Saturday, August 08, 2009

I'd Tumble For You

(Culture Club's “I'd Tumble 4 You” is playing over the intercom in a grocery store.)

ME: I'd tumble for you. Except I'm not any good at tumbling. And you really don't have any need for someone to tumble.

HER: (derisively) Boy George would tumble for me without preconditions.

Game 109: In Memoriam

The Boston Red Sox 2009 Season, 109 games old, died today after a short illness. The season will be interred at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY. In lieu of flowers, angered notes demanding apologies may be sent to Boston Red Sox Baseball Club, c/o Theo Epstein, Yawkey Way, Boston, MA, 01234.

(The Red Sox lost again today, a humiliating 5-0 whitewash by the dang Yankees. So how 'bout them Patriots?)

Game 108: Beautiful Day

It really is a beautiful day here. Warm, but with a steady breeze that keeps the bugs away and keeps it cool enough to function outside.


Dan Carlin has another excellent show this week ( about whether or not America is just too big and complicated to function. As usual, he seems to have a point, and it will keep me thinking about it for quite a while.


NFL exhibition games, possibly the greatest consumer fraud since Hydroxycut, are going to start any day now. So that's a good thing if you're a football fan.


....oh yeah-someone named Rodriguez hit a home run in like the 15th inning or something, so the Red Sox didn't win.


Friday, August 07, 2009


A great line from Mike Schmidt ( on his podcast-given that we had a situation with Asian women trapped behind enemy lines, somehow you knew that Bill Clinton was going to be involved in their rescue.


Do you know anyone who, when you say, “nobody listens to me”, always says, “what?”

ME: So, never mind….

HER: OK. I will.

ME: (continuing)…forget I said anything….

HER: What?

ME: I said, forget I said anything…….(long pause)……..You got me again! You suck.


The news programs, which I have been avoiding assiduously as if they were going to tell me my bank balance or something, have been making hay over the Astroturf “town meetings” where Americans, predominantly older ones, are prompted by special interests to wail and bemoan what happened to “their America”, the America that they had before the so called socialist hordes took over.

First of all, it’s my America, too. You don’t own it any more than I do. I don’t like the pace of modern life either, but I don’t bitch about it. It is the way it is.

Second of all, if you don’t like your government, then change it. Vote the bastards out, and if you like your guy, give money to defeat guys (and girls) you don’t like.

Third of all, if you think the current government is socialist, you really have no idea what socialism is. If you don’t like government health care and want to reduce government spending, drop out of Medicare and return your Social Security check. (And no, this isn’t the money you paid in coming back to you. The money you put in was spent to pay your parents and grandparents. The money you’re getting now is MY money. Social Security and Medicare are generational theft, pure and simple.)


I have been a devoted listener to Jimmy Pardo’s “Never Not Funny” podcast for quite a while now. It is not free, but it is very inexpensive, and gives you 90 minutes of entertainment every single week for a lot less money than I spend on diet soda per day, never mind per week.

This week’s episode was a grave disappointment, the first one, in my opinion, that he has ever produced. I complained about it on Twitter, but I’m now feeling guilty about it. I am paying for it, but I’m wondering if I was just in a lousy mood when I listened to it, and that colored my response. They seem like good guys, and they work pretty hard on it, it seems. Am I just being childish?


The answer to that question, along with the answer to the question, “Am I in the way?”, in my experience, is always, “Yeah.”


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Save Ferris!

Interesting take by Bill Simmons’ buddy Michael Lombardi ( on the Eli Manning deal. (For those of you who are not sports obsessed, Eli Manning is the less telegenic of the two Manning brothers, pro football quarterbacks both, who are the children of another professional quarterback, Archie Manning. This Manning just signed a new contract from approximately 2.2 skidillion dollars to continue playing football for what ESPN’s Chris Berman calls the “New York Football Giants”.(He does that because the baseball team now known as the San Francisco Giants used to be the New York Giants.)Manning is, as of this moment, the highest paid player in football. )

(Let’s put aside for the moment the argument that no one deserves to make that kind of money to play a game for a living.)

