Saturday, January 31, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (77) Hard to Handle by the Black Crowes.


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.


Did you know that if you added together all the numbers on a roulette wheel (1 to 36) – that the total would be the number 666? Yes roulette is an evil game. You cannot play roulette and expect to make money (it’s almost as bad as playing Keno).

You can play roulette for fun. Here is what I would suggest as a way to enjoy roulette without getting too hurt in the wallet or pocketbook. (I originally read about this method in Cigar Aficionado magazine.)

Get $40 worth of chips and pick five numbers. Play $1 on each of the five numbers for 8 spins. Even if you never hit a number – you would have only lost $40 but will have had about a half hour worth of excitement (and maybe one comped drink).

If you hit a number – then double your bets to $2. Remember to quit after 8 spins of the wheel. Now the most you could possibly lose is $38 (you can use that $2 to tip your waitress). If you hit a second time – double your remaining bets to $4. Now you are guaranteed to win at least $26. If you hit a third time – then you can pay for a nice steak dinner with martinis. Just remember to quit after 8 spins. Get up and look around the casino – the worst thing you can do is just sit at a table forever – because at some point you’ll run out of money.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (75) Nutrocker by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. If you are a Boston sports fan of a certain age - this song holds a special place in your heart.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thought and observations.

Beginning to wonder if NFL has hired the same guys who investigated Richard Jewell to do the Deflategate investigation...  It's not about cheating NFL coaches - it's about hating Bill Belichick... Perspective - if you had a minute of silence for every person killed in the Holocaust - you'd have to be silent for 11 and a half years... Heh heh... With an all female Ghostbusters in the works could a 12 Angry (Wo)Men remake be next? Maybe with Jane Fonda taking her dad's old role (you know there's some putz in Hollywood who would think this was a good idea)...  Bill Hicks' 12 principles of comedy... On second thought - that volcano prank might have been a bit over the top... When Barack Obama took office he was boasting about being able to stop the oceans from rising. Too bad he was out of the country during this blizzard. Stopping the snow should have been a snap...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (74) I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.

Top 5 - Paul Newman Movies

Monday would have been Paul Newman's 90th birthday. Here's my 5 favorite Paul Newman movies.

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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (73) Mrs. Robinson by the Lemonheads.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I hope that during the Super Bowl Media Day at least one player answers every question by simply saying, "I am Groot"... The US jobs picture without Texas is not pretty... Good advice often comes from unexpected places at unexpected times... Stephen Strasburg for Mookie Betts? I think a Tanner Roark for Betts works better (no pun intended) or how about Shane Victorino (and prospect) for Doug Fister?... Heh heh - Star Wars (Age of Ultron Style)... Its been pointed out elsewhere but President Obama's foreign policy can be explained in a nutshell by pointing out he plans to attend the funeral of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah but he skipped the funeral of Margaret Thatcher... Heh heh... If you've been anywhere on the Internet the past five days you probably already seen the video of this incredible archer... Forget the Legion of Boom - how will the Seahawks score against the Patriots?...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (72) Someone Like You by Adele (I'm comfortable enough in my manhood to say that I like Adele).

Deflategate II

So at yesterday's press conference Bill Belichick started out like this. He did a good job basically saying what this guy said about the science and physics involved in air pressure. And did ESPN's so called "Sports Science" folks also agree with Belichick?

Just remember Bill Belichick is not a scientist. (And for that matter neither is Bill Nye - he is a comedian/actor who parlayed a catchy nick-name into a career.)

Even though "the science is settled" some Patriot haters are going to grasp at articles like this that say the Patriots ability to grasp the football is "off the charts". Look - something's fishy they'll say. This despite the fact that the Patriots finished this "historic" season 2nd in the NFL with a +12 turnover mark (25 to 13). If they were historically off the charts shouldn't they have finished first? For comparison's sake the Seahawks finished 4th in the NFL with a +10 mark (24 to 14). So one turnover both ways and the Pats and Seahawks would have been tied. How is that off the charts?

