Monday, July 31, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Agreed - this photo of Andrian Beltre and his family is awesome!

- Heh heh

- The New Model - yup that's what the data will be used for

- Very cool 

- Mitt Romney was so right about so much

Harry Potter and Divorce

Today is JK Rowling's 52nd birthday. In her honor I'm reposting an observation I had a long time ago about the Harry Potter series. 

In the series - young readers are exposed to death, murder, torture, theft, lying and I'm pretty sure that if there was an eighth book the line over heavy snogging would have been crossed. The only thing JK Rowling seems to have been very careful to protect young readers against by not bringing it up is divorce.

It hit me that none of the adult characters in the book are divorced.

Think about it. 

Any adult character that gets married stays married till death does them part. The Weasley's, the Granger's, and Fleur's parents are all happily married. Even the Dursley's and Malfoy's - as unlikable as they may be to the reader - are all-in-all pretty happily married. Harry's parent's and Neville's parents were happily married till tragedy struck. Luna Lovegood's parent's loved good till tragedy befell her mother. Heck even Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange seem to have been a happy couple in their twisted way.

If an adult is unmarried in the series - it is pretty much because they are a widow(er) or a spinster (or bachelor). McGonagall, Snape, Dumbledore and most of the teachers at Hogwarts seem resigned to living the celibate life. No divorced adults or children of divorced parents are mentioned. 

There seems to be three exceptions to this rule of thumb - Dean Thomas, Hagrid and Voldemorte himself. Dean Thomas shouldn't count because according to Rowling his father was killed by Death Eaters when he was an infant - unbeknownst to either Dean or his mother who later remarried. Hagrid's mother was a giant and thus probably exempt from the normal rules. That leaves only Voldemorte as an example of some sort of "broken home."

Merope Gaunt, Voldemorte's mother cast an enchantment on Tom Riddle Sr. (first a love potion but then other things) to get him to marry her. Once Merope let the enchantments lapse - Tom Riddle became disgusted at what had happened and left the pregnant Merope to her fate. Did the one truly "bad egg" somehow become what he was because of the sins of the parents?

When you consider that JK Rowling was a single mother when she started writing the series - it doesn't take much of a psychologist to wonder if her situation played a major role in how she portrayed marriage in her books. A magical world where people who fall in love never get divorced.

Happy birthday JK and thanks for creating such a magical world.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm not a fan of President Trump's antics but I also can't shake the feeling that if he was a Democrat the press would be shouting at us "It's the economy stupid!"... It's now been 10-years since the NFL suspended Michael Vick for running a dog fighting ring... 30-years of music industry formats in 30-seconds... It would be seriously funny if Steve Bannon's Secret Service code name was "the Hedgehog" (too obscure?).... Mexican fishing bats (yes it's a real thing)... Metallic Hydrogen would be a good name for a geeky rock band... Touching story - Semper Fi Fido.... Just saying but doesn't Venezuela have a single-payer health system?... Heh heh...

Very Cool

This was the Astronomy Picture of the Day from earlier in the week (be sure to click the link to see the photo).

Just Saying

The New York Mets have been a Major League Baseball team since 1962 but their all-time leader in HR, Darryl Strawberry, has just 252 HR. That would only be good for 7th on the Red Sox all-time list (nudging out Mo Vaughn).

And before you claim "Well the Red Sox have been around much longer" - 4 of the top 6 Boston HR sluggers started their careers after 1962. And it would have been 5 out of 6 but Carl Yastrzemski started his career in 1961! You could double Strawberry's 252 HR and he'd still fall short of Ted Williams' 521 (and Williams took multiple seasons off to fight for his country).

The Mets are just lousy at producing power hitters.

And no - I'm not still bitter about 1986 (well maybe a little).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The LeBron James Dilemma

So who would you rather have - LeBron James for one year or Kyrie Irving for three years? That's basically the situation facing the Cavaliers right now since it seems clear the two players can no longer coexist on the same time.

The best answer for Cleveland to this dilemma, in my opinion, is probably to trade James to the Lakers for a package of Brook Lopez, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle plus a future first round pick. The salaries match up so no problem there. The Cavaliers could then flip one or a couple of their assets (Ingram, Randle or Kevin Love) to better craft a competitive roster. It should also be noted that Lopez's $22.6 million contract expires at the end of the year which gives them some flexibility going forward.

