Saturday, May 16, 2009

Game Thirty Six: Creeping Death

Until this losing crap is over with, we get Metallica song titles for blog posts.

Last night, in the Emerald City of Seattle, Boston climbed out to a 4-0 lead off of the immortal Chris Jauskasbauhausdailykosloslonelyboysosjosbaus (that may not be the real spelling).

Then, (say it with me, everybody) this guy who used to be Jon Lester gave up two home runs to Ichiro (?!?!?) (doubling his season total), one each in the fifth and sixth. Now comfortably behind again, Boston put the bats away, getting only one MORE BLEEDING hit the rest of the way.

Tonight, Boston, as if there is any point to it, sends out a guy who used to be Josh Beckett to face another of the immortals, swingman Garrett Olson of Seattle. Olson last started May 6 against Kansas City, only going 5 innings, and has an 0-4 record against Boston in his career, with an ERA that approaches a maximum SAT verbal score.

Of course, the way we're going, he'll throw a 5 hitter.


Here's the Baddest Band In The Land, bringing the exhausted, sweaty, furious noise at Woodstock '99.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Worst Mom Ever?

Very interesting column, excerpted from a book called "Free Range Kids" by Leonore Skenazy.

The author let her 9 year old son make his way home from Bloomingdales in New York City, using the subway.

This sounds outrageous at first glance, but once you read the piece, you may start to feel differently.

She raises a point that I think we don't hear enough-life is dangerous, but it is statistically less dangerous than we really think. We protect ourselves intensely about unlikely dangers (terrorism, swine flu) while we ignore more likely ones (seat belts).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Game Thirty Four and Thirty Five: Losing Early, Losing Late

In Game Thirty Four last night, Boston fell before the mighty wrath of Matt Palmer and the Angles, 8-4. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead, Tim Wakefield had a Tim Wakefield Inning in the third, highlighted by a Mike "Casa De" Napoli 3 run homer to give the lead to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California. Once Palmer got the advantage, he made the most of it, holding Boston hitless over the final 6 frames to seal the win.

In Game Thirty Five this afternoon, Boston came back and tied the game in the fourth and eighth innings, then loaded the bases in the top of the 12th and did not score before Metropolitan District Commission surrendered a run and the game in the twelfth. David Ortiz was 0 for 7, leaving 12 runners on base, including the entire current roster along with Billy Goodman, Rick Burleson, and Dick Stuart.


Boston moves on to Seattle tomorrow, with the smoking ruins of Jon Lester facing off against the immortal Chris Jakubauskas.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poll Time!

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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Game Thirty Three: Captain Crunch

Trailing the Angles 3-1, Boston came roaring back last night with 2 in the 8th to tie and 1 in the 9th to beat those pesky Angles, 4-3. Jose Arredondo, who apparently pitches well against everyone but us, gave up the tying runs, while Scot Shields, who has been pitching since the Truman Administration, gave up a single to JD Drew and a ringing double by Jason Varitek to score the lead run.

The Lord of the Dance cleaned up, and they are right back at 'em tonight, the immortal Matt Palmer against Timmeh.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Somehow I missed this...

Dom DiMaggio, The Little Professor, Red Sox centerfielder from 1940-1953 and brother of the late Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, died Friday.

Nick Hornby on Fame

Nick Hornby, a British author I am inordinately fond of, has a new blog post, reflecting on the fact that few authors are really "household names". It's an interesting thought. I know Hornby's name-I'm a fan. But, for all the books he's sold, I think most people wouldn't know his name until they learn that his books were made into the films "About A Boy","High Fidelity" and "Fever Pitch".

It's interesting how many things can be obvious to you, and yet completely mysterious to others. Yet another reason why it's just easier to stay inside my own head.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Memes from Miss

The Red Sox are off, "Going To California", with or without an aching in their collective heart, for a series with the Angles in California.

So without further ado, thanks to Mighty Miss (, a Monday Meme:


What is your salad dressing of choice?
Bleu Cheese

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
TGI Fridays. Yeah, I know.

What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of?

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Ricotta Cheese and sausage.


How many television sets are in your house?

What color cell phone do you have?


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A box at work

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Indiana Jones

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
Right now? Yes.


How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
Zero. Proudly so.

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
I got a ticket maybe 3 years ago.

Last person you talked to?
A coworker

Last person you hugged?
My wife



Arbor Day

Day of the week?



Missing someone?