Haters are going to hate no matter what. It is what it is.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if Bill Belichick hates Chris Mortensen more today than he hated Tom Jackson back in 2001... Incredible - these are not still photos... Hard to believe but Pete Carroll is almost a year older than Bill Belichick... Charlie Pierce has the best piece I've read yet on how ridiculous Ballghazi has become (and was to begin with)... How great would it be if someone replaced Stephen Hawking's computer voice with Emo Phillips... Heh heh - Bad Lip Reading NFL 2015...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (70) No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age.


As usual my mind works differently than most people - so if you want real reporting on what the ramifications may be to deflategate try Tom Curran (Pats fan) or Mike Florio (not a fan of the Pats). For my take...

When I originally heard about this late last night my first thought was, "This is pure genius by Belichick!" Not deflating footballs by 2 PSI but the possible mindfuck that could be going on here. You have to remember that all of this hinges on a single report from Chris Mortensen of ESPN. Remember the league is not commenting at this time. What if the "leak" on this came from the Patriots? What if it's wrong? Bill Belichick just set up a perfect "Us against the world!" mentality in his locker room on the eve of the biggest game of the year. Genius!

Keep in mind that when this story first broke it was greeted as somewhat of a joke by the Patriots. What if Belichick took a nothing story and turned it to his advantage?

In my mind I picture Belichick pulling a Tyrion Lannister move. Maybe have three people in the organization you are unsure of. Invite the first into your office and in the course of conversation tell them in confidence that the league has found 9 of the 12 game balls to have been underinflated. Tell the next guy 10 out of 12. Tell the last guy 11 out of 12. In my mind Belichick might have found the mole in his organization and set up an "Us against the world" mentality. Genius!

Of course I am most likely 100% wrong on this. But if I'm right? Genius!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offerings (67, 68, 69) Sailing Shoes / Hey Julia / Sneaking Sally Through the Alley by Robert Palmer. These three songs just have to go together.

Linky Links

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

- You might defeat Bill Belichick but it won't be because you out-worked him

- 11 words and phrases popularized by Teddy Roosevelt

- Wow - this is very impressive

- Excellent advice from Terry Crews

- Fascinating read on George Raveling and how he came to possess the original copy of MLK's I Have a Dream Speech

New England Patriots

I went to the game on Sunday night and it was awesome! And speaking of awesome the 45-7 victory now means the Patriots are an amazing 88-0 at home since 2001 when they hold an 8-point or greater lead at any point during the game.

It's hard not to think about that stat without comparing it to what happened to Green Bay on Sunday. I know the Packers were the road team but can you picture this year's Pats team or any Bill Belichick team losing a 16-point lead? Tough to picture that - isn't it? That's because Belichick keeps his foot on the gas pedal when he's winning. That 88-0 mark is proof. Some people complain that he runs up the score but Seattle showed why you have to keep trying to pour it on.

If Bill Belichick was coaching Green Bay on Sunday the Packers would be going to the Super Bowl. No doubt in my mind about that. No doubt.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Origin of the Poolroom

Back in the day before state run lotteries - local bookies would run numbers games and these tickets for the "pool" were often sold in a "poolroom". The numbers would be drawn once or twice a day and in order to fill the time between drawings - the operators at many locations put in billiards tables. Billiards was changed or Americanized by adding pockets and creating the game pocket billiards which we now know simply as pool.

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (65) Feeling Good by Nina Simone.

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 233 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.

Linky Links

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

- Netflix keeping Doctor Who, Luther and other BBC series. Good news. However Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and others will no longer be available after February 1st. Plan your viewing accordingly.

- How can you not like Dirk Nowitzki?

- Took me a second

- Pets with diplomas. Funny and depressing (because some of these animals have better degrees than I do)

- Actual climate change pronouncements over the years

- Heh heh

- Interesting look at Ed O'Neill and Jiu-Jitsu

Friday, January 16, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (64) Hello ... I'm Johnny Cash by Alabama 3.

