Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ted Williams

67-years ago today, Ted Williams reported for duty in the Korean War as a Marine Corps fighter pilot.

It would be Williams second tour of military duty after serving his country in WWII as well.

Williams is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Marine Corps Hall of Fame and the Fishing Hall of Fame.

Where do we find such men?

Linky Links

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

- When Earth Day predictions go predictably wrong. Even Reason is saying it's time to stop freaking out about the world's imminent demise.

- A reminder from a year ago that the stamina of President Trump is pretty impressive

- 10 Principles to living an "Antifragile" life

- I truly want one of these

- Game of Thrones: Battle of Winterfell. Two military experts explain Jon and Dany's sloppy plan. (Spoilers)

- Wired also has a tactical analysis of the Battle of Winterfell (Spoilers)

- Russ Roberts (tongue in cheek) asks if Bill Belichick is just lucky. Yes this is from 2-years ago but I'm just finding it now.

"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the true value of life." - Charles Darwin

So very true!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Some Thoughts on China

Before Richard Nixon opened China to the West in 1972 the US's trade with China was less than the US's trade with Honduras. It wasn't just exposure to the West that helped start the economic revolution in China. It was practicality.

And when it comes to practicality it's tough to beat farmers who always seem to have both common sense and courage to do what's right (especially when it comes to their families). It doesn't matter if it's in China or in Plymouth Plantation.

Interesting stats (if correct) - "Top 100 companies by market cap in 2007: Europe 40, US 35 and China 10. Today: US 55, Europe 20, China 10." Seems to be an indictment of the European Union. But if China doesn't have a big percentage of the top market cap companies - how has their growth been accomplished? From small and mid cap companies of course - just like the backbone of the US economy. And speaking of...

The US economy grew a "surprising" 3.2% in Q1. I like to think the growth is due in part to the Trump Administration actively getting rid of unneeded regulations that hamper small and mid-size business.

Now just think on how the US economy will do when the China trade tariff disputes finally get settled.

Top 5 - Observations About the Patriots Draft

Here are my Top 5 thoughts and observations about this past weekend's NFL Draft as it relates to the New England Patriots.

1. Nobody really knows who the "winners and losers" are from the draft and won't know probably for five years. That's how long it takes to see if draft choices actually pan out. (Unless you're the New York Giants then yes you're a loser in this draft. Daniel Jones WTF?)

2. The New England Patriots are pretty unique in that once the players are assembled it is what you do on the field that determines if you play or not - not where you were taken in the draft or how big your contract is. It starts with a sixth round QB unseating the number one pick in the entire draft and extends to the entire roster. That's one of the reasons it appears that the Patriots don't do a great job drafting. If an undrafted free agent performs better than a second round pick then in Foxboro it is the undrafted free-agent that plays.

3. New England didn't draft a tight end but they did take N'Keal Harry with their 1st pick and Harry might have been the best receiver at catching balls in traffic in this year's draft. Catching contested balls was one of Rob Gronkowski's strengths and while Harry doesn't play TE he can possible replace the retired legend on some of those jump balls Brady used to throw Gronk in the corner of the end zone.

4. With the Pats drafting Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham you have to wonder what that means for Danny Etling who was third on the depth chart last season.

5. One of the things that bugged me leading up to the draft was the theme that the Patriots do such a poor job in drafting players that get named to the Pro Bowl. In New England the players don't play for "all-pro" or Pro Bowls. Patriots players play for championships. How has New England done in that regard?

On a local note - Boston College had more players taken in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft than powerhouse Notre Dame. Just saying.

Heh Heh

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Two Weeks in Musk World

In the past two weeks perhaps the biggest news out of Musk World is the fact that Tesla will be offering car insurance on their vehicles.

Elon Musk is quoted as saying that regulatory approval is "almost there for larger US states." And that it would be "at least" 6-12 months for Europe and the UK. This is genius! Tesla will own the end to end consumer experience for buying (or leasing) the vehicle, charging the batteries at Supercharging stations (or at home with Powerwalls) and also the vehicle insurance. No middlemen. All revenue going to Tesla. And as Warren Buffett showed with Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of Geico - the "float" between the insurance premiums coming in and payments for accidents going out provides a tremendous cash flow for investment. Like I said - genius!

And it doesn't even end there! Three weeks ago Musk announced that Tesla would be creating a fleet fleet of autonomous ride-shire vehicles to compete with companies like Uber and Lyft. Some Tesla enthusiasts may never have to step into another brand of car ever again! And be happy about it!