My very first reaction, I must confess, was “Eli Manning? Really? I’m not sure he’s the best quarterback in his division, never mind the whole league!”

Lombardi argues that, although Manning is pretty definitely not the best player in football, the deal still makes sense. Lombardi argues that Manning is who he is-knowing his strengths and limitations, he is better than most other potential quarterbacks they could obtain.

This dovetails with an idea, certainly not original with me, that I have had for a while that never gets enough press. The idea is that it is much more productive-infinitely so-to evaluate athletes (and people in general) by what they CAN do, rather than focusing on what they can’t do. The Giants know what Manning can do, so they elect to keep him around and try to reduce the amount of things they ask him to do that he can’t do, instead of casting him aside because of what he can’t do, wishing for the perfect RoboQuarterback. Everyone wants a QB with Tom Brady’s brain, Michael Vick’s legs, Brett Favre’s guts, and Peyton Manning’s arm. But they aren’t available on the free agent wire.


ESPN’s Bob Ley notes it is the anniversary of the burial of Yankee catcher Thurman Munson, while comedian Marc Maron notes on Twitter that August 9 will be the anniversary of the Manson murders, Maron’s own sobriety, and the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Sobering thoughts. So to speak.


Twitter is telling me that film auteur John Hughes has died. I can't honestly say I was a huge fan, but "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" What a film. If you haven't seen it, I'm not even sure what to say to you. It was cool in ways you can't even describe, really. This is one of the scenes towards the end of the movie, which is wholly improbable and stupid but gorgeous in a really fun, happy sort of way.


Game 107: Billy Traber?

The Red Sox apparently thought that tonight was going to be a golf outing. Maybe a trivia quiz.

The New York Yankees decided to play baseball, humiliating the Red Sox with a 13-6 washout that wasn't even that close. John Smoltz was beaten soundly, and then Billy Traber followed up with pitching that would get you laughed out of AA New Britain.

Will the last person who thinks that John Smoltz is still a major league pitcher please raise their hand?

I thought so.

What a joke. The Yankees are our Daddy again.

Turn out the lights, everybody. The 2009 season ended tonight.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Oh, Keywords... are a starving blogger's best friend.

Thanks to the little StatCounter thingy over there, --->

I can tell how folks, other than my loyal followers (all, like, 4 of them), found themselves here.

I still haven't seen one as good as DMarks' "hairy rosanna", though.

Herewith, the wierdest, recent, search phrases that led to people landing on my blog.

"all jail games"

I don't understand this one. I have never been to jail. I do play games, and I have used "All" to wash my clothes. Maybe that's it.

" 'marvelous napoleon' rape"

Now, I'm sure I've mentioned Napoleon. But I don't think I called him "marvelous". And rape sure isn't marvelous. Nor, I don't think, did Napoleon rape anyone.

"grant wahl"

Ah, I get it. He's the guy who wrote the "Beckham Experiment" book. I kept thinking of Grant Fuhr, who was a goalie.

"curtis enis 2009"

This is a curious one. Curtis Enis was a football player. He played for Penn State, then had an unremarkable pro career. He has retired, as far as I know, from football. Why anyone, other than Curtis, would be interested in him in 2009 is beyond me. He is a lead pipe cinch for your list of "Top Ten Former Pro Athletes Who Probably Got Picked On In Elementary School".

"Roy Haleed"

Oh, I get it. This is from the lyric to A Simple Desultory Philippic that I posted.

I don't think there's any question that Google makes me smarter.

Then again, I had nowhere to go but up.

GAME 106: Free as a Byrd

In Tampa, Boston fell to those Naughty Fish, 6-4. Tampa blasted four (FOUR) (Quatro)(quatre) (IV) home runs off of Brad Penny and Friends, giving the Rays a two game sweep.

Boston plays in New Jack City tomorrow against a sizzling hot Yankees team.

And, in case that wasn't enough to induce vomiting, the Red Sox signed Paul Byrd to a minor league contract. If you look up, "desperation" in the dictionary, there will be a definition that says, "a state which causes a major league baseball team to pay American money to Paul Byrd".