Harry Potter's Recipe for Courage and Success

I like to take away wisdom or at least a better understanding of history from the books I read. That doesn't mean that I only read philosophy or history books. Take the Harry Potter series of books. Here's something I took away from the books - Harry Potter's recipe for courage and success - you can apply it to business or your personal life:

1. Prepare for the challenge
2. Surround yourself with support
3. Engage in positive self-talk
4. Focus on what is at stake
5. Take appropriate action

Linky Links

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

- Holy crap - hippos are scary creatures

- Ralph Steadman on Charlie Hebdo

- Interesting article on the Amazing Jonathan who unfortunately is dying

- Why would anyone ever want to mess with Zdeno Chara

- Mike Martz has a pretty good perspective on the Patriots success this season

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Boston Olympics

Boston was chosen as the US representative city to host the 2024 Olympics. Make one thing clear though - Boston is not going to host the Olympics and any time discussing the possibility is a waste of breath. Boston was chosen to be a patsy. The 2024 Olympics are going elsewhere - my guess is somewhere in Africa (the games have never been held on that continent) or somewhere in Germany.

Boston was chosen so the US Olympic committee can look like they are spreading the wealth around. Chicago last time - Boston this time but the real end-game I think is to get Los Angeles the Olympics in 2028.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (63) Shipping Up to Boston by The Dropkick Murphy's.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I agree with Ian O'Connor that the Bills basically replaced a 9-7 AFC East coach with a 4-12 AFC East coach. As Bill Parcells would say, "You are what your record says you are"... What me jihad?... True story - I only bet on Ohio State once this year. It was against Virginia Tech... Wow - map of the Internet in the US in 1969... There is a very good chance that Bill Belichick will lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl. Yet when the votes are counted for coach of the year - the award will go to another. Belichick so good that this type of year is just expected... I laughed way too hard at this...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today offering (61) Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

My favorite stat from the weekend - Tom Brady is about to go to his 9th AFC Championship game meanwhile Peyton Manning now has 9 one-and-done playoff appearances... Lazy or awesome?!?!... It is rumored that the Denver Broncos may want to part ways with head coach John Fox. If true they should look for a top offensive coach to take his place. You know - someone like Josh McDaniels... Heh heh... The wife of Moses was Zipporah. It's amazing how lost to history she has become. We really know zip about Zipporah... Heh heh... If they had called it an iSegway instead of just Segway - would everyone own one by now?... Ratio wise - I wonder if the distance between stars is much different than the difference in distance between atoms... Peyton Manning lines up another commercial opportunity...


The story Cinderella was written in 1699 by a Frenchman named Charles Perrault. In the original story, Cinderella wore slippers made of squirrel fur but when the book was translated into English the word "vair" (squirrel fur) was mistranslated as "verre" (glass) and the rest is history.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (60) Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about them Patriots!?!?... 23rd century meets the 7th century... Who has more statutory rape allegations - Meathead Rob Lowe or real Rob Lowe?... Nice explanation by Matt Chatham on the Pats "deception" plays... Hard to believe but Tom Brady now leads all active QB's with 5 playoff rushing TD's... Speaking of Spock... The Patriots are now 13-2 when winning the coin toss. Just 2-2 when losing the coin toss. How do they win the coin toss so often?... Heh heh... Shouldn't calling someone a "hot shit" be more of an insult than a compliment?... Neil Gaiman explains how to become a writer... Still can't believe 49 baseball writers left Pedro Martinez off their Hall of Fame ballots...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh - Harry Shearer got fooled by fake congressman from non-existent congressional district. I love the fact that there was not just a fake twitter account for the fake congressman but also one for his "Chief of Staff".

- This week would have been Elvis Presley's 80th birthday. Here's the story of when Donald Rumsfeld met the King.

- After seeing this - I'm guessing Peter King won't be getting an interview from either coach in today's 4:30 game.

- Funny - Nick Dipaulo's Mitch Hedberg story

- Heh heh

- Holy crap what a shot!

- Definitely lost some respect for Mark Jackson after reading this

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (59) Till It Shines by Bob Seger.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Baseball Hall of Fame - Thought One

Here's a thought I had immediately after seeing that Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame - combined the four players made a little over $539 million during their careers.

