supposed to be 10-times the mass of Earth and 50-times further from the Sun than Pluto

- This is the best

- Cool - a way to remember deep time

- Europe wants to mine the moon by 2025. There is a new space race going on.

- Interesting Michael Caine interview. Seems I've read many of those answers before though.

- A poker playing robot goes to work for the Pentagon

Is Most Published Research Wrong?

I am becoming so much more cynical about all I read or hear. And can you blame me?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

John Belushi

John Belushi would have turned 70-years old today.

My heart thinks of what might have been. Though my brain says there's no way he would have made it to 70.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Do you think Jeff Fisher is really rooting for the Rams in the Super Bowl? I'm guessing he's secretly rooting for the Patriots but would never publicly say so... Belichick the great (and this was from when he was going for 5 Super Bowls - now he's going for his 6th!)... Used Sushi would be a good name for a band... Ever see those World's Strongest Man competitions where they have huge men running 100-yard dashes carrying hundreds of pounds? Wouldn't one of those guys make a good short yardage running back in the NFL? Assuming they could pass the steroids drug testing (which granted is a big assumption)... Cool - Neil Gaiman reading Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven... Entropy and the Arrow of Time are two iron laws of physics and Tom Brady is proving to be the exception that proves the rule for both of them... You know those black lights that show how disgusting a hotel room could be when it comes to human "fluids"? Imagine back in the day if you could have ran a black light over the tux you rented for the prom or your wedding...

Great Advice


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Linky Links

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

- WTF? Runner found to be hitman after his GPS watch ties him to crime scene

- Peak Chinese? China's looming crisis: a shrinking population

- I am going to randomly throw the phrase, "clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!" in my conversations this week. Just for the hell of it.

- The world as 100 people over the past two centuries. We live in an age of abundance!

- Companies that regularly attend Davos under-perform the S&P 500 by a lot.  Go woke - go broke!

- China's economic growth last year was the slowest in 28-years. They are probably going to have to make a major trade deal with the US relatively soon.

- And speaking of China - looks like the most dangerous job in the world is to be a billionaire in China. One has been dying on average every 40 days.  Kinda scary!

The Map of Physics

I've become fascinated by all aspects of physics. Including the history of physics.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


The quote to the left is from CS Lewis and I couldn't help but think it applied to BuzzFeed's discredited story that President Trump instructed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress on his behalf. The story was directly refuted by the Office of Robert Mueller.

I agree with this opinion that BuzzFeed's "overreach" (to be kind) forced Special Counsel Mueller's hand to say the Buzzfeed report wasn't true and in doing so probably foreshadows the Special Counsel not having anything of consequence against the President.

The name of the site is "BuzzFeed" so we really shouldn't be shocked that they peddle click-bait falsehoods. One gets the feeling that the name BuzzFeed was chosen only because "NewsChum" was already taken or didn't test as well with focus groups. All the same I'm ashamed of the fact that I've had a link to BuzzFeed on my blogroll.

Even though I haven't clicked that link in probably a year - I've removed it. I don't want to make myself into a devil by participating in these types of things. I want to do better.

And I'd appreciate it if the media did better too!

President Trump

I'm sure it feels like much longer but we just passed the 2-year midway mark of President Trump's first term (only term?) in office. It has only been two-years!

Victor Davis Hanson has a nice article on why Trump's chances at re-election are better than you might think. The key line in the article for me was:
Whether or not they like Trump, millions of voters still think the president is all that stands between them and socialism, radical cultural transformation, and social chaos.
Look at what the current Democratic Party is doing to alienate Jews and Catholics. Two groups that used to be the backbone of the Democratic Party of the 60's and 70's are now being painted as "hate groups." Those groups could easily vote Trump in the next election or equally important - they could stay home. Support among blacks and Hispanics for Trump is also increasing as the Democratic Party becomes more and more radical.

I think many believe as I do that a President Trump was and is way more preferable to a President Hillary Clinton. And the current group of Democratic candidates seems determined to make Clinton look like a John Bircher.

I have to agree with VDH - Trump's chances at re-election are much better than you might think.

