Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wim Hof Method

I'm fascinated by Wim Hof and the Wim Hof Method. The mind-body benefits seem incredible but they're true.
To achieve a zen-like mastery of the cold, all you must do is submit yourself to controlled hyperventilation. Not panicky, gasping breaths, but strong, deep inhalations at a rapid pace (one second in) without a deliberate exhalation (allow some air to leave naturally rather than pushing it out). Fill your lungs and repeat this 30 times. Now comes the tricky part: without force, allow all of the air out of your body and then don’t breathe in again until you sense your body really needs oxygen. Complete another round, aiming to extend the period before you inhale. Then go again. 
On the final round, after expelling all the air from your lungs, Hof encourages participants to complete a round of press-ups. Not as a display of masochism, but rather to demonstrate the improved muscular endurance that comes from your body being engorged by oxygen – the essential fuel for exertion.
I'm guessing that by "press-up" they means "push-ups".

Windfall

A "windfall" is a "piece of unexpected good fortune" usually involving money (i.e. "windfall profits"). The term comes from an apple or other fruit being blown down from a tree by the wind. No effort involved in picking a juicy apple was a big deal back in the day I guess.

The origin of words and phrases is just interesting to me.

Linky Links

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

- A Letter to Jamie Dimon (and anyone else still struggling to understand cryptocurrencies). Long read but worth it if you want to understand Bitcoin.

- Was true in 1931 and still true today

- The day astrophysics changed forever. Neutron-star collision shakes space-time and lights up the sky. Very cool.

- The Clinton and Obama legacies will not be treated well by either close examination or history. Politics (on both sides) continues to sicken me.

- Obama's college transcripts to finally be released - by Wikileaks!?!? Politics continues to sicken me but yet I still can't look away.

- The Yellowstone super volcano continues to scare the shit out of me. Maybe even enough to buy Bitcoin to hedge my post-apocalyptic bet.

- Heh heh - best to end today on a lighter note.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not all super heroes wear capes. Texas beer ninja saves beer and takes out woman with a box of nachos... I've heard of a high colonic and can't help but wonder is there also a "low colonic"? And what the heck would that be if a high colonic already involves the anus... Whiskey Smoothie would be a good name for a band (or hangover related diarrhea)... Can you imagine being 9-years old and having already hiked the three major nation's longest hiking trails? I hope this isn't the high point for this kid's life... I have to believe that Barack Obama knew the truth about Bowe Bergdahl all along. That's a stain on his legacy that never should be forgotten... The athleticism involved in this move is nuts!...  In solidarity with the Men's National Team - I too will not be going to the World Cup...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The (A)CDC

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) since it is funded by Federal tax dollars really should be called the American Center for Disease Control. Yes I am advocating for a name change to the ACDC.

Just think of some of the public service announcement possibilities! The ACDC can boast about how effectively they use tax dollars in a spot called "The ACDC - Dirty Diseases Done Dirt Cheap." Or maybe do a commercial geared to a specific disease like, "The ACDC - For those About to Fight Ebola (We Salute You)."

Make it so!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Chuck Yeager



70-years ago today American icon Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier (clip from the movie The Right Stuff). As impressive as that feat was the day before, October 12th, was also the anniversary of another jaw-dropping feat in American history.

On October 12, 1944, Chuck Yeager shot down 5 German planes becoming an "Ace in a Day". 

Incredible feats by an incredible American hero.

Red Sox Fire John Farrell

The Boston Red Sox fired manager John Farrell because Red Sox ratings on NESN were down 15% this year. Sure other explanations will be given for the firing but the real reason is because NESN's freaking ratings were down and the clowns who own the Red Sox needed a scapegoat.

I'm not kidding.

John Farrell won the AL East 3 out of 5 years he managed in Boston, beat cancer for a franchise forever linked with battling cancer (the Jimmy Fund and Boston Red Sox are synonymous in New England) and HE WON A WORLD SERIES. His job should have been safe if he worked for more stable owners anywhere else in any other sport.

But the Red Sox have the least stable (and likable) ownership of all the four major sports franchises in Boston. Theo Epstein and Terry Francona should still be here and be historically somewhere between the duos of Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens with the Celtics and the all-time great duo of Brady and Belichick (no first names or team citation needed). But no - ownership needed a perceived scapegoat then too!