This trade would be good for the Lakers because they get LeBron freaking James without having to wait a year. Besides with James in the fold either Ingram or Randle would have had to have been moved anyway. If Paul George chooses LA after next season then both Randle and Ingram would probably have to me moved anyway.

Everyone "knows" LeBron James wants to go to the Lakers - it's the worst kept secret in the NBA. Cleveland should trade him now to get something for him instead of waiting and getting nothing (once again). Dan Gilbert could very publicly offer LeBron a super-max extension and if LeBron does not sign - boom do the trade.

This trade would be good for the Celtics since their path to the NBA Finals would be much easier with LeBron out of the Eastern Conference. Yes it would hurt Boston in the sense that they own the Lakers first round pick next year if it's the 2nd though 5th pick in the draft and no team with LeBron is going to be that bad. Big deal - that just means Boston gets Sacramento's unprotected 2019 first round pick instead.

Do the trade Cleveland. Do the trade!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 5 - Stanley Kubrick Movies

Stanley Kubrick would have been 89-years old today. In his memory here are what I consider his five best movies.

1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Paths of Glory
3. A Clockwork Orange
4. Full Metal Jacket
5. The Shining

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Red Sox Trade

Here's a trade I'd love for the Red Sox to try and explore - David Price for Yu Darvish straight up. Here's the way I see it.

Price after this season has 5 more years and $157 million left on his contract - so he'd be a long term asset for the Rangers (although he could opt out after the 2018 season). Price is just 31-years old, has a career 3.24 ERA and is a past Cy Young Award winner. He could be the Rangers ace moving forward. Boston could even offer to pay $5 million per year every year after 2018 if Price does not exercise his opt out option.

Yu Darvish is a free agent after this season.

That's how much I want David Price out of Boston. I think my feelings of him being a phony who cannot handle the pressure either in Boston or in the post-season (career 5.54 post-season ERA) are shared by most Red Sox fans at this point.

Yes this is coming from a guy who lost money the last 3-times he bet on the Red Sox when Price was pitching (never again I swear!). Yes this is coming on the heels of a report in the Boston Globe about Price acting like a spoiled bully toward fan favorite Dennis Eckersly (it should be pointed out that the Globe is owned by John Henry who also owns the Red Sox - so maybe the owner is voicing his displeasure as well). And yes I would like the Red Sox to pursue this trade.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Top 5 List - Thoughts on Spider-Man Homecoming

Went to see the new Spider Man movie this week Spider-Man Homecoming and here are my Top 5 thoughts on the movie:

1. In my opinion it was a good movie but not a great movie. I enjoyed seeing it but wasn't pumped to see it again like after seeing Deadpool or the first Avengers movie for example. Currently Spider-Man Homecoming is at 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes - so bottom line it's a good movie.

2. I think part of the reason I was so blaise on the movie is because I'm not the movie's target audience. It's really geared to teenagers.

3. Speaking of teenagers - is 80's First Wave / Punk music what kids are listening to today? Or was the soundtrack something for the older folks in the audience like me? Songs from the Ramones, English Beat, Flock of Seagulls, Yello, etc.

4. Michael Keaton was a good villain in the movie. His backstory made perfect sense. He played it perfectly. The after credits scene left open the possibility he might be back.

5. Heard a rumor that Deadpool might be in the next Spider-Man movie. Not sure how I feel about that.

Paul Anka - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Always makes me smile.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Player Comparison

Here's a basketball player comparison for you:

Player A - 323 G / 5812 Pts / 18.0 PPG / 8.4 RPG / 1.5 APG
Player B - 358 G / 5987 Pts / 16.7 PPG / 3.4 RPG / 2.7 APG

Pretty even but slight edge to Player A - agreed? What if I told you Player A helped his team win 2 NBA Championships while Player B helped his teams win 1? Advantage Player A hands down - right?

Well Player A is Bailey Howell who played for the Celtics for 4 seasons (1966 - 1970) while Player B is Ray Allen for was in Green for 5-seasons. Nobody has ever called for Bailey Howell's number to be hoisted to the rafters. So can we stop the nonsense of people saying Ray Allen's number should be retired by Boston?

