Saturday, June 07, 2008

One of these corny things..

...that I can't resist.

Thanks to

One word answers only.

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Your significant other? Bedroom
3. Your hair? Thinning
4. Your mother? Diabetic
5. Your father? Stressed
6. Your favorite thing? baseball
7. Your dream last night? sexual
8. Your favorite drink? zero
9. Your dream/goal? peace
10. The room you’re in? family
11. Your ex? ballerina
12. Your fear? future
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? content
14. Where were you last night? working
15. What you’re not? happy
16. Muffins? blueberry
17. One of your wish list items? Kindle
18. Where you grew up? Boston
19. The last thing you did? read
20. What are you wearing? shorts
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pets? none
23. Your computer? busy
24. Your life? unpleasant
25. Your mood? fearful
26. Missing someone? yes
27. Your car? black
28. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
29. Favorite store? borders
30. Your summer? humid
31. Like (love) someone? spouse
32. Your favorite color? red
33. Last time you laughed? uncertain
34. Last time you cried? unknown
35. Who will re-post this? Kym?

Game Sixty Five: A Beatdown by any other name...

This is Roman Numeral Two.

Boston beat Seattle today, 11-3, off of another strong performance from Tim Wakefield and a home run from the magically healed Manny Ramirez.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Game Sixty Four: King Felixed

June 6, 2008

It is the 64th anniversary of D Day. On June 6, 1944, the Allies invaded Europe on the beaches of Normandy, eventually freeing tens of millions from Nazi tyranny. We have to stop for a moment and remember those very young men who stood up to as pure an evil as we’ve had in the last 1000 years, and spent their blood and sweat in defeating it. Naziism went from a serious ideology to a laughingstock, a bad joke and a historical artifact. That still means something, after all these years.

According to my phone, Coco Crisp was suspended for seven games for the fracas last night. That defies common sense, except when you stop to remember that Bud Selig is involved. Crisp did slide hard into second base, which I still think was a legitimate baseball play. It was a close play. The game was 5-1, but certainly not out of reach for the Rays. I think it was a legitimate steal and a legitimate play to go hard into Iwamura. Then the Rays essentially call Crisp out, and tell him he’s going down. Then, during his next at bat, he gets popped. He has to be suspended for charging the mound, but seven games? That’s insane.

The Celtics, of course, won a scintillating Game One, defeating the Lakers by ten points. Paul Pierce was carried off the court with a seemingly serious knee injury, only to return minutes later to thunderous applause and lead the C’s to victory. A great game, fun to watch. Pierce’s health is uncertain until Sunday, of course-I’ll have to read up when I get home to see what’s up. If he’s not able to go, they’re going to be in serious trouble. Even if he is, I think Kobe Bryant will be heard from before the series ends-I don’t see any way this series doesn’t go 6 or 7.

In general, I am feeling very pessimistic and hopeless about things in general. I can’t help but see the world situation as incredibly serious and perilous. But I remind myself, as Dan Carlin would probably put it, our forefathers felt that way. Certainly the grunts moving across the sands of Normandy, 64 years ago, watching their mates get cut in two by machine guns and artillery shells, thought the world situation was perilous. Wellington’s soldiers, watching the French cavalry slice them up at the battle of Waterloo, certainly thought the world was in trouble. Washington’s men, freezing to death and marching around with no shoes on in the snow, certainly didn’t think things were looking good. Even the members of the Constitutional Convention faced trial and execution if things didn’t go as they planned.

But there are so many problems, and they all seem insoluble. I just want to bury my head in the sand, and weep, and apologize to my son for causing him to be born.

Barack Obama, in a perverse way, feeds into this. I want him to win, obviously. I cannot stand the notion of another 4 years of Republican malfeasance. But I almost don’t want him to win, because the task before him seems impossible, and I can just see the argument in 2010 that Mr. Smooth was unable to accomplish anything.