It will be said that GM Dave Dombrowski wanted "his own man" as manager and that's true to an extent. But the only reason Red Sox ownership let him make this move is because ratings at NESN were down 15% this year. If the rating were flat or down just a couple points - John Farrell would still be managing.

I don't care to engage in everyone's favorite new game of "who will be the next Red Sox manager" but I will make one prediction - rating at NESN will be down another 15% next year too.

Because Red Sox ownership doesn't get it and probably never will. 

Joke of the Day

Heh heh.
Bill worked in a pickle factory. He had been employed there for a number of years when he came home one day to confess to his wife that he had a terrible compulsion. He had an urge to stick his penis into the pickle slicer. His wife suggested that he should see a sex therapist to talk about it, but Bill said he would be too embarrassed. He vowed to overcome the compulsion on his own. One day a few weeks later, Bill came home and his wife could see at once that something was seriously wrong. "What's wrong, Bill?" she asked. "Do you remember that I told you how I had this tremendous urge to put my penis into the pickle slicer?" "Oh, Bill, you didn't!" she exclaimed. "Yes, I did." he replied. "My God, Bill, what happened?" "I got fired." "No, Bill. I mean, what happened with the pickle slicer?" "Oh...she got fired too."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

State of the Red Sox - Part 1

So to really nobody's surprise the Red Sox season came to an end at the hands of the Houston Astros. Boston fans are spoiled so just winning the AL East and making the playoffs isn't considered nearly enough. Therefore you've heard the hue and cry to fire manager John Farrell and make lots of changes. That shouldn't happen and I really don't think it will. That said - what changes would I suggest to make the 2018 Red Sox better than the 2017 version?

Boston is set at starting outfield with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. They are young, affordable and with tremendous upside as a group. The team is also set at both catcher with Christian Vazquez (and Sandy Leon) and at third with 20-year old Rafael Devers. There's also 2-more years left to determine if Xander Bogaerts is actually their long term solution at short.

That leaves first base, DH, utility roles and surprisingly second base as question marks for 2018.

Do the Red Sox open the checkbook to try and sign Eric Hosmer as a free agent to fill their first base need? That's the big question. If not Hosmer do they bring back Mitch Moreland? How about moving AAAA 28-year old slugger Bryce Brentz to first? He hit 31 HR in 450 AB for Pawtucket and he's right handed. I don't think that'll happen either. Maybe a trade instead? What will happen at first will be the big question for Boston fans this offseason.

Another big question is DH. Hanley Ramirez is due $22 million next season but can the Red Sox really give another 600 AB to a guy with just 23 HR, a .750 OPS and expect to go further than the first round of the playoffs? I don't think so either. Another big consideration is Hanley's $22 million 2019 option that vests with just 497 plate appearances next year. Nobody wants to see that happen. Again - do they try to solve this with a free agent like JD Martinez? Or would that money be better spent solving the issue with first base?

For utility outfielder the Occam's Razon solution would be to promote Rusney Castillo from Pawtucket. You really can't bury him there another season and Boston has him on the books for almost $12 million anyway. Why not give him a role and some AB with the big club?

For utility infielder I think most people will agree it's time to end the Brock Holt experience. Yes he's scrappy and will play whatever position you ask him to. Also true that he's dangerously close to not hitting his weight (and he's just 180-pounds!). The easy solution is to re-sign Eduardo Nunez especially given the question marks about Dustin Pedroia's knee.

Speaking of Pedroia. Hard to believe but his redass, dirt-dog style is wearing very thin on Boston fans. And his hometown discount contract is no longer seen as such a big plus. He's under contract for 4-more years but will his balky knee allow him to warrant a starting role for more than 1 or 2 more seasons? It is not going to end well in Boston for Pedroia.

Next time I'll take a look at the pitching and coaching staff.

King of Spades

Did you know that the King of Spades on a playing card was originally supposedly designed to represent King David from the Bible? The sword he holds was supposed to be the sword used to cut off Goliath's head after young David killed him with a rock from his his sling.

During the early parts of the Civil War - Robert E Lee was given the nickname "King of Spades" because of his propensity to dig trenches as part of his strategy. At first the nickname was derisive because soldiers hate to dig. Later when the effectiveness of his tactics saved the lives of many of these same soldiers - the nickname became affectionate. Reportedly Lee always loathed the nickname.

And he didn't play cards.