Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jesus Christ!

In short, John McCain mixed up Sunnis and Shiites, repeatedly, in public.

USA Today's Susan Page replies, well, most Americans can't tell the difference either.

I have to admit she's right. I can't, off the top of my head, tell the difference. I know it's a doctrinal point-one believes a certain historical figure is related to Mohammed, and the other doesn't. Something like that. Kind of like Christians-Catholics believe they are part of the only real Christian church, while others disagree.

Then again, I'm not running for President. Is it so much to ask that our leader be razor sharp on such a crucial point?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jeff Healey

Canadian blues guitar player Jeff Healey died March 2, 2008. Known for his hit "Angel Eyes", which you have probably heard on a Muzak somewhere, he is survived by a wife and two children.


That's terrible.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lunatic Fringe

we know you're out there

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

oh boy oh boycott

Apparently, the Red Sox threatened to not get on the plane to Japan until a dispute about payment for coaches and other uniformed personnel. Three cheers for them-it would have been extremely embarassing to have MLB promoting a game without players in it. Nice that they stuck up for the little guy.

Leo Laporte had an excellent point on The Tech Guy about Hasbro and Mattel and their fight over Scrabbulous, a unofficial Facebook version of Scrabble that is widely popular. John C. Dvorak made a similar point on Tech5, noting about newspapers and magazines react to plunging circulation by firing writers, thus making the product worse.


Giving the people what they want is the only way to succeed going forward. What do people want? What they want, where they want, when they want it. Don't quash online Scrabble, don't cut the content when circulation goes down, and don't cut staff if you need to improve customer service.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dennis Quaid for President

March 18, 2008

There was a great story on 60 Minutes this weekend about the near tragedy of the Quaid twins due to a medication error. When they had a representative from Baxter, the company who made the product, on, I wish they had asked them the killer question. They asked her why they didn’t recall the product, which everyone in health care knew was an error prone product and whose label fed right into the confusion, and she said that the product was being used safely all over the world every day. I would have followed that up with, “It would have cost you money, wouldn’t it?”
They probably would have replied, “Oh, no, when we determine a product should be recalled, we just recall it. Cost never enters into it.” That would have been a lie, but it would have been nice to hear.

The dirty little secret about health care is that it is all about profits. Health care is no longer a profession, it is a business. Period. The sooner we all appreciate that, the better off we will all be.

There was an article in Conde Nast Portfolio about another medication error in Nevada that resulted in the death of a baby. And once again, a for profit corporation chose profit over safety.

Very good “Justice Talking” about health care reform. Of course, they got a right winger on there whining about how health care is a “choice” and how mandating health care would devastate small business.

First of all, HEALTH CARE IS NOT A CHOICE. Never was. Isn’t. Never will be. Just ask anyone who’s sick.

And second of all, the business lobby ALWAYS says this. Seat belts, clean air laws, family leave…ANYTHING that may cost businesses anything are decried from pillar to post as the sheer ruin of the American economy. And you know what? They’re always, always, always wrong.

So if health care costs too much? Go the hell out of business, then. Stop whining to Congress everytime you might not get your way. I thought entrepreneurs were supposed to be self reliant?

Monday, March 17, 2008


But I thought the surge was working?

Pistol Pete

It's Pistol Pete Reiser's birthday. Sort of the modern day Rocco Baldelli or Trot Nixon, Reiser had boatloads of talent but kept getting hurt.

Potential wasted. Story of my life.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Abigail Adams tells John to "conceal" his "distaste for those less intelligent". That one hits a little close to home for me.

Liveblogging John Adams

I'm pretty psyched about this.

Previews for a couple of other cool ones, of course-"Recount", primarily.

Boston, 1770. They say it starts with the Boston Massacre. Not the one with the Yankees at Fenway, 1978.

It is tremendous. Very realistic and compelling. It's hard to think of Paul Giamatti as anything other than Paul Giamatti, but it's working well.

All for Leyna

March 16, 2008

According to the Writer’s Almanac, yesterday was the Ides of March, and Andrew Jackson’s birthday. Happy birthday to Old Hickory.

Interesting talk on Globe 10.0, featuring the immortal Charles P. Pierce, about the Yanks-Rays fracas. A Rays rookie crashed into a rookie Yanks catcher, and the catcher is out with a broken wrist. A few days later, Yank Shelley Duncan, who I will now call “Punk Ass”, spiked the starting second baseman for the Rays, Akinori Iwamura. Typical Yankee justice. You take out our fifth string catcher, we take out your starting second baseman.

A larger point is, why do the umpires continue to allow catchers to block the plate? It’s not in the rule book. As Charlie says, if it’s not written down, it’s not a rule.

More trouble in the rotation-according to another Globe 10.0, Wakefield has labrum trouble. So if he can’t go either, we start the year probably DiceK-Clay-Colon-Lester-Tavarez. Can’t say I feel good about that.

Now listening, “Steve McQueen”, Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow gets rock and roll like no woman I know of.

The Beatles, “Don’t Pass Me By”

“The Beatles were so high they let Ringo sing a couple of songs.”-Bill Hicks

God, I miss Bill Hicks.

Billy Joel, “All Shook Up”

I watched Billy introduce John Mellencamp at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on VH1. Mellencamp seemed pretty cool, but Billy seemed really bitter towards the music business. Now, I can understand that, because with the Family Productions mess, he really got violated and lost tens of millions he’ll never see again.

REM, “Crush with Eyeliner”

But at the same time, you can sit there and whine about it, or you can be like REM and adapt to it. I have their next album on preorder, which is like money in their pocket. Why can’t Billy throw out some more live tracks and alternate takes on ITunes? I’d sure as heck buy them. I’ve bought everything he’s ever done, much of it on tape and CD both.

Billy Joel, “You’re My Home”

There’s something indisputably romantic about a broke guy writing a song for his beloved for Valentine’s Day because he can’t afford to buy her anything. This song was from that period for him. Even though it’s almost 40 years old, and certainly 20 since the first time I heard it, it has always meant something to me.

Van Morrison, “Whenever God Shines His Light”

Van The Man. Reportedly a difficult bloke to get along with, but the motherfucker can sing.

Elton John, “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”

Elton opened with this when I saw him on Face to Face in 1994. Phenomenal song.

Led Zeppelin, “Over the Hills and Far Away”(Live)

They were on VH1 Classic’s In Concert last Friday night. Sometimes called the ultimate flaccid over the top 1970s supergroup, they could bring the noise when they wanted to.

The Who, “5:15”

Another group that got called a lot of names by punk rockers in the 1970s but could kick ass when necessary.

Chess Broadway Soundtrack, “No Contest”

This will make a great movie someday.

Pavement, “Two States”

I bought this because it was on sale on ITunes. I guess you had to be there, because I don’t get it.

Billy Joel, “All for Leyna(Live)”

I listened to this a lot one summer, nursing a crush on a girl named Shawna. Sigh.