Josh Wilker on....well.....on life.

Josh Wilker, pinch hitting for the great Rob Neyer, with a short piece about what Josh always writes about-life, and only peripherally, about baseball.

The Phil Nugent Experience: Race Against Time

The Phil Nugent Experience: Race Against Time

The irascible, irrepressible Phil Nugent on race and the South.

Game 105: Through The Long Night

Early this morning, Boston lost a 4-2 decision in 13 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa. Despite escaping numerous jams, Boston's bullpen couldn't hold down the Desperate Third Baseman, Evan Longoria, who homered once in the 8th to tie the game and again in the 13th to win it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Teenage Angst Has Served Me Well

The Bloggess, one of the very funniest on the Interwebs, about deodorant, Nirvana, and why she can't go to the grocery store.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Shame on you!

The Red Sox are off today.

I posted the following on Twitter(@spudrph): "DMX made appearance less than a mile from me yesterday. Never been so close to so many letters b4."

I got crickets. Nothing. Not a giggle.

Now, I'm sorry, but that is funny.

To quote the late, great Mitch Hedberg, "that joke is funnier than you acted".

Shame on all of you.

I'm an unrecognized genius, I tell you.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Spirit of '86

The Phil Nugent Experience: The Spirit of '86

Phil Nugent's admirably cogent take on the passing of Cory Aquino.

It's Kevin Smith's Birthday!

It's American film director Kevin Smith's birthday today. I'm a huge fan of his movies. I know he can be somewhat of an acquired taste-you have to have a tolerance for some potty mouthed dialogue-but his movies really do have some funny moments in them. This is a particular favorite, a clip from his directorial debut, "Clerks", which he made himself. Fortunately for him, it was a hit at the Cannes film festival and sent him on his way.

Happy Birthday, Kevin Smith.

Game 104: Thank Goodness We Only Allowed One Touchdown!

Victor Martinez led Boston's brigands with 5 hits to pace a 23 hit assault on Baltimore pitching. 7 runs over the first three innings, with our good friend Cowboy Clay on the hill, means an easy time of it, yes?

Not as such, no.

Clay Buchholz gave 6 of the aforementioned 7 runs right back in a horrendous third inning, bringing the game back to a tight 7-6 score. Fortunately, a 7 run fourth inning put the score back into Silly Land, where Boston proceeded to romp to an 18-10 win.

Besides V Mart's 5 hits, we had new heartthrob Josh Reddick's first major league homer, a homer from Rhode Island's own Rocco Baldelli, 3 hits from Our Men Youk and DP, and two hits from Old Heartthrob Jacoby Ellsbury and Farmer Jed Lowrie.

Got Me Wrong

Listening to Alice In Chains’ “Sap”. Forgot how good this disc was.


Have you ever seen anyone whose walk reminds you of someone else? Or is that just something I notice?


Another unearthed, forgotten masterpiece: Soundtrack to the movie “Backbeat”. Songs the Beatles performed in Hamburg (pre-Ringo, pre-stardom), 50s rock standards, reimagined with a heavy, sweaty, rock club, amphetamine fueled sensibility. Absolutely priceless. Musicians are alt rock supergroup (Thurston Moore, Dave Pirner, etc.)


Given Clay Buchholz’ post deadline debut (given a large lead, proceed immediately to frittering it away), methinks maybe we overrated him a tad.


Why is Connect Four on the IPhone so bloody difficult?


Second side of Abbey Road: (“You Never Give Me Your Money”-“The End”)-best side in rock n roll history? Close competition- Zoso, side one (“Black Dog”-“Stairway To Heaven”) and Appetite for Destruction, side one (“Welcome to the Jungle”-“Paradise City”). Don’t forget Moving Pictures, side one, either. (“Tom Sawyer”-“Limelight”).

I have complained about this before, but obviously no one cared, so I’m forced to complain about it again-one more thing that the rise of the MP3 has done is destroyed the album as an object of composition. Then again, having essentially all the music I care about in a space that fits comfortably into the front pocket of a dress shirt is pretty good, too.