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

Today marks an anniversary that I expect will receive 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, 46-years ago the new Democratic Party was also born. On that day, 46-years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v Wade decision which in effect decriminalized abortion and magically turned it from a medical procedure into a woman's right in the process. Since Roe v Wade the Democratic Party has never been the same. Where do you stand on abortion is the first and foremost question any candidate for any office is asked. The abortion party has also become the protest party. "Judge - you and you wife have kids - so you obviously are against having abortions - therefore we must protest you and we must do it naked while throwing pies." Make no mistake this new Democratic Party is about abortion first - every other issue is secondary - including the economy and national defense.

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

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

Monday, January 21, 2019

This Week in Musk World

Another busy week in Musk World.

Big news in that Tesla received permission to sell the Model 3 in Europe. Another big market but I still don't know what homologation really means. The Model 3 is one of the best selling cars in the US can you imagine the impact to the bottom line if the Model 3 also becomes one of the best selling cars in Europe?

Let's not forget the Model S which represented 37% of the large luxury cars sold in the US (see graph above). Will those cars also become status symbols in Europe? Even Cadillac now admits that Tesla is now the leader of that pack.

Status symbol may be what is required for the Tesla Model 3 or Model S to be successful in China where a glut of electric vehicle models and manufacturers supposedly exist.

Tesla's stock took a hit on Friday as Elon Musk announced a 7% reduction in workforce at Tesla. The layoffs are to cut costs and increase profits.

Tesla also continues to tease the Tesla Semi. The teases even include test drives for the lucky few.

Reminder - the Tesla customer referral program which gives a friend 6 months of free supersharging ends February 1st.

Linky Links

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

- Tony Mendez "Argo" spy who smuggled US hostages out of Iran during crisis, dies at 78.

- Governor Charlie Baker wants sports betting in Massachusetts. I want it too.

- Interesting - death is weirder than you think

- Conan O'Brien on the temporary nature of fame

- The massive mystery of Saturn's rings

- Identical twins get different results on DNA tests from 5 companies.

- Nice profile of Patriots defensive coach and the next had coach of the Miami Dolphins Brian Flores

Top 5 - People from History I'd Like to Play Pool With

Here's the Top 5 historical figures I'd like to play pool with:

1. Martin Luther King Jr. - ever since I've seen the photo of MLK shooting pool I've wondered what it would have been like to play with him.
2. Willie Mosconi - who wouldn't like to play with the greatest pool player of all-time? Just let me break every once in a while and I'd be happy
3. Jackie Gleason - The stories, the drinking and the laughs would be epic with the "Great One".
4. Paul Newman - just seemed like such a genuine guy
5. Joe Rogan - comedian, MMA analyst and podcaster. Also said to be a big-time pool enthusiast.

This is my list and it assumes people like Jesus, Benjamin Franklin and Einstein didn't play pool.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

AFC Championship Game

The Wikipedia entry to the left only seems like it's true. It has been 8-straight years that New England has been in the AFC Championship.

Fact checking some other myths surrounding the Patriots 18-year reign. Have a little issue with the last one - the "everyone thinks we suck" one. The negativity and hot takes from the local media (with some notable exceptions like Tom E. Curran and Mike Reiss) has been disheartening to the point that many people have simply stopped listening to the naysayers. The negativity from the Boston Globe towards the Patriots has been especially pronounced since Red Sox owner John Henry bought the paper. This negativity is hardly imagined.

The silent majority of Pats fan appreciate the unprecedented success and the greatness of Brady and Belichick.

Tom Brady has completely rewritten the post-season record book and it's not even close. In just Tom Brady's last 16 playoff games the Patriots are 12-4 and he's thrown for 5,284 yards with 32 TD's and 14 INT's. Keep in mind that these 16 games all came after Brady turned 35-years old! Interesting look at how Tom Brady keeps his competitive fire going.

Yesterday was also a pretty big anniversary in Boston sports history.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

AFC Championship Game

To the left is the cover of a 30-page special section of the Kansas City Star for tomorrow's AFC Championship game.

What are the people at the Star trying to say here? That Tom Brady is Thanos and his five Super Bowl rings are the five Infinity Stones? [Spoiler Alert!] Don't the people at the Star know that Thanos won? Are they saying Tom Brady is going to simply snap his fingers and make the Chiefs disappear?

Are they saying Patrick Mahomes is a woman? They know that Captain Marvel is a woman - right? NTTAWWT.

