Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gettysburg Address



154-years ago today.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

State of the Celtics

The state of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Fresh off a beating of the World Champion Golden State Warriors - Boston now has a 14-game winning streak going. Not only did the Celtics beat Golden State -they held the high scoring Warriors to just 88 points! In a now "3 and D" league nobody in playing better "D" than Boston.

The team was led the other night by second-year star in the making Jalyen Brown who turns out was playing despite the fact his best friend committed suicide the night before. Danny Ainge took a lot of heat for taking Brown with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but Brown is shaking out to be at least the clear 3rd best player from that draft class and an argument can be made that he's the best overall with many preferring him over the second pick Brandon Ingram and 1st pick Ben Simmons not yet showing he's durable enough for the NBA. (Don't sleep on Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon who was the 36th pick in that draft either.)

Ainge should also be praised for clearly winning the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. Even if the Nets pick ends up being number 1 overall in this year's NBA Draft and even if Isiah Thomas returns from injury to once again be an All-Star - Kyrie Irving has been the perfect fit for Boston on and off the court. How can you not like a guy who picks number 11 for his uniform to honor his dad whose number 11 is retired by Boston University. A dad who insists on letting his son be the "big baller" on the court while he quietly supports his son from the stands.

Oh and about that Nets pick - right now the Lakers (6-10) actually have a worse record than Brooklyn (6-9) and the Celtics own LA's pick. There's currently 8 NBA teams with a worse record than the Nets. Danny Ainge knew what he was doing.

Speaking of Ainge knowing what he's doing - how about Jayson Tatum? Tatum was the 3rd pick in this year's draft but he's easily been the best player out of that draft so far. Trading the first overall pick for Tatum and the Lakers' number one next year is making people think of the Joe Barry Carroll trade for Parrish and McHale. Ainge knows what he's doing.

Ainge clearly knew what he was doing when he signed Brad Stevens to be the coach. You cannot mention the best coaches in the NBA without bringing up Stevens' name. Players now want to come to Boston because they know Stevens will make them better players.

I'm going to end this State of the Celtics by bringing up Al Horford. This is not an afterthought. Horford to me is to the Celtics what Phil Hartman was to SNL. He's the glue that holds the show together. Al Horford quietly does so many things well - 15.5 points per game, 9 rebounds and 4.4 assists - that he's easy to overlook. Celtics fans know his importance and how good an overall player Al is. And we appreciate that as a free agent he chose to play here.

The State of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Danny Ainge knows what he's doing.

Band Names

Here's a list of some suggested band names. Many of which may also works as fantasy sports team names.

- Death Waltz                                                  - Vengeance Quakers

- Sex Clams                                                     - Gynecological Whack-A-Mole

- Spray-On Condoms                                      - Hairy Toilet

And finally Cognitive Sommelier

Friday, November 17, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How about those Boston Celtics?... I for one welcome our robot overlords... If Roy Moore does win his election in Alabama - President Trump can solve his problem by making Moore Ambassador to Germany (the age of consent there is just 14-years old). I kid, I kid... Awwww... The Democrats should immediately have Christopher Plummer replace Al Franken as Senator from Minnesota. Call it the Kevin Spacey Recall... "The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out." - JRR Tolkien... Just to give you an idea of current priorities in Boston (not pictured World Peace)... Am I the only one who wonders if that grandma in the Southwest commercial was being held prisoner by that nursing home?... There should be no "new" Tom Clancy novels. It's just sanctioned fan fiction at this point. Tom Clancy died years ago. Let the man rest in peace...

Top 5 - Thoughts on Al Franken


Here are my Top 5 Thoughts on Al Franken:

1. So can we expect to see him on the cover of the next GQ magazine?

2. How soon before we see one of those Hitler in the Bunker videos where Hitler learns about the sexual assault accusations against Franken?

3. Al Franken says that if past inappropriate sexual behavior happened that he was drunk at the time and that he now plans to live his life as a gay man.

4. Al Franken says that if his past sexual behavior can be forgiven he will double his efforts to stop the NRA

5. Sexual harassment and assault are not laughing matters and certainly not to the victims. I mean no disrespect to those who have suffered or who continue to suffer out of fear of stepping forward. However, I think the public scorn and ridicule of those animals who think the "rules" don't apply to them because they hold the "correct" political views can only help to prevent future harassment and assaults. To me the hypocrite Al Franken deserves both barrels of public ridicule.