Bone Weary

What are you listening to?
This Week In Tech podcast

Worrying about?


First place you went to this morning?

What's the last movie you saw?
Ocean's Eleven (again)

Do you smile often?


Do you always answer your phone?

It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
Someone who's going to be sore if it's not bloody important.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
I've never been to a Sonic.

Do you own a digital camera?

Have you ever had a pet fish?

Favorite Christmas song?
Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

What's on your wish list for your birthday?

Can you do push ups?
A couple

Can you do a chin up?
Probably not.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?

Do you have any saved texts?

Ever been in a car wreck?

Do you have an accent?

What is the last song that made you cry?
Christmas in Fallujah

Plans tonight?

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Almost daily.

Name 3 things you bought in the last week.
Soda, Burger Shots at Burger King, Pringles

Have you ever been given roses?

Current worry?

Current hate right now?
Incompetent Management

Met someone who changed your life?

How did you bring in the New Year?

What song represents you?
Thirsty and Miserable

What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Watching the History Channel

What's the best thing that happened to you lately?
I really can't think of anything.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Fenway Park

What book are you reading right now?
Remembrance of Swings Past, a baseball memoir by Ron Luciano. I've read it before.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Game Thirty Two: Mother Bleeper!

Battling those Naughty Fish on the ESPN Sunday Night Game, Big Papi and Jason Bay crack back to back doubles to break open a 3-3 tie.

Leading 4-3, we pick up the action in the top of the ninth, with the Lord of The Dance walking Iwamura, allowing him to take second on an errant pickup throw, and then surrendering a single to Jason Bartlett to push Iwamura to third.

Le Sigh.

Northeastern's own Carlos Pena up now, with all kinds of trouble a-brewin'.

Pimpin' ain't easy.

Papelbon strikes out Pena swinging on some seriously nasty high heat.

BJ Upton now. Papelbon blows him away. 2 out.

Now it's Carl Crawford. Dictionary definition of a mixed blessing-I want him to do good for my fantasy team, but I obviously want him to do poorly against the Red Sox. Let's put it this way, Baseball Gods-there is nothing Crawford can do in this at bat that would affect my fantasy team in any measurable way. A strikeout would be fine with me, thanks.

And Paps does it! A walk, a hit, an error, and then striking out the side! WOW!

Cue the music, and Ananda, begin dancing....".....I love that dirty water....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Boston, you're my home......"

Here's the link to the Brian Posehn clip. He tells it as an autograph request this time, whereas he also tells it as a interview for the school paper. Either way, it's a funny story, but very, very, dramatically, emphatically, full throatedly, NSFW.

Metal Mania

I am now listening to another brilliant Dan Carlin’s Common Sense (, this week about journalism and the decline of the news business. He’s priceless-very thoughtful and very highly recommended. He is nonpartisan, sometimes radical, always intelligent and well written commentary about current events-and free! He makes a very interesting point- a hidden turning point in the history of journalism was the William Kennedy Smith case. When the rape victim’s name was revealed, and journalists began to cite that “Station X is reporting…”, a practice that they wouldn’t engage in previously, it marked a process where no one “owns” the story any more- all you do is report what other stations are reporting.
While commenting on another blog ( about pensions, I started reflecting on my time working in the VA Hospital system. Jeanne, the blog’s main writer, argues that pensions for Massachusetts state workers should be abolished. I think she has a point. I think that pensions, on balance, are better than 401Ks. But there are many appeals to being a state or federal worker-one of them is typically taking less salary-sometimes dramatically less-in my case 40%-in return for better benefits and working conditions. I think Jeanne has a point that maybe we should take the risk, in today’s high unemployment era, of a mass defection from the ranks of state workers by trimming their benefits.

On the other hand, we always seem to pick on state workers when it’s budget cutting time. I bet we could save even more by cutting corporate welfare.
We do a lot of accidental TV watching at my house, which is bad, like a lot of other accidental things. (Pregnancies and Presidencies, to name just two. That begin with P.) Last night, it was VH1 Classic’s Metal Mania, a series of Heavy Metal videos. My first thought was that, pre-Headbanger’s Ball, we would have killed for a show like this, back in the proverbial day. All metal videos, for two or three hours? Sign me up.

I decided I would play a little game, which is also bad , where I wouldn’t change the channel until I saw a video I wasn’t familiar with.