I wish I could just be stupid, watch TV and care about American Idol like everyone else.
Henria Gallagher, on Thursday’s “Marketplace”, says that the old milk ad featuring men frantically searching the supermarket for milk while the voiceover says, “Studies say calcium can help reduce the symptoms of PMS,” is offensive. What, exactly, is offensive about that? Is she arguing that PMS does not exist? That calcium has no role in relieving it? Or that concerned husbands or boyfriends should do nothing to help relieve it?

Yes, the old, “Well, that’s just PMS” is sexist, when applied to any woman being assertive or aggressive in any way. But there’s a reality there, too. It’s like the biological clock argument-yes, it should be that women can reproduce whenever they please. But they can’t. And pretending otherwise just leads to heartbreak and suffering on the part of all concerned. Of course, you can’t, and shouldn’t, treat women differently because of it. But to deny that it even exists is overcorrection.

Leo Laporte said on Twitter that was down. Uh oh. If they’re down for any length of time, that is going to be big, big news.

In Boston tonight, the Red Sox got King Felixed, Felix Hernandez tossing six shutout innings in a 8-0 whitewash. Admittedly, the team was without Manny and Ortiz, but still, 8-0? Ugh.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Ides of June

In Boston, the Red Sox, who are having trouble keeping 9 players on the field at once, beat Tampa again, 7-1. As announcer Rick Sutcliffe predicted last night, Coco Crisp was hit by a pitch in the second inning, and the bases cleared.

But Manny Ramirez' 3 run homer in the first was enough to push Boston over the top again, solidifying their hold on first place. However, according to the game description, Manny, Ellsbury, and Crisp were all banged up during the game. So we'll see.

Also in Boston, the Celtics are battling the Lakers in Game One of the NBA Finals. They are currently tied, midway through the third quarter, playing fun, exciting, defensive basketball.

Mentally, I'm still worn out. Work has gone from frustrating to outright screamingly overwhelmingly busy. 20% more work, with 10% more resources? Not a problem.

I hate my job, I hate my life.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Movin on Up....

Boston leads Tampa Bay, 5-1, in the bottom of the 8th. Assuming they hold on, that will put Boston back in front, 1/2 game in front of the Rays.

Josh Beckett pitched six strong, and a 3 run third gave Boston all of the runs it would need.

'Ol Sleepyhead, Craig Hansen, is pitching the ninth for Boston.

The announcers are ranting and raving about a hard slide by Coco Crisp on a steal attempt in the 8th. It was a hard slide, but what is the guy supposed to do? It's a close play, and his team is up by four? Childish rant by Sutcliffe.

Sleepyhead puts it away, and Boston is back in first place. And the Celtics are in the NBA finals starting tomorrow night.


Saastymisesta of human life

"In fact, travel duration of the new share thanks to only two kilometres and driving time 12-15 minutes. Ajoaika ei lyhene enempää, koska tunneleihin tulee 100 kilometrin nopeusrajoitus. Driving time does not reduce the time any more, because the tunnels will be 100-kilometre speed limit. Muualla tiellä maksiminopeus on kesällä 120 kilometriä tunnissa. Elsewhere in the road maximum speed is the summer of 120 kilometres per hour.Suurimmat säästöt tulevat loukkaantumisten ja ihmishenkien säästymisestä. The biggest savings will come from personal injury and säästymisestä of human life."Kymmenen vuoden aikana säästetään 50 ihmishenkeä ja 250 loukkaantumisiin johtavaa onnettomuutta", uskoo projektijohtaja Matti Vehviläinen Tiehallinnosta. "Ten years, will save 50 lives and 250 injuries leading to the accident," believes, project manager Matti Vehviläinen Tiehallinnossa. Tunneli- ja siltaratkaisuihin jouduttiin Vehviläisen mukaan vaikeiden ja jyrkkien maasto-olosuhteiden takia. The tunnel and siltaratkaisuihin had to be Vehviläisen According to the difficult and steep terrain and because of the circumstances. "

Apropos of nothing, I stumbled across a page that Google tried to translate from Finnish. As you can see, they're not quite ready for prime time.