Why not a similar approach to Roy Moore? His "penchant" for teenage girls borders on pedophilia and I can find nothing funny about pedophilia. If the dad of one of the girls Moore approached pistol-whipped him or beat him with a baseball bat and I was on the jury - that dad would walk scott free with a handshake and a pat on the back.

In my book both Al Franken and Roy Moore are scum. And all the other animals like them are scum too!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Redemption - Johnny Cash



Such a great song by such a great voice.

GQ Magazine


A visual reminder of why I've never read GQ. (And yes I know Tom Brady's been on the cover too - several times - shut up!)

I'm guessing a Venn diagram intersection between NFL fans and GQ subscribers would be rather small.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

Last year I predicted that the re-make of Murder on the Orient Express would do about as well as the recent re-make of Ben Hur. Not sure if that prediction holds true as the re-make of Murder on the Orient Express made more in its opening weekend ($28 million) than the re-make of Ben Hur made in total ($26 million).

I'm on the fence about seeing the movie. The reviews I've seen haven't been all that positive but it's at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. I've made no qualms about the fact that the original Murder on the Orient Express is one of those movies that if I see it playing have to watch the rest. Just love the flick. My gut tells though that instead of paying to see the remake my money would be better off buying the original Murder on the Orient Express on Amazon. In fact for about the same cost of one ticket to the new Murder on the Orient Express I could buy the original and the vastly underrated (in my opinion) Breakheart Pass

While I'm on the subject of Murder on the Orient Express let me revisit one of my pet peeves - there's no such thing as a "world famous detective"!

Bobby Doerr

Red Sox great and Baseball Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr has passed away at the age of 99. The Red Sox put out this response about the loss of Doerr.

To get an idea of the man this article written 10-years ago about the last time Doerr visited Fenway Park might be helpful. I take comfort in knowing Doerr wished to someday be reunited with his wife of 65-years. Today Bobby and Monica are back together.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 10


Jerry Jones doesn't want Roger Goodell's contract extended and he's willing to sue the NFL to keep this from happening. The other owners probably don't realize it but Jones is doing them a large favor. Extending Roger Goodell's contract is a horrible idea. Goodell has been a huge failure as Commissioner. Fixing what's wrong with the NFL starts with acknowledging that Roger Goodell has to go.

The next step to fixing the NFL would be to hire Condoleezza Rice as his replacement. Domestic abuse? You just hired a woman commissioner. Black lives matter? You just hired an African-American as the top person in the NFL. Problem with the NFL's optics as disrespecting of the US military? You just hired a person whose popularity among the military is among the highest there is. Pretty much all of the problems facing the NFL would immediately be lessened by her hiring. Extending Goodell would just exacerbate the problems.

Jones is trying to save the NFL owners from themselves. Maybe if a large advertiser like Budweiser stepped up and said unequivocally - extend Roger Goodell and we are all done advertising with the NFL would be the kick the other owners need to avoid this disaster. Ad prices are down 6.7% all of these controversies. Extending Goodell's contract isn't going to help that either.

Another NFL owner making news is Colts owner Jim Irsay who is a fraud of a human being. Potentially Irsay could be facing a fraud class action suit because of the way he strung season ticket holders along with misleading information about star QB Andrew Luck. Irsay is maybe the most unlikable person in the NFL. And that's saying something.

One of the best examples of ESPN losing their way was Jon Gruden's "Turkey Hole". How did cutting away from the live action during a key turnover to show a pre-produced "skit" align with ESPN's mission statement of "To serve sports fans,. Anytime. Anywhere."? Hint - it doesn't. I just hope the folks at the Urban Dictionary come up with a suitable definition for "Jon Gruden's Turkey Hole".

Anyway - on to the picks. Once again let me remind you that I'm just 5-15-1 on the season so you'd probably be better off throwing a dart against the wall then listening to me.

Dallas +3.5 at Atlanta - feel that the Cowboys are just the better overall team.

Two team moneyline parley - Patriots and Rams risking $200 to win $100

Good luck

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Louis CK Says it's true - it's all true. I guess that makes this picture less funny than he intended

- 4 laws of muscle or you are what you just ate

- RIP John Hillerman

- Interesting - Putin's Achilles heel

- Heh heh

- How the tax bill could hit college sports. I've long supported the idea that all college sports related revenue should be taxable.

