Friday, June 27, 2008

Global Thermonuclear War

Currently watching "WarGames" on AMC.

Many things are better naked, but salad?

I have never really had much of a problem with Windows Vista. Maybe I’m just a weirdo.

I am about to finish the “new” James Bond novel, “Devil May Care”. It is very good, very reminiscent of the Fleming books. It is set in the 1960s, after the events of the Fleming books, and it has all the touches-the brand names, the monologuing villain near the end, the maniacal evildoer bent on vengeance, the latent sexism-all of it. I first read the Fleming novels as a teenager, and loved them, and so I relished this one thoroughly.

I also got the second of Jeffrey Shaara’s World War II trilogy, “The Steel Tide”, and I will probably polish that off before the weekend is up.

I love the History Book Club!

On my favorite podcast segment, “Johnny, Are You Worried Yet?”, Bill Simmons and his buddy Jack O are talking about the insanity of the unbalanced schedule. That’s an excellent point. I don’t cotton to whining about the schedule-“we didn’t win because we had to play x while they got to play y”-but there are much, much more sensible ways to set up a schedule. First of all, they really have to balance the leagues-6 5 team divisions. Second, you really have to play your own division a lot. I can see playing the other divisions once each-maybe a 3 game set, home and home, and then the rest inside your own division. That way every team would get the Red Sox and Yankees once a year, and Boston, the New Yorks, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Philadelphia, could open the year playing the LAs, Seattle, Arizona, Atlanta, and Houston, so we wouldn’t have the absurd snow games when we try to play in the Northeast in early April. There isn’t a perfect system-LA would lose some summer home games-but the current system is at least as insane.

They also brought up a possible split between New York’s sports radio team, Mike and the Mad Dog. That would be a shame, because for all the bluster, they make some entertaining radio. I really appreciate a sports show that can show some respect for the past. Reminds me of a recent Sportscenter, where they began a Yankees highlight by showing Yogi Berra, and noting drily “Yogi Berra-did not play, coach’s decision.”

Bill Simmons also raises an excellent point-to very little fanfare, the World Champion Celtics were a team on which every single significant player-the top ten-were African-American. It is interesting that it happened, it is interesting that it happened in a city like Boston, with its troubled racial history, and it is most interesting, and pleasantly so, that no one thought about it, really, at all.

New York Times’ “The Ethicist” is a consistently brilliant podcast. It is intriguing, and challenging, and always potent food for thought.

For reasons I don’t, and really don’t need to, understand, I have to work in a different location tonight. Since I almost got fired from a job for not doing this, and since people did, in fact, pitch in for me when I was in need, I don’t really mind. It’s actually going to make for an easier night for me, although there are projects to be done in my regular place that I could have been finishing instead. Ah well.

They reduced Coco Crisp’s suspension for the Great Devil Ray Fracas to five games, and apparently he starts serving it tomorrow. I still think that’s too much, and not just because it puts my boys down a man for five games. First of all, he got called out-they all but told him, after the supposed hard slide, (in, IIRC, a 4 run game) that he was going down. Then, when he gets plunked the next day, how’s he supposed to react? Yes, you can’t let him charge the mound, but five is still too harsh.

“WallE” comes out today. I will be sure to go see it, because I am positive it will be brilliant. I will feel a teensy bit silly, because my only child is quite above the Pixar target demographic. Studio 360 had on the Sound Designer from Wall E this week.

Their next feature is about the new Batman film, which I will certainly see. I have always been drawn to the darkness of the Batman stories, and I have enjoyed, to some degree, all of the modern films. (Though, like James Bond fans with Connery, you have to give it up for Michael Keaton, who was extraordinary.) Christian Bale, like Daniel Craig as Bond, is fine, but the original is still the best.

My brother bought a number of Batman novels and comics back in the day, and I used to guiltily devour them. Not exactly Pushkin. But neither is James Bond.

Dan Carlin (brilliant, as is disappointed in Obama for dropping public financing. Personally, I agree with him-I wish Obama could run a publicly financed race, based on differences on the issues. In 2008, after living through 2004 and 2000, he can’t do that. The need to expel Bush/Cheney/McCain supercedes any dreams of a better world.

In Houston, Boston currently leads, 4-0, in the 8th.

Whoops. Almost before I finished typing that, Reggie Abercrombie homered to left and Miguel Tejada singled, bringing on Papelbon to face Lance Berkman with two out in the 8th. Tricky territory. Pap can get a four out save, but they're not easy.

I wonder what's wrong with Okajima? He's been giving up runs nearly every time out? Since he doesn't blow guys away, his game is based on deception and timing, and maybe the league is figuring him out.

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