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So Kyrie Irving wants to be traded out of Cleveland? Things are looking better and better for the Celtics... Not a good look for potential digital currencies... When I read that the last of the OJ defenders, F. Lee Bailey, was broke, disbarred and working in a hair salon my honest first thought was "That's nothing compared to the karma coming for those who defended Roger Goodell during Deflategate"... Family Guy's tribute to Adam West... I don't pay much attention to this Trump BS because I keep reminding myself that America could have had Mitt Romney as President right now but you people said no.... Awwww so cute... I want to claim that iceberg the size of Delaware as my own to open a casino and tax free haven... Michael Crichton was 100% right. In most cases it's not Fake News - it's incompetence... This is what a hero looks like... I too had a secret meeting with Don Trump Jr. but our meeting wasn't regarding Hillary. It was about Gary Johnson. I told Don Jr. I had proof that Gary Johnson used pot... Speaking of Gary Johnson. He makes a good argument on the environment and the things we should be doing...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hemingway's Top 5 Books

Today would have been Papa's 117th birthday. May have a drink or two in his honor today. Here's what I consider my 5 favorite Hemingway books.

1. The Old Man and the Sea
2. A Moveable Feast
3. The Sun Also Rises
4. By Lines (Journalism for the Toronto Star)
5. To Have and Have Not

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Boston Sports Journal

Count me among the Boston sports fans excited for the debut of Boston Sports Journal. The brainchild of former SI writer Greg Bedard it looks like Boston Sports Journal will be a sports meat and potatoes site for people like me who yearn for the glory days of the Boston Globe Sports section. Just sports.

No click bait articles or slideshows.

No hot takes just to get attention.

No political takes or views.

Just sports - Boston sports!

Sign me up.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mayweather vs McGregor

The press conferences for the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight have been very entertaining and I'm sure this fight will break all the pay-per-view records. My favorite thing so far was the pinstripes in the above suit worn by McGregor. The pinstripes either say "FUCK YOU" or "YOU FUCK" depending on how it's read. Since Conor is Irish I vote for "YOU FUCK" just because it sounds better with a brogue.

It has been conformed that McGregor will have a significant financial penalty for any "non-boxing" move he pulls in the ring. With that in mind, Connor should try to get off to a quick start and if at any point he feels like he's ahead on points he should just roundhouse kick Mayweather to the head. Paying the financial penalty will be well worth it because such an outcome would guaranty a second fight and a second payday. Highly doubtful Conor takes my advice.

The fight is giving off the Viper vs the Mountain fight vibes from Game of Thrones. If you recall the Viper was dancing all around the Mountain inflicting damage upon damage but all it took was one moment for Clegane to give Oberyn Martell a permanent headache. Mayweather started off as a huge favorite to win at better than 10-1 odds against but it has been bet down to McGregor +$470 to Mayweather -$640. I'm rooting for McGregor but think Mayweather wins. I'm going to watch but I'm not going to bet on the fight.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Linky Links

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

- Interesting profile of poker player Phil Ivey who is skipping the WSOP this year. (Long read)

- The list is bogus! Where's The Passion of the Christ (why yes I am going to hell why do you ask?)

- Never forget!

- Tennis Shoes?!? What the hell is wrong with you people?

- Bravo Connecticut indeed!

Top 5 - Harrison Ford Movies

Holy crap! Today is Harrison Ford's 75th birthday. Here are what I consider his top 5 movies:

1. Indiana Jones
2. Blade Runner
3. Witness
4. The Fugitive
5. Presumed Innocent

Just missing the cut were Air Force OnePatriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

Just as an FYI - the Star Wars movies didn't make the list because Harrison wasn't the principal star in any of those.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 20 Greatest Americans

Today was the anniversary of the death of Alexander Hamilton the day after his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton was number 10 on my list of the 20 Greatest Americans

20) William Tecumseh Sherman
19) Douglas MacArthur
18) Dwight Eisenhower
17) Albert Einstein
16) Henry Ford
15) Martin Luther King Jr.
14) Alexander Graham Bell
13) Thomas Edison
12) John Adams
11) Ulysses S. Grant
10) Alexander Hamilton
9) Teddy Roosevelt
8) Tom Paine
7) Andrew Jackson
6) Ronald Reagan
5) James Madison
4) Ben Franklin
3) Thomas Jefferson
2) Abe Lincoln
1) George Washington

Am I missing anyone?