- Let's not forget how creepy Joe Biden has always been

Veterans Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th day of the 11th month and armistice was signed in 1918 ending what was known then as the Great War but what we now call World War I. To commemorate the end of the war -  Armistice Day was created but this was later changed to Veterans Day which we celebrate today. The aim of the holiday is not just to act as a salute to our veterans but also as a day of remembrance of those who gave their last full measure of devotion .

With the idea of remembrance the site Every One Remembered was created  to recognize, acknowledge and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by 1.1 million service men and women in World War 1.

I did my part by remembering Christopher Lynch a 37-year old Irishman who died on November 18, 1918 (five days after the Armistice was signed). "We will remember them. Today, Tomorrow, Forever."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy 242nd Marines

Today is the 242nd birthday for the United States Marine Corps. 

In honor of the Marines - here's my favorite Ronald Reagan quote:
Some people live their entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. Marines don't have that problem. -- January 1995

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Doc Halladay 1977-2017 RIP


Harry Leroy "Doc" Halladay gone way too early - Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Linky Links

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

- If the DNC doesn't get rid of "Super Delegates" then there's absolutely no cure for the corruption of their system

- All the news fit to print - except the stories our compromised attorneys talk us out of

- What an awesome block

-  Interesting - the "Japanese" cars made in the USA

- A true hero and an inspiration. Thank you for your service! Where do we find such men!

- Interesting - plastic eating caterpillars

- Cool photography - perfect timing

Cuting the Cord

I imagine many are thinking I too want to get rid of cable but I don't want to miss certain network shows or I don't want to go cold turkey with no sports programming but I don't know what my options are. Well friend - I'm here to help you out. Here's the major options for people looking to cut the cord but not all the way.

- DirecTV Now - 60+ channels for $35/month.

- Sling TV - 20 channels for $20/month

- Hulu - live TV plans starting at $39.99/month

- YouTubeTV - 40+ live channels for $35/month

- PlayStation Vue - starting at about 50 channels for $39.99/month. Although for $44.95/month the package in Boston includes NESN (Red Sox and Bruins) and NBC Sports Boston (Celtics).

Right now I have HBO Go, Amazon Prime and YouTube (regular YouTube not the pay version). And this is fine for me. I want to watch less TV not more and I like going out to watch a game. But to be honest the PlayStation Vue option with the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics is tempting me to come back on the dark side. I no longer have Netflix but that siren song is also calling.

The Tim Ferris Entrepreneur MBA

The great Tim Ferris, according to Entrepreneur.com, recommends the following 10 books for any entrepreneur. Here's a list of the books so you don't have to endure the click-bait slideshow:

- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

- The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

- Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull

- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

- Dune by Frank Herbert

- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

- Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Of the books I've only already read Dune and the Richard Feynman book. I've added the rest to my Amazon wish list to remedy that deficiency.

Monday, November 06, 2017

I Contain Multitudes



Recently read Ed Yong's book I Contain Multitudes and I recommend it highly. It is an excellent explainer of the world of the microbiome - a world we know so very little about but also a world that we mess with on a regular basis without proper context for what damage we may be doing to ourselves and our world. We are trying to sterilize our environments but in reality are may be making ourselves more susceptible to more damage and more dangerous things. This book should be MUST READING for any high school biology class.

On Earth we have single celled and multi-celled organisms (like ourselves). This is only possible because of long ago there was a merger between an archaeon and a bacterium. Something that was in Ed Yong's words "so breathtakingly improbable that it has never been duplicated." Another way to describe this could be to say it was a miracle. Maybe even a "let there be life" type miracle.

There's no guarantee that this miracle happened anywhere else in the universe. Not sure Ed Yong thought he was writing a book that might strengthen a person's belief in a higher power but that's what it did for me.

Anyway - I highly recommend I Contain Multitudes (and the videos too!).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Patriots actually got more in return for Jimmy Garappolo (a 2nd Rd pick plus Brian Hoyer) than they got for trading Jamie Collins a year earlier (3rd Rd pick)... So Rand Paul was assaulted by a neighbor while Paul was mowing his lawn. Not excusing the attack but I do have to wonder just how early was Paul mowing his lawn? And who mows their lawn in November?... Inadvertently giving birth to the show Rick and Morty... "If the able and good withdraw themselves from Society [Government], the venal and ignorant will succeed." John Tyler 1783... Heh heh... Hillary Clinton's campaign manager's name was Robby Mook. She had a mook run her campaign and people were surprised she lost?... The Violent Femmes song Gone Daddy Gone has the best rock xylophone in history... Best random Halloween costume - guy wearing Red Sox jersey holding handful of losing scratch tickets - dressed as a Masshole... Can a welcome mat be viewed as an invitation to enter an unoccupied home?... Henry Miller's 11 Commandments of Writing... Just a reminder - the Red Sox magic number is now 163...

