Saturday, July 19, 2008

Intense Debate Blows

I have been trying for hours. Intense Debate will not uninstall. Disqus will not install. Sezwho will not install. I can't restore Blogger original comments.

If you're trying to comment, I'm sorry.


Bad Juju

Boston fell again before those pesky Angles today, 4-2. Everything was just ducky until Erick Aybar (ERICK AYBAR?) tripled with the bases loaded, giving Anaheim the lead at 4-2. Boston had plenty of chances, loading the bases against Scott Shields without scoring in the 8th, and then putting the tying run on first with one out in the top of the ninth. However, the inimitable K Rod came on, getting popups from Lowell and Ramirez to end the game.

Good Review of "The Dark Knight"

Great review of "The Dark Knight" by old MTV fave rave Kurt Loder.

Mild spoiler included, reader beware!

Another John McCain disgrace

Apparently, he has no problem with revealing Obama's whereabouts in the Middle East. And this guy is supposed to be the expert on national security?

In other news, Boston took it on the chin last night, Cowboy Clay taking some lumps in an 11-3 loss.

With Tampa's win, Boston is now 1/2 game back in the AL East.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just when you thought they couldn't get any lower...

Apparently conservatives don't believe in autism or asthma either.

Wow. What a morally bankrupt bunch of frivolous, whiny little children.

Now THIS is cool...

Geddy Lee, who is in the band Rush, just made a large donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

My wife is still mad at Geddy Lee for breaking up her friend's marriage.

Love Is Blindness

The Red Sox return to action tonight, out on the Left Coast against those California Angles.

Although the Red Sox less took the lead than had it handed to them, they begin the second half (well, more like the second 7/16 or something) in first place, which, given their various struggles, is at least a moral victory.

The Devil Rays have won already, so the pressure's already on Boston to win tonight. They're pitching Wakefield, who has been red hot, but, of course, can either get beaten like a rented mule or be unhittable.

It's the final day of my vacation tomorrow, and I'm far from happy about that. Its my own fault, but like a lot of my vacations, it feels incredibly poorly spent. I never spend my time doing what I want.

It can't be a good thing that my stomach has been tormenting me all day long, and, as far as I can tell, it's anticipatory anxiety for the day after tomorrow.


Although today was pretty fun-Staples to send my father's birthday present, and then Barnes and Noble. I got Ethan Canin's new novel, which had been compared to "All The King's Men", a novel I loved, and the late Jules Tygiel's "Baseball's Great Experiment", which I was stunned to realize I hadn't read yet, and Football Prospectus 2008, and the Atlantic's fiction issue. I got to spend about an hour with Simon, which is pretty cool.

TTBOOK ( had another great program about "Remix Culture", which led me to a site called "", which tells mixtape stories.

Greg Norman is in contention at the British Open? What is this, 1988?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Phils get Blanton: Congress is spineless

The Phillies traded for Joe Blanton-they certainly have as much chance as anyone to win the division, so this can only strengthen their hand.

During my travels today, I overheard CNN's Jack Cafferty asking, "Why does Congress allow President Bush to get away with so much?"

Well, first of all, Jack, reread the Constitution. There's only so much they can do.

Second of all, at least part of the problem is, well, CNN. A news network should be reporting, uh, news. "Something bad happened to a guy," is not news.

Perhaps if CNN led off every newscast with, "President Bush added another illegal signing statement to a bill today," people would get the message.

Right wingers would, of course, scream and yell about bias, because they hate the truth, but they're doing that now, so what difference does it make?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can't resist a good meme...

Courtesy my supertalented sister in law (

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

July, 1998. Raising my two year old son. Poorly. Working at the VA Hospital. Somewhat well.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?

(Well, tomorrow.)

1. Pack up hotel room

2. Take mother out to lunch

3. Drive home

4. Try to think of reason not to drive into bridge abutment

5. Use reason generated in #4 to not drive into bridge abutment

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Jax baked cheese curls

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire (in no particular order):


5) Places I have lived:

Bedford, MA. Littleton, MA. Chelmsford, MA. Willingboro, NJ.

6) Jobs I have had

Since I was 16 years old, I have been working in my present field. Isn't that pathetic?

Apparently the world is about to end...