Being innovative like this is how a car company can go from being less than 3.5% the size of Ford Motors to being valued at more than $8 billion than last century's American icon in less than 10-years.

Of course some may argue that the release of the fully autonomous driving feature was the true big news but that news was expected. Who expected Tesla to announce they will be competing with Geico? Though it must be said that the amount of data that can be collected in just a few seconds by the cars cameras is very impressive. The "from scratch" FSD (Full Self Driving) computer is not just impressive but game changing. Meanwhile:

The Model 3 whipped the BMW M3 in performance testing performed by Top Gear.

Tesla's Gigafactory 3 in China is on track to break China's record for fastest factory build out.

Tesla is also considering constructing a Gigafactory in Germany.

Google Maps will now show if charge stations are in use.

Not all the news was rosy though as Tesla posted a $702 million Q1 loss. Revenue was up $1.1 billion year over year but things aren't always that simple.
In Space X news the Crew Dragon had an "anomaly" which is disturbing. The "anomaly" is not expected to cause any delay in Tuesday's International Space Station re-supply mission.

Heh Heh

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Heh Heh

- Ask yourself if you would have been among those that helped. I'd like to think that I would have stepped up.

- The world is literally a greener place than it was 20-years ago - led by (surprise) China and India

- Interesting list - 23 emotions people feel but can't explain. Love to be able to add some of these words to my vocabulary.

- Explain to me again why college sports is tax-exempt. If I were President I would tax all revenue from college sports and use those monies for increased funding for community libraries and the GI Bill.

- Looks like the Space Force is going to become a very real thing

- Speaking of space - the science of "STEVE"

John Havlicek

Celtics legend John Havlicek has passed away at age 79 after a battle with Parkinson's.

I say Celtics legend but I easily could have said NBA legend as he was one of the top 20 players in league history (I would put him about equal to Kobe Bryant). I also could have said Ohio State legend as Hondo was perhaps the greatest athlete that school ever produced (he was drafted both by the Celtics and by the Cleveland Browns as a DB).

Havlicek won 8 NBA Championships (he was 8-0 in the Finals) and an NBA Finals MVP. He made 13 straight All-Star games, was All-NBA First Team four times and second team seven times. Havlicek could easily have played in today's NBA - how many players from the 60's and 70's could you say that about?

He was one of those rare athletes who played his entire career for one team and of whom you never heard a single negative thing said about. Think about it - have you ever heard a single bad thing about John Havlicek? He hustled and worked harder than any player (maybe ever) and was always a gentleman.

The Boston Celtics and the Havlicek family issued a statement on his passing.

Personally this is how I prefer to remember John Havlicek - chilling shirtless in Mexico with Dr. J (the two most popular and respected players from the 1970's).

John Havlicek "He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again."

Happy Boy by the Beat Farmers

Haven't heard this in years. Still always puts a smile on my face.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Avengers Endgame - We Didn't Start the Fire

Avengers Endgame comes out tonight and I hope to have a chance to see it this weekend.

HT Big Stupid Tommy


Today is ANZAC Day, the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, which to me always brings to mind The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (the best version is by The Clancy Brothers sung by Liam Clancy).

Happy April 25th

From the movie Miss Congeniality

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Bill Burr on the NFL Draft

(NSFW) Tomorrow night is the NFL Draft and Bill Burr's the reason I don't watch the draft anymore (some comedy hits close to home).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Sorry but I can't help but think that Iron Man would make short work of the Night King and the army of the dead. Maybe half-hour worth of work tops... Heh Heh...  Remember when Adam Schefter wrote "Robert Kraft is 'not the biggest name' involved in prostitution bust"? Well Adam we're all still waiting... "If you don't know what your top three priorities are, you don't have priorities." - Donald Rumsfeld... I too would want this as my reading room... Fact of the day - Alaska is so big that t could fit the state if New Jersey into it 75 times... My guess is that the one thing the people on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2019 all have in common is that none of them subscribe to or read Time Magazine... 

Boston Sports

Two straight years now the Boston Bruins have knocked the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the NHL playoffs with a game seven victory.

This year's game seven win had two interesting wrinkles. David Pastrnak owning Justin Bieber on Twitter and Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy thanking Patriots wide receiver (and Super Bowl MVP) Julian Edelman for chugging a beer to get the crowd going (not that a game seven crowd at the Garden needs any help).