Linky Links

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

- How to clear the data off your old phone before you sell it

- Nice shot

- Where the top American-made cars are manufactured

- Is Roger Goodell deliberately pushing the NFL leftward? By Jason Whitlock?

- And in a related story - Vin Scully says he will no longer watch another NFL game because of the Anthem protests. 

- I love these stories.

- Agreed - still the greatest tourism poster ever made.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 9

So last week I wondered about what would happen if a major advertiser pulled out of sponsoring the NFL and I also laid blame of most of the NFL's problems at the forehead feet of Peyton Manning and what do you know. Papa John's blamed advertising with the NFL for the company's sluggish revenues. Shots fired. From the official pizza sponsor of the NFL!  Some trace Papa John's "rant" against the NFL to Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys who also owns 94 Papa John's franchises. But keeping in mind the common thread of suckitude - Peyton Manning also owns 32 Papa John's. If you love the NFL and America - it's your duty to boo Peyton Manning whenever you see him.

Some (like me) suggest the ratings drop is primarily due to people "cutting the cord" and getting rid of cable. Others are blaming the ratings drop on crappy Thursday night and crappy early Sunday morning London games diluting the product. Others are staying away from the violence of the NFL because of the damage caused by CTE. Some are boycotting the NFL over the National Anthem protests by the players. A controversy that's not going away. Whatever the reason viewers are abandoning the NFL and they aren't coming back.

On another front President Donald Trump's war on the NFL took another turn as the proposed new tax codes hits the NFL in another vulnerable spot - the NFL's penchant for blackmailing cities into ponying up tax dollars for new stadiums.  Viscerally Trump has hit the NFL in its two weakest spots - protests over the National Anthem and tax dollars for billionaire team owners. You have to hand it to him its a genius move. Is Trump finally getting revenge from the NFL for what they did to the USFL? I mean Trump can easily negotiate away some other proposed unpopular tax code changes but what elected Congressman or Senator is going to bat for the NFL these days and still remain electable? Genius.

Anyway on to the picks for the day. With a season record of 4-14-1 there's nowhere to go but up!

Dallas -.2.5 vs Kansas City

A two team moneyline parlay on the Eagles and Seahawks (risking $200 to win $140). Go birds!

Good luck.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes. Just a reminder of how smug certain people were.



A year later and that smugness is being replaced by the hard reality that Barack Obama instead of saving the Democratic Party may have destroyed it. And that the person "trusted" to lead the Party after Obama has issued the following apology:


OK that last bit was "Fake news" but not too much of a stretch when you think about it.

I'm no Trump supporter but I do understand the feeling of those who believe that no matter how "unfit" Trump may be to be President - he's still preferable to letting the smug kleptocrats run the country.

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- Hulk Robots - 3D printed synthetic muscle can lift 1000x its own weight

- This is awesome!

- Bettor X - Great gambling story

- The interesting case of Cowboy Bob the bank robber who fooled the FBI

- I can't tell if this is real or a joke. That's where we're at as a society. Either way - please don't eat onions for 48-hours before class.

- And we come full circle


Friday, November 03, 2017

Bob Feller


Bob Feller would have turned 99-years old today.

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

Donna Brazile vs Hillary Clinton

Very interesting development yesterday as an excerpt of Donna Brazile's upcoming book caused a firestorm. Basically Brazile asserts Hillary Clinton and her campaign took over the Democratic Party long before the primaries even started. They used the promise of erasing Barack Obama's campaign debt to sideline him (and Joe Biden) and then turned the DNC into a fundraising machine as a way to funnel millions into the Clinton campaign coffers.

Think of it like this. Guy currently running waste management company runs up a big gambling debt. The mafia forgives the gambling debt in exchange for control over the waste management company. The guy running the company is retiring anyway and doesn't want that debt hanging over his head and the mafia wants a way to launder money. It was pretty much like that - except supposedly legal. The Bernie Bros must be - and should be pissed off today.