Gender and Power

Wow. A deeply interesting discussion of some of the disadvantages to being a male. Very well written and thoughtful.

Everything I Needed To Know I Learned...

Very funny article about business lessons derived from "South Park" episodes.

The BS Report is also priceless this week-nearly 90 minutes of Finals talk. Excellent.

According to the latest rumors, the Ortiz injury may not be as bad as first thought. They're now talking more in terms of two weeks than a month. We'll see, of course.

The whispers about steroids are coming up, of course, because it's a connective tissue injury. I find this a little bit laughable, because I don't see anyone looking at David Ortiz and thinks "steroids". Ortiz looks more like me than Barry Bonds, for Pete's sake.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Anna Quindlen gets it

Anna Quindlen has a great column this week.

I used to work in a place where someone used to leave white supremacist literature around. I never found out who it was, but it was amusing to me, rather than scary or sad. It's like encountering a Holocaust denier, or a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Really? You honestly believe that? OK, whatever you say, just keep it to yourself. You're headed for the ash heap of history, pal.

The battles are over, and the forces of tolerance have won. Not every battle on every battlefield has been completed, but the arc of history is on our side. It's like we're the Union Army in late 1864, or Barack Obama for the last 6 weeks, or a 12game lead with 20 games to play. It's not over, officially, but everyone knows where we're headed.

Quindlen's piece makes the point that, 50 years from now, historians will marvel at the fact that it took us so long to allow people to marry those they wish to marry, the same way we marvel at how long it took women and minorities to achieve full rights as citizens. Those battles aren't over, either, but as younger generations come up through the ranks, it will seem silly to not have equal pay for equal work and generous maternity and paternity leave, and recruiting based on ability and not race.

I'm seeing that happen, slowly, in my industry. My company wouldn't dare restrict maternity leave-they'd lose half their work force, maybe more. And I fully expect to have women as supervisors within the next decade.

First, the trendsetters will do it, and conventional wisdom will say "you're crazy". Then, the tremendous advantages will be seen, as the best and brightest flock to the forward thinking companies and states. Then the backward ones will realize, gee, we better change, too, or we're going to be left behind.

The late William Buckley said that National Review magazine was meant to sit athwart history, yelling "Stop!"

The problem with that is that, eventually, history runs over you.


Cool Track I Forgot I Had On My IPod: Jimi Hendrix doing "Day Tripper".

In what is news to no one save Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama more or less officially, at long last, put away the Democratic nomination tonight.

Big night in baseball- Joba Chamberlain couldn't find the plate in a disastrous debut on the mound as a starter for the Yankees, and Pedro Martinez is making his second start of the season in San Francisco. Pedro has two out in the second inning of a 1-1 tie, but has made 35 pitches. Not much hope of getting 5 innings at that pace, as I can't imagine they'll let him pitch more than 100 pitches. Nobody would be that stupid. (Shut up, Grady Little.)

Then again, this is the New York Mets we're talking about.

In more personally relevant action, Boston beat Tampa, 7-4, behind a somewhat strong performance from Justin "Bat" Masterson. That puts Boston 1/2 game out, with two more to play in the series.

Of course, the Ortiz news is much worse than it first appeared-he will be out for at least a month with a torn tendon sheath. Now, this is a survivable blow, but it won't make the next month any easier. It gives Coco more playing time, and dramatically improves the outfield defense as Manny moves to DH much of the time.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Trouble brewing...

Boston falls to Baltimore tonight, 6-3, in game #60 of the 2008 MLB season. Leading 3-2 after 7 1/2, Hideki Okajima gives up a 3 run double to young Adam Jones to give the lead and the game away.

In further bad news, Ortiz is headed for the DL, as is Dice K. Nothing catastrophic yet, but it's a bundle of badness.

Tampa tomorrow, and the NBA Finals start on Thursday.

Metallica Gets It

After being a foe of digital downloads, Metallica has established their own digital download service. If you preorder their new album, they are giving you bonus live tracks and videos online.