My hunch is the guy who did this artwork must be a Patriots fan. Troll level - awesome!

At least they didn't make any Endgame allusions. Because that's for the Super Bowl (which is of course the end game of the NFL season).

Do better KC Star. Do better!

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.

Friday, January 18, 2019

John Wick Chapter 3

Looks awesome!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Kevin Hart really should do a live TV show on another network the same night as the Oscars just to torpedo the Oscars ratings. That would be funny... Why Netflix pricing will keep going up... This week I vow to use the phrase "Greetings my jumentous fellow" and smile while saying it. Jumentous means "smelling like horse urine" but if you smile people will think you're complementing them... Completely agree with Ben Shapiro on this... With apologies to Marshawn Lynch, any time I read "beast mode" in print - my mind reads it as "breast mode". Once I realize my mistake I wonder why there's no "breast mode". I want breast mode... Interesting look at Paramount Pictures. Makes me want to re-watch The Kid Stays in the Picture... Growing up Catholic many of the nuns I ran into explained their celibacy by saying they were "married to Jesus". I always wondered - if that's the case how do priest explain their celibacy? Are they married to Jesus too?...   

Linky Links

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

- Disturbing report on the Navy's preparedness and operation. Thanks Obama!

- Speaking of Obama - the "Alt-Right" Vanity Fair makes the argument that maybe we didn't get Trump because Hillary was such a bad candidate but maybe instead we got Trump because Obama was such a bad President. Interesting - maybe the article should have ended with Matthew 10:36

- Spinning ice circle in Presumscot River in Maine has people thinking alien crop circles. Maine's most famous resident Stephen King was not reached for comment.

- Cell phone account fraud is a big new threat. At the very least you should have a PIN with your cell provider that needs to be provided before any changes can be made to your account.

- Cool - Jason Reitman to direct Ghostbusters sequel set in the original story universe.

- Clint Eastwood getting some head in the 1960's

- Toyota bringing back all-new Supra sports car in 2020

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Norse Mythology

BBC Radio has produced a version of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

And it's free to listen to!

But hurry it's only available for one more week.

Gavin Smith

The above video was silly, fun, good natured and involved gambling. In short it seems to sum up poker pro Gavin Smith who just passed away at age 50.  He was also a man who had his share of flaws and demons.

Nolan Dalla has a nice remembrance of the man. And I'm sure we'll see many Gavin Smith stories in the days and weeks to come.

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.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It still bugs me that the Patriots last second loss in Miami cost them home-field advantage this Sunday against the Chiefs... Good news - science says that drinking coffee is good for your long term life expectancy... If Andy Kaufman were alive today I'm convinced that instead of Tony Clifton his alter-ego would be an equally obnoxious extreme SJW... Interesting - how does Netflix actually make money?... One aspect of the projected bone-chilling cold in Kansas City this Sunday is that it should negate much of the home-field advantage for the Chiefs. Tough to be loud when you are literally muffled in extra layers of clothes... I'll never look at Adam Gase the same again... Any Democrat who used Cindy Sheehan's grief over the death of her son for political purposes should be made to face and answer to the Angel Moms who have had a child murdered by an illegal immigrant...

The Fleeting Impermanence of Fame

An interesting article on how famous people fall out of the collective memory. They used John Lennon as the example but the example that came to my mind was John Wayne. My youngest is a junior in college and a couple of years ago I learned she had no idea who John Wayne was!

When I thought about how this could be I realized that she didn't grow up with John Wayne re-runs on TV like I did. In fact she grew up with little TV at all. Her generation may have started with Sesame Street type shows but then transitioned to video games and then streaming TV like from Netflix. How many John Wayne movies are on Netflix? And how appealing would those movies be to her generation even if they were available?

Another example would be Al Jolson. In the 1920's he was America's most famous and highest paid entertainer. Today, if he's remembered at all, he's remembered as the guy who wore blackface. And that's certainly not the sort of non-PC thing this generation would discuss.

Fame certainly is fleeting.


A playoff record that will NEVER be broken. Tom Brady - the best to ever play the game!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Nobody Believes in Us!

Who America is rooting for in the AFC Championship game. Sorry to disappoint you America!


Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about those Patriots!... Back in April of 2016 I wrote, "If I had an advertising agency - I would run a series of 'not people - real actors" commercials." It looks like Geico stole the idea with their "Not people. Actors" commercial... They say founders of social media tech companies don't let their own kids use the products they've built because they know social media is bad for them. This is like back in the day when music executives wouldn't let their kids listen to Rod Stewart for the same reason... A self-driving motorcycle sounds pretty cool but in practice isn't the whole appeal of a motorcycle the freedom gained from "driving" it?... Interesting - more people lived on Manhattan in 1910 than in 2010...

Linky Links

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

- The great undoing continues. History will not be kind to Obama's foreign policy choices.

- The Zombie Tit Menace. As an aside Zombie Tits would be a great name for a post-menopausal Spice Girls cover band.

- Lefsetz on Springsteen on Broadway. I tried watching but couldn't make it to the end. I used to be a super fan but no more. This show was like a more upbeat Nebraska and I really did not like the album Nebraska.

- I will never think of Nietzsche the same (you fucking pussy).

- The compelling case for greater economic freedom

- I really like Dan Crenshaw

- I just love the words "vacation cheese". I think it should also be slang for spending money you've saved for when you go away.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

This Week in Musk World

The week started off with the official groundbreaking of the Gigafactory 3 in China. And also the news that the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling premium car in the US for 2018.

The Tesla ramp cycle from getting a car from concept to production keeps getting shorter. This may continue with the new products like the Tesla Model Y but with the company now running in the black the ramp up period for these new products probably won't be burning investment money like the first few products for the company. Despite the success and accomplishments of 2018 the financial reporting remains skeptical.

Of course if Elon Musk tries to add levitation or flying capabilities to new models that could skew the ramp up periods. Having said that, you would think that increased revenue from international sales in places like China and Tesla getting the reputation of a fun car to drive in the snow will make 2019 even more successful than 2018.

One wonders if Tesla's 2019 and beyond revenue will also be augmented through the sales of technology they have developed to other car makers. Things like batteries, enhanced patented safety features, or proprietary traffic algorithms.

The SpaceX Starship "hopper" (pictured above left) was unveiled this week. And today the SpaceX Dragon may be returning from the International Space Station.

Not all the news was 100% positive as a self-driving Tesla "killed" an autonomous robot in Las Vegas at the CES show.

Top 5 - Reasons the Patriots Will Win Today

Here are the Top 5 reasons the Patriots will win today against the Chargers.

1. Bill Belichick - in Bill We Trust! You have the GOAT of NFL coaches with a week to prepare, two weeks of rest for his players and the game is at home

2. Tom Brady - you have the GOAT of  NFL QB's going up against Philip Rivers. Brady is 7-0 lifetime vs Rivers and Rivers has said he's aware of that record. There's enough pressure in an NFL playoff game without Brady getting to live rent-free in Rivers' head but that's the case here

3. Home field advantage - New England is 8-0 at home this season and are 9-0 in playoffs games. Their last loss at home in the playoffs was 1978. It will be cold, crisp with possibly a stiff breeze today. Weather the Pats will be used to but will also be another thing San Diego Los Angeles  will be thinking about and have to deal with.

4. Travel - the Chargers had to fly to the East Coast last week for their game in Baltimore then back to California. Now they have to do it again. This sort of travel physically and mentally wears on you. Plus they've spent all week answering questions about jet lag. This will be just another thing to wear down their physical and mental energy. Meanwhile, the Patriots just have to focus on the game itself.

5. Las Vegas - the bookmakers have the Patriots as a 4-point favorite. So you have all the talking heads saying on paper the Chargers are the better team and you would be getting more than a field goal if you bet on them? Las Vegas WANTS YOU to be the Chargers. You know what that means.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

I'm a Pagan Too

This article about the increase in the number of "Heathens" in the US military made me think of the great movie Breaker Morant and the awesome heartbreaking "I'm a Pagan too" scene. It also got me wondering if potentially the increased "popularity" of the Norse Gods in the military has anything to do with the showcasing of Thor in the Marvel Universe especially in the Avengers movies.

It probably doesn't hurt that the recently published Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology is topping many best seller lists as well.

I give the movie Breaker Morant and the book Norse Mythology two enthusiastic thumbs up!

When it's all said and done - I think I'm a Pagan too!