I say supposedly legal because this arrangement could be a big reason why the DNC refused to turn their email server over to the FBI after they claimed they were hacked. The DNC didn't want the fact they were being run by Hillary Clinton exposed any more than the mafia would want it publicly known that they were running a waste management company. My guess is Clinton Campaign also wasn't 100% sure what they were doing actually was legal.

Part of me thinks this scheme was reminiscent of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury having the Federal Government assume the Revolutionary War debts of the States in exchange for the States supporting the Federal Government. But then I remember that Hillary Clinton is much more like Uncle Junior than Alexander Hamilton.

All I know is that it is going to be very awkward if Donna Brazile and Hillary Clinton get booked to do book signings at the same Costco.

Neil Gaiman - Make Good Art



It never hurts to hear this speech every once and a while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

ESPN

To serve sports fans. Anytime. Anywhere. - ESPN Mission Statement
That's been ESPN's mission statement from the very founding of the company. But in recent years the company has moved away from this basic, straight-forward objective and the company and bottom line has suffered for this lack of focus on sports.

Hollywood star has a new movie coming out? Let's have him/her do the Bristol "carwash" and appear on every show to promote the movie. How does that "serve sports fans"? It doesn't. Insert certain "approved" political leanings and beliefs into the sanctum of sports? Sure as long as it's the correct political beliefs. How does that "serve sports fans"?  It doesn't. You could go on and on about programming on the various channels that no longer serves sports fans.

Simply put ESPN has lost its way and is no longer serving sports fans anytime anywhere. And it's very continued existence is in jeopardy because of this lack of focus on what should have been a simple mission statement.

Another round of layoffs is imminent at ESPN. And nobody is surprised. ESPN losing 15,000 subscribers A DAY. Nobody is surprised.

As that last article mentions ESPN is even at the point of potentially no longer being able to afford the NFL rights for Monday Night Football.

Disney acquired ESPN because it was a moneymaker. Was. As in past tense.

Now that ESPN is a drag on the bottom line - would anyone be surprised if the suits at Disney sell off the property to an Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple? I wouldn't be surprised. In fact I expect them to make that very move in the next couple of years.

The mission statement was six simple words. And the company couldn't stick to six simple words. They lost their way. And because of that they started losing viewers, losing money and losing value.

And its probably too late to get back on the original path.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Harvey Weinstein and Barack Obama

You read about Harvey Weinstein and sadly you are disgusted but not surprised by any new revelations. That was true for me until I read that Barack Obama arranged for his daughter Malia to do a summer internship with Harvey Weinstein's company. That surprised and viscerally bothered me. I mean by now it should be clear that EVERYONE KNEW about Harvey Weinstein. You would have to assume that the man who had the FBI and CIA at his beck and call also knew. Yet that man still had his young daughter work for this animal? I'm truly disturbed by that.

I really do believe in the "Babysitter Test" for politicians. Simply put - would you trust this person to babysit your child. Mitt Romney passed this test with flying colors. Bill Clinton? No fucking way! In this just passed election I think Gary Johnson would have been the most trustworthy babysitter and for that and other reasons he earned my vote.

Say what you will about Barack Obama but I always felt he passed the Babysitter Test. Until now.

He let his baby girl work for Harvey Weinstein.

Linky Links

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

- Interesting - joining a fraternity lowered GPA by .25 but increased future income by 36%. In my experience it also helped to really raise your BAC.

- Nathan Fillion coming back to TV in new cop show

- You may think you're cool but you'll never be George Scott 1975 leading the league in HR and RBI cool.

- Both Keith and I have the sense of humor of 12-year old boys.

- Cool - story behind 7-year old girl who threw out World series first pitch with 3-D printed prosthetic hand 

Jimmy Garoppolo

So there was a nuclear accident in North Korea yesterday reportedly killing 200 people but all the news in New England will be about the trade of the Patriots back-up QB - Jimmy Garoppolo. We have have priorities in Boston.

The trade was Garoppolo to the 49ers for a 2018 2nd round draft pick and Brian Hoyer. Make no mistake Hoyer was absolutely part of the deal. There's no way the Patriots don't add a back-up QB to the roster with the trade of Garoppolo and the 49ers don't release Hoyer without the trade. Both things are part of the same transaction.