EDIT: Realized I did not have Eisenhower on the list so I removed George S. Patton at 18 and put Ike in his place.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Have we reached the point where the question "What did Scott Baio know and when did he know it?" needs to be asked?... Wow... Just a reminder - Joe Biden is an anagram for "I need a job"... I think this is spot on... Bill Nye is a scientist the same way Russell Crowe is a gladiator... Heh heh... Baseball rumor - Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is considering trading Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees for cash considerations. A lot of cash considerations... Yeah about that glacier the size of Manhattan that busted off today... Still think that the Mets missed a huge PR opportunity by not having Tim Tebow represent the team at the HR Derby the other night...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Yes You Did Mitt, Yes You Did

And the Democrats who mocked you about the 80's calling and the media who mocked you asking about your "gaffes" can all go shit in their hats.

Why Choose?

The older I get the less I'm willing to entertain questions involving false dichotomies. Which do you prefer - the mountains or the beach? Why not both? Any day you get to spend at a nice beach or hiking in the mountains is a good day. Why choose? Beatles or Rolling Stones? Both are awesome bands with ground breaking music. Springsteen's E Street Band  or Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band? Again why choose? Both bands have tons of great songs but neither has enough so that it could be fulfilling to listen exclusively to their music. Chocolate or vanilla? Good ice cream is good ice cream. Besides if we are talking soft serve then why not get a twist and enjoy both?

Ginger or Mary Ann? OK here maybe a choice is necessary. Juggling dating two women never ends well and if we are talking both at the same time - I don't need that sort of pressure. I have a hard enough time completely satisfying one woman. Besides Tina Louise (Ginger) is now 83-years old and Dawn Welles (Mary Ann) is now 79. If you are going to make me choose can't I pick between women who are much younger at this point?

Saturday, July 08, 2017

"TED" Talks

Perfect. Found via Borepatch who himself is a Thought Leader.

My favorite "real" Ted Talk still remains this one. Great life advice!

State of the Celtics

Boston fans were saddened by the trade of Avery Bradley to Detroit but it was something that had to happen (no matter how much we tried to delude ourselves that it did not). The Celtics were not going to be able to pay him next year when he's a free agent and they needed to move part of his $8.8 million salary this year in order to make cap room for Gordon Haywood's signing. It had to be done and Danny Ainge did a good job of making the best of the situation by getting Marcus Morris back in return.

Think of it this way - the Celtics traded a guy who is hard on Stephen Curry to get a guy who gets under Lebron James skin defensively.

So the Celtics offseason basically comes down to a defacto trade of Kelly Olynyk (who signed a 4-year $51 million contract with the Heat) and Avery Bradley for Gordon Haywood and Marcus Morris plus the drafting of Jayson Tatum (and picking up another lottery pick for next year).

Boston fans should be very happy with that.

All the best to Avery Bradley who if he continues to make strides offensively (and stay healthy) will rival anyone as a top free agent next season.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Can't believe Mental Floss didn't mention me in the post on Flotsam and Jetsam! I've been calling my miscellaneous thoughts and observations Flotsam and Jetsam for 13-years!... So the New York Knicks have offered Tim Hardaway Jr. a 4-year $71 million contract. The 4th year is a player's option which reportedly Hardaway will exercise as soon as the ink is dry and the Knicks realize just how stupid they are... So CNN assigns one reporter to find creator of a stupid GIF and success! Yet when they assign all of their reporters and resources to find a missing plane - complete failure!... Heh heh - life's like that sometimes... Does it make me racist that I find it hilarious when people tell Shaun King to "lighten up" on social media?... Always a favorite - top 10 medieval butt-licking cats... Summertime drinking tip - hard apple cider with a shot of cranberry vodka over ice makes for a delicious hot summer day treat...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Top 5 - Memorable Things that Happened on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July. Here are the top 5 things that happened in US history on the 4th of July. Don't forget that July is American Beer Month.

1. 1776 Colonies declare independence
2. 1826 Presidents, patriots, rivals and friends John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both die on the same day
3. 1863 The surrender of Vicksurg to General Grant (Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for the next 81 years)
4. 1831 James Madison, last of the founding fathers, dies
5. (tie) 1804 Lewis and Clark celebrate first 4th of July west of the Mississippi (tie) 1939 Lou Gehrig gives his "luckiest man alive" speech at Yankee Stadium

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Saturday, July 01, 2017