The Bruins victory means the Boston Slam is alive! The potential still exists for Boston to hold the championship in all 4 major sports. The Red Sox and Patriots have done their part and the Celtics and Bruins have just won their playoff series. This is most likely not going to happen but it doesn't diminish the great accomplishment of Boston teams on a streak of winning 8-consecutive playoff 'series'. The last Boston team to lose a playoff series was the Celtics in last year's Eastern Conference Finals vs LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

The Bruins winning the Stanley Cup is not a far-fetched proposition. Boston has the best record of the teams remaining so the Bruins would enjoy home ice in all remaining playoff series. And we saw last night how important home ice can be.

One final thing for the record - Tuukka Rask is the best goalie in Bruins history. He'd be the biggest sports star in so many NHL cities but unfortunately in Boston I think he's vastly underrated.

Next up the Columbus Blue Jackets. Go Bruins!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Alex Trebek is the best.

- After a long winning streak, Netflix's vulnerabilities becoming clearer.

- Why Bob Kraft's ordeal should alarm us all

- Good advice

- You're going to see a lot of stories like this - and not just on Joe Biden.

- I like Tim Apple Cook.


Today is not just the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth (1564) but also his death (1616). On top of that - today is also Talk Like Shakespeare day. One of my favorite facts about Shakespeare was the fact that perhaps the greatest writer of all-time was married to a woman who could neither read nor write.

21 phrases people use without realizing they are quoting Shakespeare

11 strange Shakespeare adaptations. I'm actually interested in checking out The People vs Friar Laurence.

- 7 of Shakespeare's best dirty jokes

How Shakespeare changed everything

The Shakespeare insult generator

The Big Lebowski written as a work of Shakespeare's

Monday, April 22, 2019

In God We Trust

On this date in 1864 the U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act which mandated that the inscription "In God We Trust" be placed on all coins minted as US currency. Part of the reasoning behind this was because the US Constitution does not talk about God while the Confederate constitution did. This was a measure in part to show that the Union wanted God on their side in the Civil War.

Saturday, April 20, 2019


I grew up Catholic and I have to confess that most of my time at mass was spent reviewing the Boston Red Sox roster in my head. First I would try to recall each player on the 25 and 40-man rosters. Then I would start thinking about if certain players at Pawtucket would be upgrades. This would get me to about the time the priest was giving his homily. At that point I was most likely starting to go through next year's free agent class and wondering which of those players would be a good fit in Boston.

When it was time for communion - I would stop thinking about the Red Sox roster and start thinking about which women in the receiving line I would like to have sex with (but that is a different confession).

I am thinking about starting to attend church again. I think it might help with my fantasy baseball skills.

Friday, April 19, 2019

F Scott Fitzgerald and the Great Gatsby

Interesting look into the life and finances of writer F Scott Fitzgerald.

His masterpiece The Great Gatsby (which has now twice been been made into a major motion picture - what a strange phrase that is - have you ever heard a movie described as a minor motion picture?) was published in 1925. According to Fitzgerald's notes and ledgers - he made $18,333.61 for that year. That would be roughly $250,000 in today's dollars.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Russell Wilson and the NFL's Top Paid Players

Now that Russell Wilson has signed a new contract with the Seahawks - Albert Breer tweeted out a list of the last 8 highest paid players in the NFL (including Wilson). All 8 players were QB's which was not surprising. Also not surprising  is the lack of winning their teams have done after the contract was signed.

Andrew Luck signed in June of 2016 for an average of $24.6 million per year. He then missed all of 2017 and last year "led" the Colts to a 10-6 record.

Derek Carr signed in June of 2017 for an average of $25 million per year. Since then he's "led" the Raiders to a 10-21 record.

Matthew Stafford signed in September of 2017 for $27.5 million per year. Since then he's "led" the Lions to a 15-17 record.

Jimmy Garoppolo signed in February of 2018 for $27.5 million per year. Since then he's "led" the 49ers to a 1-2 record before getting a season ending injury.

Kirk Cousins signed in March of 2018 for $28 million per year. Last year he "led" his team to a 8-7-1 record on a team some had pegged to go to the Super Bowl. Instead the Vikings missed the playoffs.

Matt Ryan signed in May of 2018 for $30 per year.  Last year he "led" his team to a 7-9 record and the Falcons too missed the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers signed in August of 2018 for $33.5 million per year. Last year he "led" his team to a 6-9-1 record and the Packers also missed the playoffs.