All the news today will be bemoaning that the Patriots didn't get enough back in return for Garoppolo. Do yourself a favor and stay away from Boston sports talk radio today (and everyday for that matter).

The bottom line is this is Tom Brady's team and the Patriots will only go as far as Brady can take them. That's true for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Jimmy Garoppolo was never going to unseat Tom Brady as the starter so in reality he had at most 8 more regular season games holding a clipboard in Foxborough. They were never going to be able to sign him this offseason without using the Franchise tag which is something they didn't wish to do. So the Pats did him a favor and traded him to his hometown team the 49ers.

Did New England just trade Steve Young in order to keep Joe Montana? You'll probably hear that analogy today at some point but truth is situations are very different. Montana missed all of the 1991 season and played just 1 game in 1992 before being traded to Kansas City to finish up his career. Tom Brady, meanwhile, was the Super Bowl MVP last year and this season statistically he's the best QB in football.

I wish Jimmy Garoppolo all the best. I hope he's everything Pat fans envisioned. And I hope that the Pats make other trades today because they really could use a better pass rush.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Devil's Footprints

Since tomorrow is Halloween I thought I'd bring up the Devil's Footprints - one of the strangest phenomenons in history:
On the night of the 8th of February 1855, heavy snowfall blanketed the countryside and small villages of Southern Devon [England]. The last snow is thought to have fallen around midnight, and between this time and around 6.00 am the following morning, something (or some things) left a myriad of tracks in the snow, stretching for a hundred miles or more, from the River Exe, to Totnes on the river Dart.

The early risers were the first to find them, strange hoof-shaped prints in straight lines, passing over rooftops, through walls and covering huge areas of land. A set of the prints were even supposed to have bridged a two mile span of the river Exe, continuing on the other side as if the creature had walked over the water.
Freaky stuff with no rational explanation - I find that stuff fascinating.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week 8


The man holding the sign may have a point. I haven't done the research but I'm guessing the NFL's decline in ratings probably starting going down right about the time Peyton Manning's grotesque forehead starting polluting the airways in thousands and thousands of cringe-worthy commercials. Everything bad in the NFL can in some way be blamed on Manning. So if you love the NFL and are a good American - you should boo Peyton Manning whenever you see him. 

I have to wonder but if a business announced that they were no longer advertising with the NFL because of the anthem controversy  - would the public perception of that business be positive? I think it would. The company could enjoy a bump in good PR while at the same time saving those monies that would have been spent on commercials.

With wheelchair bound President George HW Bush having to apologize for patting a girls butt - I can see the following future NFL scenario; an openly gay NFL player files a harassment suit saying his teammates and coaches often pat him on the behind after good plays. It's coming.

First they denied there was a TV ratings problem, then they said the National Anthem protests had nothing to do with the ratings decline. Now they are justifying the rating decline by saying that it's less a decline than the rest of prime-time TV. Whistling by the graveyard.

On a nice note - you may have missed this but my favorite part of last week's games was Tom Brady high-fiving 200 military service members before the game with the Falcons.

On the year my picks are 3-12-1 on the season so maybe fade them. Good thing this is for entertainment purposes only.

Today I'll take the Pats/Chargers over of 49, Dallas -2.5 at Washington, and  Atlanta -6.5 at the Jets.

Good luck.

Awesome



Awesome! This would probably be the only way I'd ever put an Amazon Echo into my home.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Daylight Savings


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

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

Linky Links

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

- I got nervous just watching this guy.

- Wait what? There's no pumpkin in pumpkin pie.

- Heh heh

- The left-wing heroes who treat women like garbage. Yet it was "binders full of women" that the MSM took offense at.

- Shameful is right! And a reminder - United Arab Emirates is a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

- Paul Newman's Rolex just sold for $17.8 million. Glad most of that money will be going to his family charities.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Chad Millman

I got to know about Chad Millman via ESPN's Behind the Bets podcast (which I still subscribe to and still enjoy). About a month ago there was a quick intro to the podcast saying his duties were being handed over to Ben Fawkes and that was that. Poof! He was gone like "a fart in the wind".

Not sure about you but I was curious what happened and I guess the story is Millman left ESPN to join The Action Network (not to be confused with the Action Network which is totally something different - wait it's totally going to be confusing for everyone!). What's important is he's back partnered with Bob Scucci with The Buffet with Chad and Scooch podcast. Finally I can get my Scooch Roulette listening pleasure back.

