Saturday, May 30, 2009

Game Fifty: Less Than Nifty

Boston once again fell North of the Border, 5-3 to the suddenly strong Blue Jays. After Brad Penny managed to shuck and jive his way through 6 innings, allowing 10 hits and only three runs, New Guy RR, who I was about to include in my will, gave up two runs in the seventh, and Jack's a doughnut, that was all we wrote.

Boston plays Toronto again tomorrow, with a guy who we used to call Jon Lester facing off against Ricky Romero. It is theoretically possible that Boston wins this game-Game Fifty One, like all baseball games, will begin 0-0.

But I wouldn't bet on it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Game Forty Nine: The Cure For the Common Losing Streak

Is Your MLB team having a hard time? Need a pick me up? Just invite Boston into your stadium, and see frowns turn to smiles in 9 quick innings.

Boston lost 6-3 tonight in Toronto, (1.15 losses American), Tim Wakefield having a Tim Wakefield Inning(TM) in the fifth, giving up 5 runs and the game. Danny Ocean and Sensei Saito mopped up a game that was long gone.

A (wo)man, a plan, a canal, Panama?

The local and national media are having a litter of puppies around here about the Sweeten case, a local woman who called the police reporting she and her daughter had been kidnapped, then was found in Disney World(?). Now it turns out she allegedly embezzled money, and left a baby at home, and blah, blah blah, blah blah.

This story serves what has become the number one function of my local news, "At least I'm not THEM." Stories like this make you feel better about yourself because, well, at least you're not HER.

This makes me think of a larger point, which is: THAT was your plan? Really? You figured the police would look for you for about an hour, and then say, "Oh well, she's gone," and go back to writing parking tickets?

Now, stealing a bunch of money I can kind of understand. Who doesn't love money? (Cue Eric Idle: "There is nothing quite as wonderful as money...") But you have to think they're going to notice, right? The money's gone, and you're not answering your phone-they have to think something is up, here.

Obviously, the woman is disturbed, and I really do have pity for her. Her whole family is never going to look back at this and laugh.

But it just kind of bowls me over. THIS was your plan? Even criminals in the movies generally have an escape plan. Even deranged people, I thought, understand cause and effect. Maybe they don't-maybe they only understand cause and bananas.

This is a somewhat serious thing-besides giving basically everyone an excuse to cluck their tongues and say, "Can you believe this story?", while internally saying, "I may be screwed up, but at least I'm not HER", this is a story about a woman who was clearly under some pressure and made one of the epic fail choices of the year.

I may not be the most mentally together cat-but hey, at least I'm not Ms. Sweeten.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Game Forty Eight: Minnesota Getaway

The Red Sox snuck out of Minnesota with a 3-1 win and a series split thanks to seven strong innings from that guy who we used to call Josh Beckett and two home runs from the Captain, Jason Varitek.

Tomorrow, the Red Sox head to Toronto to face the Jays.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Game Forty Seven: Killing Us Slowey

Boston was tantalized by the smooth jazz of Mr. Kevin Slowey, while Dice K decided 9 hits wasn't quite enough baserunners over 5 innings. He decided to walk 3 more to make sure the bases were nice and full, and Boston fell to Minnesota, 4-2.


A missing Ohio man was found unconscious after 11 hours of searching.

The search was delayed because....

"Williams [Sherriff Dale Williams] said he attempted to use the man’s cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff’s department agreed to pay the overdue bill."

And big business wonders why they have a bad name?

Game Forty Six: Ladies and Gentlemen, Win Remmerswaal!

(During today's performance of Red Sox Baseball, the role of Jon Lester will be played by Bizarro World Jon Lester)

Jon Lester continued his starring role as Bad Jon Lester, falling apart in a 5 run fifth that gave the Twins all the runs they could possibly wish for on the way to a 5-2 loss.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Game Forty Five: You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time....

....but you can't fool Joe Mauer.

Joe Mauer slammed a ninth inning pinch hit homer off of The Lord of The Dance, Jonathan Papelbon, but it was still not quite enough as Boston held on to win the lidlifter in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, 6-5.

In town to face baseball's version of Romulus and Remus, the Bostons sent Brad Penny to the hill. Penny, who has been unusually competent when hurling the spheroid, turned in another performance that resembled actual major league pitching, going 5 1/3 while his mates were pounding the unusually incompetent Francisco Liriano for 5 runs.

New Guy RR and The Okey Doke put the kibosh on further denting of the dish by the Twinkies, while Man of a Thousand Pitches RA Dickey surrendered a run to Jeff "Beetle" Bailey to push Boston's lead to 6-3.

Mauer's aforementioned clout (this giving up homers crap has got to stop, Jonathan) brought the Twins close, but not close enough.

The series continues tomorrow, with the smoking remains of Jon Lester facing off against Nick "With A Name Like This, I Really Ought To Be A Premier League Soccer Player" Blackburn.