Now Russell Wilson has signed a contract that will pay him $35 million per year. The previous 7 QB's that held the title (however briefly) as the highest payed player in the NFL have gone a combined 57-71-2 a less than 45% winning percentage. Only Andrew Luck was able to even lead his team to the playoffs after signing the mega-deal. Vegas has Seattle's over/under at 8.5 wins next season which doesn't exactly scream playoffs.

Meanwhile Tom Brady never ends up on one of these highest paid lists yet the Patriots have been to three straight Super Bowls and Vegas has New England's over/under at 11.5 wins next season.

Just saying.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This Week in Musk World

The photo to the left is of the Falcon Heavy and its 27 engines. "Awesome" is the word that pops to mind.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 wins launch of an asteroid-attacking NASA spacecraft. Maybe we'll be able to point back to this and tell our grandkids "This is how the Space Force was born!"  Maybe future generations will view Falcon Heavy nailing the first triple rocket landing this week the way we look at the Wright brothers' first voyage.

And SpaceX is poised to win even more NASA contracts in the near future.

Meanwhile in the automobile world Elon Musk is bullish not just on EV's but on autonomous EV's going so far as to state that "in the future any car that does not have autonomy would be as useful as a horse." Even raising eyebrows by saying, "Please note that Tesla Full Self-Driving option will increase substantially over time." Will we look back at self-driving cars like some people look at standard transmission vehicles today? Elon Musk - putting the "auto" in "automobile".

In an interesting wrinkle on autonomous cars Tesla announces leasing options for the Model 3 but also that returned vehicles after the lease expires will be used for a Tesla owned ride hailing network. The leases will be true leases with no end of term option to purchase. Instead those vehicles will used to create basically a driverless alternative to Uber and Lyft.

Tesla this week also released their first ever 48-page Impact Report. The everyday use of Tesla cars and solar products has the biggest environmental impact but Tesla also goes the extra mile in making sure their manufacturing is as sustainable as possible. Their Fremont CA factory was certified as a "Zero Waste" facility. All of this is laudable but I kept waiting to read two words - nuclear power. The report states, "The world cannot reduce CO2 emissions without addressing energy generation and consumption." Solar does augment the grid and make it more resilient but the amount of coal used in the world is at the same level is was 20-years ago. You'd think an engineer and pragmatist such as Elon would simply state the truth that if you want true zero emissions then nuclear power has to be a big part of the picture.

But speaking of the factory - I know I posted this video before but it is so cool watching a Tesla Model 3 actually be assembled.

Notre Dame

Hard to believe that this beauty is gone forever. Many will find solace in that this happened during Holy Week where the lesson is of death and resurrection. Hoping for this beauty to be resurrected may be asking too much though.

Who Did it Better?

Or Pepe Le Pew?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Tiger wins the Masters! (And just like that millions of middle-aged white guys forget all about Colin Kaepernick.)... Heh Heh... I was at Fenway Park yesterday and the PA systems started playing Survivor's Eye of the Tiger then it was announced that Tiger had won the Masters with the centerfield scoreboard showing highlights. Tiger got a big round of applause from the crowd... Prosecutors in the Orchids of Asia case admit that there will be no charges related to human trafficking because they have no evidence that human trafficking was involved. Yet the sheriff's department went out of their way to mention potential human trafficking when allegations against Robert Kraft were made public. I hope there's a huge lawsuit coming out of this... Does this cut too close to the truth to be funny?... Today is Patriots Day in Massachusetts which is supposed to commemorate the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Yet that battle happened on April 19th. Today for most people is "Marathon Monday" with the running of the Boston Marathon and a special 11:00 am start for the Red Sox at Fenway. The true Patriots Day should be April 16th each year because that date celebrates both Bill Belichick's birthday and also the anniversary of drafting Tom Brady with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft....

Happy Tax Day

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Linky Links

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

- An update on the impending writers strike in Hollywood. As a consumer perhaps a prolonged strike will allow me to finally get around to some of the great content that has been created the past several years that I haven't had the chance to watch.

- Cool - if the moon was replaced by the other planets in the solar system.

- The best thing about this Larry Bird video is Tommy Heinsohn and Bob Cousy announcing. "I would have kneed him in the groin."

- Bill Murray's the best

On This Day in History

On this day in history President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater.