I am currently listening to "Master of Puppets", recorded at the KROQ Weenie Roast in May 2008.

This is the kind of thing I have been arguing for a while now. Give the people what they want-the live tracks, the geek stuff-make them feel special, and they'll pay for it, happily.

Great idea, and I'm glad they finally saw the light.

I have loved Metallica since 1986's "Master of Puppets" album. I was 15 in 1986, and Metallica gives you the same thrill, as a 15 year old boy, as dinosaurs do a 3 year old boy. Metallica is big, and mean, and they're bigger than your Mom, and they can go to bed whenever they want.

I guess on some level, I'm still 15.

Money or Love?

Very interesting story on this week's 60 Minutes, about some Chicago police officers who are being prosecuted for improper conduct-things like stealing money and falsifying reports. It sounds roughly like the LA unit called "Rampart" that Mark Fuhrman supposedly worked with.

According to the story, crime went down while the unit was active, and then went back up after it was disbanded.

It makes you wonder-are you willing to trade security for freedom? It's the same attitude the Bush administration wants to sell us-if you want us to get the bad people and keep you safe, you have to let us blur the lines and break some heads.

In a word, no. If you have to break heads, you're losing the thing you're supposed to be defending.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Sixty Game Mark

Neat retrospective on James Bond, a personal favorite of mine. I've read the Fleming novels, but not all of the subsequent ones, and I've seen all the movies.

Currently watching Star Trek: First Contact on Sci Fi. It's the one with the time travel, where the woman lectures Patrick Stewart about Moby Dick.

Tomorrow marks Game Sixty of the 2008 Baseball Season. Boston stands at 35-24, 1 game behind Tampa in the American League East. Boston has one more game in Baltimore, then a 9 game home stretch against Tampa, Seattle, and Baltimore again.

Dice K's DL stint scares me, as does Ortiz' injury, but as I said a few days ago, with all our struggles, we're still hangin' with the Naughty Fish, so if I were them, I'd be scared.

The Clinton Endgame

Hillary has got to end this silliness.

I would vote for Hillary in the fall, certainly, over Insane McCain, but she has lost.

This prolonged endgame has really brought out the very worst in the Clinton psyche. Without a doubt, there are forces arranged against her-and Obama too. The attacks on her have been unfair-no doubt.

But to argue that Michigan and Florida have to count now, after previously agreeing that they wouldn't count, is the height of sophistry and arrogance. Clearly, she wants to win, and I'm sure she would do a better job than McCain. But she lost, and it's high time she faced that fact.

501 and counting...

Manny got #501 as Boston takes another one in Baltimore today, 9-3.

Fascinating story I listened to on the way home from Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times. Apparently, Japan has these "immersion pods" with stereo sound, high speed internet, and comfortable chairs where you can go to get away from it all. She makes a very interesting point that ALL media-music, newspapers, novels-are inherently isolating, because they're for YOU. Yet somehow if you find yourself among friends online you are dangerously unhinged, while if you engross yourself in Dostoevsky you're expanding your mind.

My first thought is sign me up for one of those pods.

My second thought is I want to get away from it all because people, generally speaking, suck.

Yet why do I want to read about and listen to podcasts by people?


On The Road Again

May 31, 2008

In Baltimore, Boston churned out a workmanlike 6-3 win, highlighted my Manny Ramirez' 500th home run off of submariner Chad Bradford.

Note to the Baltimore Orioles: If you're wondering why you continue to struggle, a hint is perhaps the fact that, if the answer to the question, "Who can we get to play here?" is "Alex Cintron"-you need some better answers.

I'm in a Days Inn in Branford, Connecticut, watching another of my precious weekends draining away into the dust.,9171,1083911,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom

Why is the DEA hounding this doctor?

Because the United States Government is not interested in treating those who are in pain, it is only interested in chasing the phantoms of drug abuse.

My brother, like some other people I know, needs to not invite 30 people into a place with space for ten.