Zen and The Art of Looking Busy

Great Bob Edwards Show podcast this weekend-a replay of a documentary he did talking to surgeons who served in Vietnam.


I really have to work on looking busy. Everyone seems to think they can feel free to interrupt me at will, and it is really starting to get on my nerves.


“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

THAT’s why we should close Guantanamo.


My IPod was being very cranky last night-cycling on and off. I reset it a couple of times, finally holding the buttons down long enough that it completely rebooted. It appears to be working fine now, but my heart was in my throat briefly. It’s silly to be so emotional over a machine-but it has really become a constant companion, and I can’t really afford a new one right now. I’m glad it’s working, but I’m nervous.


I meant to do a better job describing yesterday’s game-but my laptop was also freaking out on me, so that’s all I could get down. “Tim” was the name of the Enchanter in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, and was also the name of both starting pitchers in yesterday’s game. Hence the enchanter reference.


Honey Mustard flavor Pringles rule.


In case you’re a new reader (and really, why wouldn’t you be? I’m so charming…) this symbol (***) symbolizes an abrupt, head snappingly vicious change in theme, tone, or content. I don’t want anyone rupturing an eyeball.


Dan Carlin’s Common Sense this week was, of course, entertaining and, well, common sensical. The first part was about health care and health care reform, and the second part was about the Pelosi torture question. (Not whether or not she should be tortured, whether or not she was informed about torture due to her presence among the House leadership.) Dan raised an excellent point in the first half-if people are really serious about reducing our debt, they have to talk about cutting defense or cutting Medicare and Social Security. Trimming at the edges (waste, fraud and abuse) doesn’t do it. Dan seems to support single payer, and so do I, for any number of reasons, but Dan clearly urges that major changes are needed, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Will it cost money? Sure. But, as Dan says repeatedly, WE ARE ALREADY SPENDING THAT MONEY. Right now.

He makes an excellent point about Pelosi, and misses one, too. Pelosi argues she was misled when she was briefed by the CIA. Her opponents argue she was not, and thus complicit in whatever crimes were committed. Dan’s good point is that, if she was misled as she says, we need to investigate that as well. It is not acceptable for our elected officials to be lied to by officers of the CIA. What he doesn’t bring up is, assuming she was told, what could she do? This is classified information-she couldn’t go blabbing it to the world.

That was Scooter Libby’s job.


A second, somewhat less serious podcast I enjoy was actually found by my wife-My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. ( It’s a low key discussion of current events, usually in reference to some historical precedent or example. For example, when discussing Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State, he brings up Seward joining Lincoln’s cabinet as well. He doesn’t appear to have much partisan bias, but I’m sure people will probably find some there if they disagree with him.

Turns out Bruce of MHCBUYP listens to Dan, too. Small world.


The over/under on when the heat will be turned off in my work area is July 4. I have the over.


If Tim Redding is still a major leaguer, I guess there is hope for any of us.


“I’m tired of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to find out where they are going and hook up with them later.”

-Mitch Hedberg

RIP, brother.


According to To The Best Of Our Knowledge, ( , there is a bar in Madison, Wisconsin which features karaoke, except with a LIVE BAND. I’m far too cowardly to even do karaoke, so I certainly wouldn’t do this-my wife would, though, and has the talent to, in Paula Deen’s phrase, knock your socks clean off and into the laundry. (This statement applies even if you are not, technically, wearing socks. That’s how good she is.)(Katie(, I’m looking at you.)I think I can say without fear of contradiction, though, that this place, and this idea, is simply the coolest thing in the history of things. Can you IMAGINE how fun that would be?


I can’t believe it took me this long to read John Le Carre. I just started “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold,” and it’s quite good.


I hope somebody is working on a “Guitar Hero” style piano controller, and a Billy Joel/Elton John version of the game


“It’s alright-
You can afford to lose a day or two-“

-Billy Joel

Would that it were so, sir.


IPod Shuffle used to just be the coolest thing-you hit play, and the computer surprises you-coming up with stuff you forgot you owned or forgot you loved. The appeal of that is waning for me, as time goes on. I have gone back to playing albums recently-but shockingly, some don’t appear to have kept their running order in ITunes. And I can’t remember the original sequence a lot of times! Shocking. Further evidence that having a child causes brain damage.


“I search everywhere for some new inspiration-
But it’s more than cold reality can give.”

-Billy Joel

Amen, brother.


It is interesting that, in the concert recording that is attached to the 30th Anniversary edition of “The Stranger”, that Billy renders “Miami 2017” as a much more joyful song than on the studio album. I have always thought of it more like a dirge-more wistful.


So's my life, come to think of it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Game Forty Four: The Battle of the Enchanters

New York's Tim, Redding, tossed aside a 5-3 advantage in the bottom of the fifth, surrendering runs on hits by George Kottaras and Nick Green, while Boston's Tim, Wakefield, held on for a 12-5 win at Fenway today.