Charges against Booth were later dropped by the Cook County State Attorney's Office.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Sleep and Productivity

I was reading this article about how waking up 1-hour earlier can make you 100X more productive and I have to admit to having some misgivings.

Yes what the article suggests is true but the author waited till the end to address something that was bugging me. If I get up an hour earlier - does that mean I'm losing an hour of sleep? No the author contends at the end of the article - just go to bed an hour earlier. Start the day right and end the day right.

Good advice as recent medical studies have shown the absolute necessity for proper sleep (see Matthew Walker's book Why We Sleep for in depth details) but easier said than done. Balancing work, family and social life can often make just getting the proper amount of sleep a challenge never mind then adding in the Ben Franklin maxim of "Early to be, early to rise..."

I also kept hearing the voice of Naval Ravikant in the back of my head. I can't recall the exact quote or where I heard it but I remember Naval talking about how true wealth was equated with freedom and one of the examples he used was of the alarm clock. How infrequently you need an alarm clock can be representative of how much freedom you have and thus how truly wealthy you are. If I need an alarm clock to get up that extra hour early and I giving up some of my freedom to try to get more productivity? Isn't the function of being more productive to be more wealthy and free? See what I'm saying?

In my life I've come to what I believe is a happy medium. I recognize the need to be more productive; I recognize the need to get a proper night's sleep and I've made "getting up" one of my seven priorities for the day (maybe I'll list all seven some other time). By getting up I mean when your body is awake and going back to sleep would be a struggle. Not a getting up and at 'em because you awoke in the middle of the night because you had to pee but getting up because you're awake and have been for 20 minutes or more. (Normally I say it has to be after 4:30 am for this "rule" to apply - I'm not a masochist.) Once out of bed you start being productive - taking advantage of that time that maybe previously you spent just lingering in bed.

Anyway those were my thoughts on sleep. And I should add that I'm a big fan of naps.

You Can't Stop This Motherf***** (Deadpool 2 Soundtrack)

Was re-watching Deadpool 2 and realized how great this song is. It's basically the Juggernaut's music. Listen to the lyrics. Simple but just awesome!

While My Guitar Gently Sleeps (on the Ukulele)

Very cool!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Stop & Shop Strike

Workers at supermarket chain Stop & Shop are on strike in three New England states and are asking shoppers to go elsewhere for their grocery needs until the contract dispute is resolved.

I'm generally pro-union but I'm always pro common sense. And this makes no sense.

I normally don't shop at Stop & Shop because they are more expensive than other options for me that are also more convenient. Many of the people in New England who decline to cross the picket line will end up at Price Chopper which is non-union (with lower prices). How does that help the striking United Food and Commercial Workers? It doesn't.

Elizabeth Warren has come out in support of the striking Stop & Shop workers but how much do you want to bet that she normally shops at Whole Foods which is also non-union?

The workers are mainly striking to keep their healthcare at their current levels. This is the same union that supported Barack Obama in both elections but immediately sought a waiver to Obamacare once it was passed. Healthcare costs have risen greatly since Obamacare. My health insurance, for example, went up almost $300 per month but the company I work for, like most companies, was not granted a waiver. As Obama said, "Elections have consequences." And one of the consequences these workers are facing now is the fact that healthcare has been made more expensive due to things their union supported.

Something the rest of us have been dealing with for years.

Linky Links

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

- Russia only has one aircraft carrier? And soon they might have none? Who knew?

- The Masters: a father makes his son's dream come true. Such a great story.

- Such a great photo.

- And so it begins.

- It's Enrico Palazzo! Makes me laugh every time.

- Interesting

- Quick read interview with Tim Ferriss that's worth your time.

Black Holes

This week the Event Horizon Telescope was able, for the first time, to show the world an actual image of a black hole. The black hole is located at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 which is 55 million light years from Earth. The supermassive black hole photographed has 6.5 billion times more mass than our Sun.

This was an excellent article on what this historic photograph really means and puts into perspective the difficulty involved in the accomplishment.

This article give you an appreciation of the epic scale of the black hole in relation to our own solar system.

Truly a monumental accomplishment and historic day.

As an aside, it think it would have been much more poetical and cooler if science had settled on the term "dark abyss" instead of "black hole".