If you like sports betting you should be subscribing to their podcast. And Chad - if you read this - get off your ass and update your own homepage.

Missouri Executive Order 44

Extermination Order Day:
"...the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description."
Missouri Executive Order 44 passed on this day in 1838. The law made it legal to kill Mormons in Missouri. The law was not repealed until 1976.

It blows my mind to think this law was on the books for 138 years!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Big Red


Happy birthday to Dave Cowens who turned 69 today, Happy birthday Big Red!

Blueberry Hill



Rock pioneer Fats Domino has passed away at age 89. Way before my time and I cannot help but think of Fats Domino without thinking of his signature song Blueberry Hill. And I cannot think of that song without thinking of Vladimir Putin's ridiculous version of it.

Enjoy.

Linky Links

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

- Where do we find such men as Army Captain Gary Rose?

- Kevin Bieksa superman punch

- Six seconds to live. Where do we find such men?

- Such love

- Excellent point. I too may engage in the quest!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

On Reading


The above really hits home for me and that's OK. It's not a "problem" the above is just amusing. I do want to be a better reader though.

So I'm going to try and follow the advice of Arthur Schopenhauer on reading and books.

And I'm going to figure out what best work for me when it comes to this; How to remember what you've read. If you can't remember what you've read you've basically wasted your time. I have to work on this aspect of reading and I really agree with this observation:
As a general rule, people who love reading never, ever finish a crappy book.
It took me a long time to realize this. I was a stubborn Irishman and damn it if I started a book I was going to finish the damn thing. No longer and I'm a much better reader for the change.

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm sure Alex Cora will be a fine manager for the Red Sox but I just don't have any enthusiasm to give to that team as this point of the year... Heh heh - we've all been there... The people who love the intrigue and baseness of politics must share some core common trait with people who can't get enough Dr. Pimple Popper videos... Heh heh - one year ago... Joe Thomas' consecutive snap streak was one of the more impressive athletic achievements in recent memory. Feel bad for Thomas that it had to end Sunday... Cool visualization of the warping of spacetime... Speaking of warping spacetime - a teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh as much as one billion tons. Just throwing that out there... The Heartbreakers react to the loss of Tom Petty...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

NFL Sunday - Week Seven


I agree with Matt Chatham that the Patriots should send out James White and Steven Gostkowski as captains for the coin toss for tonight's Super Bowl rematch between New England and Atlanta. Yes it would be a dick move by Bill Belichick but more importantly it would make me chuckle.

One piece of news that I heard this week that should really have the NFL worried is according to Brent Musburger last week Las Vegas had $100,000 more money bet on college football than on NFL football for the first time ever. If TV ratings are down, people boycotting the product because of the anthem protests, and people are getting their gambling jones satisfied elsewhere it could mean the NFL has truly peaked in popularity and is now on the way down.

What about fantasy? Surely those numbers are up - right? The answer is who cares. Most people who play fantasy football don't bother to watch the games. Just refresh the match-up page. How does that help TV ratings or revenue in any way? They say pride goeth before a fall and nobody has had more hubris than the NFL. Think of it as karma.

I'm 2-11 on picks made here so far this season so treat the following accordingly:

Buffalo -3 vs Tampa Bay - the Bills are better than people think or expected.

Carolina -3 at Chicago - don't like the idea on putting money on Cam Newton so I'm thinking I'm of it as putting money on the Panthers defense instead.

New Orleans -3.5 at Green Bay - the Saints are also better than people think or expected and the Packers will be without Aaron Rogers.

Good luck.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Do You Know Who Else Pretends to Be Cowboys?


Every time I see Rep Fredrica Wilson in one of her ridiculous cowboy hats I immediately think of the Tom Segura bit about cowboys; "Do you know who else pretends to be cowboys? Three-year olds."

Congratulations to Florida's 24th District - you elected the equivalent of a three-year old to Congress.

A Modest Proposal


Columbus Day continuing to be a federal holiday also continues to be a divisive issue. On one side you have people who say Columbus was a genocidal imperialist monster and on the other proud Italian-Americans and traditionalists. I have a modest proposal with a solution which I think would be acceptable to most Americans.