Since it was already late, and I had to be up for work in the morning, this was a pretty bad idea. But, once I get a half baked idea in my head, it can be hard to shake, so the game was afoot.

So the first one was WASP’s “Wild Child”. I owned more than one WASP cassette, so I have to own up to that right out of the gate. WASP was kind of all of the things that made heavy metal silly, all rolled up into one. The singer and bass player, Blackie Lawless, for one thing, used to go on stage with a sawblade protruding from a codpiece between his legs. Not only is that kind of the opposite message from most heavy metal artists, who try to welcome visitors to that area of the male body, it is, well, deeply silly. Blackie sells it, though, overacting to the hilt, to the point where he points to his eye when the lyric notes he is going to keep his eye on you. Thanks, Blackie, that wasn’t too clear.

Standup comedian Brian Posehn has a very funny routine about interviewing Chris Holmes of WASP when he was in high school. I won’t repeat it-I bet if you look on Youtube for Brian Posehn and WASP, it will come up.

The next one is Dokken’s “Dream Warriors”, which was on the soundtrack to one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Now, not only did I own this, I bought the cassette single. This tells us several things-1) I am old enough to have owned a cassette single, 2)Someone thought that music fans would be so overwhelmed by the brilliance of this song that they simply had to have it, and 3) I was prone to bouts of clinical insanity.

I didn’t even like Dokken. They were okay-I didn’t have any problem with them-they were just not my brand of soda. So what in the name of George Lynch was I thinking when I saw the Dream Warriors cassette single and thought, “Well, I have to have THAT.” Is it possible someone gave it to me, like a pox ridden blanket?

The video consisted of Dokken playing the song and posing somewhat dramatically, and I guess from the sheer power of their rokken, managing to defeat Freddy Krueger. Which I think everyone will agree was a very likely outcome.

Speaking of pox ridden blankets, the next one was Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills”. A fine song, and a band I was a pretty big fan of. The video consists of the band performing at what looks like a small club but is probably a soundstage, interspersed with comical and vaguely insulting silent movie footage of cowboys and Indians. The song is about settling the West, of course, so the footage is not out of place, except for the fact that it is stupid. I am reminded of Lewis Black’s dictum that if you see a music video, and the images on the screen are the same as what you saw in your mind the first time you heard the song, kill yourself.

Then comes Alice Cooper’s “Poison”. Dear old Alice. His video is not set in a factory that makes sparks, a la Damn Yankees (h/t Patton Oswald), but instead in a factory where lingerie clad women make watery chains. There were chains, and there was water, and there was women in their underwear. Obviously. Because when you have people working with things as dangerous as watery chains, you want these people in their underwear.

Then it’s good ‘ol Slaughter, featuring the aptly named Mark Slaughter. (What are the odds- a guy named Mark Slaughter joins a band that happens to be named Slaughter!) Slaughter, based on the name, would seem to be a heavy, thrash metally sort of outfit, but they are instead a boring, poppy sort of combo, who I remember as being very popular among the distaff set. Sort of a Jon Bon Jovi without all the talent and without the Arena Football team. Slaughter came along right about the time I decided it wasn’t all that important that I keep up with every new group that comes along.

Their song is “Fly To The Angels”, which is sort of a weird thing to say. Unless you’re telling a member of the Los Angeles American League baseball team’s AAA affiliate to hop a plane to join the big club, I can’t imagine why you would want to say that. They play the song in an airplane hangar. Like you do. (As my buddy Erik Fisher ( would put it.)

Then it’s Tesla, and their video for “Hang Tough”, one of the tracks from their second album, “The Great Radio Controversy”. I really loved Tesla, but “Hang Tough” was one of those uplifting, you can do it, just hang in there kind of songs. This was about the time Tesla started to jump the shark for me. Blah. Give me negativity and naked longing any old time over the power of positive thinking.

The video was in one of those “places to shoot rock videos”, that look like a TGI Friday’s with all the tables pulled out. The singer, Jeff Keith, had a white headband on, which made him look like he had taken a break from shooting hoops to make this super cool video.

This made me realize that I didn’t remember the names of all the members of Tesla, or even Iron Maiden for that matter! If you asked me to name the members of either band 20 years ago, and I couldn’t, it would be proof positive that I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and should be hospitalized immediately. And now I can’t name the members of either group.

My wife, of course, responded that she had daily evidence of my traumatic brain injuries.

The game ended with Keel, which I would have told you was part of a ship.