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Yesterday marked the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday / Belfast Agreement which has brought peace to Northern Ireland. It hasn't been perfect but it has worked. You don't see IRA terrorists in Hollywood movies anymore do you?... Memento Mori would be a great name for a life insurance company... Yesterday was also National Unicorn Day in Scotland... I would watch a "news" network where clearly mentally disturbed people rant about their take on news, politics and life beliefs. If people went too far off the rails you'd start playing the theme song to Benny Hill and cut to commercial. I would call it the Crazy News Network (CNN)...  Nice move... 

The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

The Unknown 

As we know, 
There are known knowns. 
There are things we know we know. 
We also know 
There are known unknowns. 
That is to say 
We know there are some things 
We do not know. 
But there are also unknown unknowns, 
The ones we don't know 
We don't know. 

Department of Defense news briefing Feb. 12, 2002

Just one small sample of the lyrical stylings of the great for Secretary of Defense. 

The "poem" has also been set to music. Pure genius!

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The Clash

40-years ago yesterday The Clash's self titled debut album was released. White Riot was the first single off the album but for my money Police & Thieves was the better song.

Dwyane Wade and John Havlicek

So yesterday was John Havlicek's 70th birthday and today will be the final game in future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade's career. This (in my mind at least) begs the question of who was the better player.

The similarities between the two players is pretty pronounced. Start with the size - Wade 6'4" and 220 pounds vs Havlicek's 6'5" and 203 pounds. In Havlicek's final season he averaged 16.1 points plus 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Not including tonight's finale Wade this season has averaged 14.7 points along with 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Pretty close for two guys in their age 37 seasons.

For their careers Havlicek averaged 20.8 points per game to Wade's 22 per game; 6.3 rebounds to Wade's 4.7; and 4.8 assists per game to Wade's 5.4. Pretty close especially when you consider that Wade was playing point or shooting guard while Hondo was a shooting guard or small forward. You should also consider that the three point shot didn't exist in Havlicek's day. If it did then Hondo probably would have averaged more than Wade's 22 points per game since Havlicek was the better shooter as evidenced by his better free-throw percentage (81.5% vs 76.5%). 

Havlicek was a 13-time NBA All-Star just like Wade. While it is a big deal that Wade won 3 NBA Championships with the Heat - let's not forget that Havlicek owns 8 Championship rings from his career with the Celtics.

The whole point of this isn't to take anything away from Wade especially on the day of his final game. It just saddens me that Havlicek seems completely forgotten and the two were almost identical. It would piss me off though to see Wade listed above Havlicek on any of those greatest players of the NBA lists.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Joe Biden were a cartoon character I'm pretty sure he'd be Pepe Le Pew... "I haven't slept for ten days... because that would be too long." - Mitch Hedberg... What the hell? Pretty cool trick... I would love to see an SNL skit of the founder of Pet Rocks going on Shark Tank to try and get funding... I laughed way too hard at this... Your yearly reminder that there is no bigger waste of time than  reading anyone's NFL mock drafts. To paraphrase William Goldman "No one knows anything."... Few things are as beautiful or spiritually uplifting as the chants of monks such as these Benedictine Monks chanting the Spiritus Domini... Not for nothing but I watched Virginia win the NCAA hoops championship last night but I did not stick around to watch One Shining Moment. In fact never in my life I have watched One Shining Moment. I could not even identify the tune if I had to...

Monday, April 08, 2019


Via Zig Ziglar


Greenland is 2,166,086 sq km in area (making it slightly bigger than three times the size of Texas). But when you look at many maps or globes - Greenland appears to be bigger than Australia which is in fact more than 3.5 times larger than Greenland.

Greenland is just slightly bigger than Mexico (but with a slightly different climate).

This Week in Musk World

The chart to the left is of Q1 vehicle production and deliveries year-over-year for Tesla. Quite impressive!  Over the long term such growth will be difficult to maintain but in the short-term as Tesla enters a market like Germany, for example, they quickly become one of the main players.

Or like in China.

Domestically some upgrades to Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving are now available. Upgrades Elon Musk has classified as "epic". The International upgrades will be available soon. As autopilot continues to be more studied I would expect fairly frequent fine-tuning updates to make the experience smoother and smoother. 

All the recent updates weren't safety or performance related though. TeslAtari was also in the latest release. Playing Asteroids while waiting in the parking lot while the girlfriend shops - cool!

Interesting profile on what gives Elon Musk his Silicon Valley "super powers".

In space news - Israel became just the seventh nation to put a spacecraft into the Moon's orbit. On Thursday they will attempt to be just the fourth nation to land a craft of the surface of the moon. All this was made possible because the Beresheet craft was launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. 