An entry from Dave Winer's blog about the world coming to an end. I can't say that I disagree with him one bit. To paraphrase "Rent", things are shitty, and I'm pretty sure they will get worse.

The All Star Game is over, and the American League won, sometime early this morning. They nearly ran out of players, which emphasizes the silliness of the "now it counts" business. There isn't a good reason why you can't just give the home field to the team with the best record, just like normal sports do.

It looks to me ( )
like both managers tried pretty hard to not overuse any pitchers, but they were running out of players. If I'm in a pennant race, like John Kruk said this morning, I certainly consider telling my pitchers I don't want them to play in the All Star Game. Like it or not, they don't get paid to win the All Star Game.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bobby Murcer again

Great story and memorial of the late Bobby Murcer.

All Stars

Tonight is the Major League Baseball All Star Game.

I am visiting my parents for a few days.

That is all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let's Not Forget

Let's not forget.

Let's not forget that, prior to 9/11, the Bush Administration had no problem cuddling up to the Taliban.

Let's not forget that this Administration will trade anything-ethics, morality, human lives-to get what it wants.

Nice Snow Obituary

Letter from US Airways

Dear US Airways customer,

As you can read in the attached letter signed by 12 airline CEOs, US Airways and other carriers in partnership with the Air Transport Association (ATA) are joining a broad coalition of consumer and industry groups calling upon Congress to take swift action to reign in irresponsible oil speculators. We advocate putting common sense limits on unchecked oil speculation by paper traders who are running up the price, but do not intend to take possession of the oil they trade.

While the reasons for surging oil prices are complex, common sense tells us that escalating prices are more than a supply and demand issue. In the long term, we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The airline industry fully supports maximum efforts to increase domestic production of oil, alternative energy sources and conservation. But there is also a short term problem which has significantly impacted the price of oil.

While this is not the only solution, it is perhaps the quickest way to stop or reduce the rising price of oil. Without immediate oil speculation reform by Congress there will likely be additional service level reductions and higher airfares. We urge you to contact your representatives in Congress immediately.

Thank you for your support and business during this unprecedented time for our industry.

Take action now

An open letter to all airline customers:

Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by pulling together, we can all do something to help now.

For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers.

Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation. However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation.

Twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were purchased by speculators who trade oil on paper with no intention of ever taking delivery. Today, oil speculators purchase 66 percent of all oil futures contracts, and that reflects just the transactions that are known. Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.

Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.

The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil markets and solve this growing problem.

We need your help. Get more information and contact Congress by visiting

A major US corporation asking for regulation? What's this world coming to?

I thought all regulation was evil and bad for the economy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's All Good

In Boston, the Red Sox lead Baltimore 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, while AJ Burnett throttled the New York Yankees in Toronto, and Tampa Bay lost in Cleveland. Assuming we can hold that lead (never an assumption I take lightly), we begin the All Star Break in first place.
(Update: It weren't easy, but Papelbon managed to seal the deal, getting Melvin Mora to line out with the tying run on third to seal a 2-1 win.)

In addition, a Red Sox farmhand named Lin starred in the Futures Game. W00t!

I listened to a series of disturbing podcasts today-Bob Edwards had a pair of authors telling about injustice, both in the American legal system and at Guantanamo. Bill Moyers had a discussion with a pair of conservatives about the future of the conservative movement. Then, of course, the king of the independent media, Dan Carlin.

Dan Carlin's show was absolutely brilliant. It was a 50 minute argument that the American political system is hopelessly broken, and it may have been the most compelling show I've ever heard from him.

"The tree of liberty must, from time to time, be refreshed with the blood of tyrants."

I don't even know what to say about it-to say anything at all is to minimize it. I don't feel capable of describing it adequately.

The remedy of impeachment, conviction, and imprisonment seems almost too light for the extent to which the Republicans have debased America in nearly every way. And the Democrats, frankly, aren't all that much better because they acquiesed to so much of it.

Dan said that his local newspaper prints the Declaration of Independence in place of editorials in its July 4 edition. It very much reminds me of the John Adams program, of course, and the fear those men must have been under at that time. Committing treason at best, they were all due to be hung if the revolution failed.

And, as Dan notes during the show, if there were a Thomas Jefferson alive today, we'd wiretap him.