On October 19, 1781 the British forces under Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown to end the Revolutionary War. America as a free nation really starts with this date. Why not celebrate the date as the new national holiday in replacement of Columbus Day? Yorktown Day could be celebrated on the third Monday in October. The unions would be satisfied since they wouldn't be losing a paid holiday. Italian-Americans couldn't complain since this in no way would be disrespecting Columbus and historically Yorktown is the more important date (beside Columbus really "discovered" the Caribbean not North America). French-Americans would be big supporters of the switch because the French fleet played a huge role in the victory. The only people who might complain are the people who are against glorifying anything that's even remotely militarily related but screw those people.

Have Yorktown Day replace Columbus Day. So let it be written so let it be done.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty



This song was written by Tom Petty back in 1973 back when he was still in Mudcrutch. It was offered by his record label to the J. Geils Band who turned it down. The song ended up being Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first Top 10 single in 1979 on the Damn the Torpedoes album. 

Today would have been Tom Petty's 67th birthday. Gone way too soon.

Linky Links

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

- The tree lobsters are dead! Long live the tree lobsters! (As an aside Tree Lobsters would be a great name for a band)

- Awesome! Beastie Boys / Muppets mashup

- Things like this make me so angry. Not angry with McKayla for coming forward but red-hot anger at the scum would would take advantage of her in this way. I agree with McKayla's four suggested changes and would assume anyone with any decency would too.

- Researchers discover that memories form and get recalled along two distinct circuits in the brain. This could be very relevant towards Alzheimer's research.

- 27 million men, women and children still live as slaves today! 27 million! Why more civilized people aren't outraged at this baffles me.

- Timeline: The Clintons, the Russians and Uranium.

- 21-years of Joe Buck hyping (mostly) forgotten Fox shows

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spielberg

I watched the HBO documentary Spielberg the other night and I came away very unimpressed. After a few days of thinking on it I'm upset that I wasted my time on this love-fest piece of pap.

Yes Steven Spielberg was a historically great director. Helming such movie classics as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

But of the last 10 films he directed only 2012's Lincoln stands out. And that stands out more for the acting of Daniel Day-Lewis than anything else. And his last 10 films include all-time shit-fests Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and 2005's War of the Worlds (which may be the worst big-budget movie I've seen in my life).

Maybe HBO felt that Spielberg needed an ego boost and that's fine and dandy but I didn't need to be a participant in the circle-jerk. And you don't either. Don't waste your time on this "documentary".

I don't mean to be all "what have you done for me lately" regarding Spielberg but perhaps what bugs me most was how whitewashed the whole thing was. Spielberg's friend and fellow director John Milius wasn't even mentioned. I mean that guy, among other things, wrote the Indianapolis speech for Quint in Jaws. If Milius was whitewashed out of Spielberg's history what other things also were left out in this "documentary"? Again - don't waste your time.

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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Something That Always Bothered Me

Couple of years ago there was an AXE shampoo commercial that claimed that 85% of girls found dandruff on a man to be a turn-off. What the heck was wrong with that other 15% of women polled?

Did they find dandruff on a man to be a turn on? I mean it seems like it was a yes or no type of poll.

Given the profitability of niche marketing - shouldn't AXE have been marketing fake dandruff to men trying for sexy time with that 15% of women by now?

Monday, October 09, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Cool - an oral history of Batman: The Animated Series... Nut Byproducts would be a good name for a band... Speaking of Batman - my idea of great art... I still say my first move as President would be to make Bill Belichick my Press Secretary. Those press briefings would be epic... Why is it "Happy as a clam?" Is it because clams don't have any brains or feelings?... Don't forget to get your flu shots... One of my deepest fears is of fire-breathing koalas. Wheh! Feels good to get that off my chest. Now let the healing begin... Women wearing nothing but milk. Milk was a good choice... Every time I find a dead fruit fly in the head of my beer I think, "that's the way he wanted to die"... Awesome - the Traveling Jagr's... Happy Columbus Day...

Put Joe Biden in the Movie Title

I amused myself by replacing part of some of the greatest movie titles of all-time with Joe Biden. Some of these movies actually should be made:

The Good, the Bad and the Joe Biden
The Silence of the Joe Biden
Forrest Gump
Joe Biden 2: Judgement Day
Joe Biden of Arabia
Eternal Sunshine of the Joe Biden
Joe Biden: A Space Odyssey
Inglorious Joe Bidens
Mr. Joe Biden Goes to Washington
Cool Hand Joe Biden