Meanwhile a federal judge wants Musk and the SEC to put their "reasonableness pants on" when it comes to resolving issues over some of Musk's Tweets. The judge is giving the parties two weeks to adhere to his admonishments.

I guess nothing says 2019 like a federal case over the accuracy of someone's Tweets.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Bill Gates and Nuclear Power

"Nuclear energy is one of these critical technologies. It is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that's available 24 hours a day." - Bill Gates

Nuclear has worked in France where nuclear now supplies more of the nation's energy requirements than oil.

It would be nice if Bill Gates put his foot down when it came to nuclear power and said that any organization that does not support nuclear power is no longer eligible for any grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Perils of Having a Smart Home

Heh Heh

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So how are those climate change agreements like the Paris Accords working out? Coal was responsible for 38% of the world's power in 2017 - the exact same level as when the first global climate change agreement was signed 20-years ago... Heh Heh... Instead of the vulgar "MILF" the correct linguistic term is matronolagnia. The power of words!... Pumpsie Green Day would be a good name for a cover band... Wow - the police used a fake bomb threat in order to install the hidden cameras used in the Robert Kraft massage parlor arrest. No wonder they have been so insistent on Kraft agreeing to a plea deal. Seriously - what's the worse crime; a fake bomb threat or getting a rub and tug?... I knew Kurt Vonnegut was a WW II POW but I either forgot or never knew that he was captured at the Battle of the Bulge (then he survived the bombing of Dresden)... "We all fool ourselves from time to time.. to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with hat we have already done or decided." - Robert Cialdini...

Friday, April 05, 2019

John D. MacDonald

Been meaning to comment about this for a while but a month ago now The Trap of Pure Gold had a post / interview regarding writer John D. MacDonald (found via The Happy Curmudgeon). Like so many others I'm a fan of MacDonald's novels and wanted to be Travis McGee when I grew up.

I chuckled at a few places in the interview. The mention of 5 1/4 computer disks really dates the interview. Also the question "Is McGee's lifestyle attainable?" immediately made me think of Mr. Money Mustache (if Travis McGee was more of a pacifist and traveled by bicycle instead of boat).

MacDonald's response to where the US was heading culturally was pretty prescient. It also reminded me how author Carl Hiaasen credited MacDonald as being among the first to publicly lament the ecological damage being done to Florida's coastline and wetlands. In the interview MacDonald foresaw Florida becoming, "An uncontrolled influx of residents who will use up the air, the water and the earth itself, turning the state into condominiums, asphalt, shopping malls and rubbish." Pretty spot on really.

John D. MacDonald was an American treasure. And if truth be told - I still want to be Travis McGee.

TiVo (and the Pony Express)

Interesting article looking at the oral history of TiVo.

10-years ago I wrote about the similarities between TiVo and the Pony Express. I closed that post with, "I can see the name TiVo remaining in the consciousness of the American public just as people remember the Pony Express."

To be fair to TiVo - their hardware has lasted longer than the year and a half the Pony Express was in operation but perhaps the biggest difference between the two was the owners of the Pony Express were't able to patent and license the horse.

Linky Links

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

- NATO turns 70-years old this week. Austin Bay has a nice summary of what NATO means today. He doesn't mention Turkey and I'm not sure if Turkey still belongs in NATO

- China's economy is hurting and a trade deal with the US can't come soon enough. Keep in mind that an agreement for North Korea to give up their nukes will probably be part of such a deal.

- Israel becomes just the 7th nation to orbit the moon. The Beresheet spacecraft is not only in orbit but on April 11th it will attempt to land on the moon which would make it the first privately funded craft to do so. Only the US, Russia and China have landed a craft on the surface of the moon before.

- America F*ck Yeah!

- The miracle that is the smartphone

- So basically agreeing to do one of those ancestry DNA tests is the same as agreeing to giving your DNA to the FBI

- Janties? WTF

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Top 100 Songs of 1984?

Supposedly this is a list of the top 100 songs of 1984 (according to a college rock website). I say "supposedly" because these aren't the top 100 songs of 1984 but I don'y have time to do complete list of my own. I do give them credit for picking Echo and the Bunnymen at the top spot. For an example of why this list needs drastic revision - OMD's Tesla Girls comes in at number 51. That song is crap.

The list does bring back some fond memories though.