The most controversial quartet of players on the Hall of Fame ballot associated with PED's - Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa combined salaries came close to almost the exact same amount ($537.5 million). The question that keeps popping up is if this group didn't do PED's would they be in the Hall of Fame today? I think the more accurate question is - if this group didn't do PED's would they have been paid like Hall of Famers? More than two-thirds of Roger Clemens money came after he left Boston in the "twilight of his career". The majority of Barry Bonds money was made after he left Pittsburgh. In Bonds last six years he made more in a single season than he made his whole time with the Pirates.

These guys cheated (allegedly) to get paid. Good.

They don't get Hall of Fame induction too. They made their choice and got their big money. They don't also get to enjoy something that Dale Murphy or Don Mattingly will never get close to. That's not right and that's something many sportswriters don't seem to understand.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (57) How I Wish It Would Rain by The Temptations.

Linky Links

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

- Bitcoin off to a rough start in 2015. I don't own any Bitcoin but wouldn't turn it down if anyone wanted to donate.

- Johnny Football gets heckled, doused with drinks. I feel bad for Browns fans at this point.

- Is this story getting so little exposure because this is now expected behavior for Bill Clinton? Hillary can forget any thoughts about running in 2016 because I have a feeling there are people out there just dying to share their Slick Willie stories.

- Harvard professors upset because Obamacare is now costing them money. I have to laugh but then I remember that Obamacare costs me an extra $320 per month for the same plan I had before the country was snookered by Harvard mouth-breathers.

- My  heart aches for Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and his wife.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Shit Pats Fans Say

Book Review - Killing Floor

The other night I watched the Tom Cruise move Jack Reacher for the second time. Obviously for me to watch it a second time - I must have enjoyed it the first time around. Watching the movie made me curious about the books. I knew there was a lot of controversy among Jack Reacher fans casting the diminutive Cruise as the hulking Reacher so I wanted to read the books for myself to see what the fuss was about.

I ordered Killing Floor the first Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. The book was a paperback with the blurb "See Jack Reacher now in his first major motion picture" on the cover and a new introduction by the author. In the new introduction Lee Child makes it clear that Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6'5". So I'm going out on a limb to say he wasn't pleased with the casting of Cruise as his hero (though going out on another limb I'm going to guess that Lee Child still cashed the movie rights check).

The book was enjoyable. It was Travis McGee / John D. McDonald-eque. Big hero who lives by his own rules finds himself at the center of a mystery that only he can solve and save the day. I will order a few more of the series but I'm going to have to space them out - too much candy rots the brain.

For what it's worth - Tom Cruise is scheduled to star in a second Jack Reacher move - Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (no release date).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Patriots are now a 7 point favorite over Baltimore next Saturday. The line opened at New England -8.5 - at that many points I would have been tempted to take the Ravens too... Those were the days - FDR's 52nd birthday celebration was a toga party... Just a reminder of the needle and the damage done - in 2007 when Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi took leadership over Congress the unemployment rate was 4.6% and the national debt was $8.6 trillion... I just love this photo... "Too Big to Fail" would have been a great title for an Andre the Giant biography... No matter what happens Saturday - when Tom Brady finally hangs up his spikes his record of playoff wins will be untouchable. I can't foresee any team ever having the type of run of sustained greatness like the Patriots have had these past dozen years (and counting)...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Saturday, January 03, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (55) Come a Little Closer by Cage the Elephant.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Paul Pabst from the Dan Patrick show and others have made this point but in other years the NCAAF Championship game would most likely have been Florida State vs Alabama. Both of the losing teams in this years playoff format... Sony most likely an inside job... I've said this before but if Peyton Manning changed his audible from "Omaha! Omaha!" to "Obama! Obama!" - would he lose half his endorsements?... Was the Shire from Lord of the Rings based on Kentucky?... Meat Slurry would be a good name for a band. Or for an entree companion to Golden Corral's Chocolate Waterfall... Who knew? After the attack on Pearl Harbor - Canada declared war on Japan before the US did... Coffee naps! I'm so in!...

Thursday, January 01, 2015

100 of My Favorite Songs

Today's offering (54) Time by Pink Floyd. Seemed an appropriate song for the first of the year.