Top 5 - Sports Books on My Bookshelves

Not sure why I thought about this but here are the Top 5 books about sports on my bookshelves (in no particular order).

The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam

A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring 20's by Roger Kahn

Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association by Terry Pluto

The League: Inside the NFL by David Harris

Bottom of the Ninth by Michael Shapiro

Just missing the list were Sandy Koufax by Jane Leavy (because I liked the unheralded Bottom of the Ninth better), Gridiron Genius by Michael Lombardi and The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King by Michael Craig (because poker isn't a sport).

Also on my bookshelves but not making the list are Open by Andre Agassi and The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam. I haven't had the chance to read either book yet.

You may infer from the list that I'm fond of both sports and history. You'd be correct.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Let's Talk Some Politics

Are you not entertained? Why yes - yes I am entertained. Very entertained. So many Democratic candidates for President so much backbiting. So much entertainment. I seriously hope none of them drop out of the race before having a series of King of the Ring debates.

This week most of the supporters of candidates further back in the polls have set their sights on Joe Biden, who it should be mentioned has not even officially announced he's running. Suddenly the Democrats have "woken" up to the habits of Creepy Uncle Joe. Makes for great fun for those of us just observing.

Now we get to watch as supporters of Biden "punch back twice as hard" against the other candidates. What fun!

I mean who is not entertained by a good clown car? (Get used to that metaphor because you're going to see it a lot in the coming months.)

It's a trap!

The House of Representatives vote 420-0 to release the full Mueller Report to the public. None of the people voting know what details are in the report - saying they want the full un-redacted version released is a tactical mistake in my opinion. Most likely there are going to be details that harm the credibility of people like James Comey, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And people like Adam Schiff are demanding these facts be put on the public record and he'd probably leak an un-redacted Mueller Report to the press to insure it happens. What a rube.

Linky Links

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

- The psychology of persuasion

Military lessons learned from the Battle of Wakanda

 - The 10 coolest online courses you can sign up for in April 2019. Think I'm signing up for the one on the rise of superheroes.

- Damn it! Where was this science when I was first married!

- Waco biker prosecutions over after nearly four years, all remaining charges dropped. When all is said and done this story is going to make a fascinating book or mini-series.

- Congrats to Brad Marchand for joining some elite company


Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Canada needs to fight back against unfair Chinese trade practices. China knows it can bully Canada but if Trudeau is ousted as PM due to the Quebec scandal and is replaced by a Conservative then China will either feel the pain economically of new Canadian tariffs or it will resolve it's trade war with the US hoping Canada will fall in line.

- I might be in the minority but this looks pretty cool to me. Granted I have a thing for blimps and I do not think this would work in congested city environments.

- Heh Heh

- How the brain fights off fears that return to haunt us

- Nassim Taleb: a definition of Antifragile and its implications.

- 43-years ago this week.

- The 25 most popular Ted Talks. I think I've only seen 3.

This Week in Musk World

The Top 5 reasons to buy a Tesla. Not mentioned is how a Tesla can save an owner thousands of dollars in operation costs over a gas powered car. Total cost of ownership should be a big selling point.

Still some confusion in the market about Tesla closing some retail stores. Is it 10% of stores? 20%? All of them? None? While I agree that Tesla customers especially are willing to do the whole transaction online (especially in states that have dealership laws like Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wisconsin) - what about service and solar?

Service is the lifeblood of many car dealerships and Tesla needs more places where owners can get their cars fixed - not fewer. If Elon Musk is planning on closing some expensive, flashy retail stores and replacing them with more practical garages where the cars can be repaired then great. Service is a looming issue for Tesla that also has to be addressed. More places not fewer would be better.

And solar? Weren't the Tesla retail stores supposed to double as places to showcase the Tesla solar products as well? It's not like a Powerwall  can be just dropped off at a person's home like a Model 3. The Powerwall has to be installed and homeowners are going to have questions. Questions that could be answered at a retail store. Maybe the plan is to have an all-mobile fleet of service vans for both cars and solar? Like I said confusing.

Tesla recently released its enhanced summon feature. But all I could think is I'd go apeshit if I got stuck behind a car moving that slow in traffic. Also until advanced summon works seamlessly for someone to retrieve their car back home from a bar where you took an Uber ride home the night before then it's not a real selling point for me.

The "Tesla Effect" hits Germany as VW, Daimler, and BMW fully commit to EV's.

Construction going 24/7 in China to meet the goal of opening the Gigafactory 3 by the end of the year.