Saturday, February 07, 2009

The first blogger!

The redoubtable Englishman Samuel Pepys' diary from the 1600s.

And we think we have problems-he had the Black Death to worry about!

I forgot how good this was

From Surviving Grady, ( U2 bringing the noise at halftime of the 2002 Super Bowl.

A Fraud

Sports Illustrated is reporting that one of the players that tested positive on the 2003 drug tests that were supposed to be confidential is none other than Slappy, Madonna's Boy Toy, the Best Shortstop Not Currently Playing Shortstop, New York's
Alex Rodriguez.

My first reaction is "Ha!"

My second reaction is that this is no big surprise. As I have said before, steroids do not improve your eye-hand coordination, and every player who played during this era is now under suspicion. But every player in every era is under suspicion for something. Baseball, like life, is context dependent.

Quote of the Day (so far)

"I wrote a poem once. When I read it to the class, they threw dodgeballs at me. Just because we were playing dodgeball!"

Patrick Star

Friday, February 06, 2009

Oh, yes!

It's TRUCK DAY!!!!,+Boston,+MA&daddr=2201+Edison+Avenue,+Fort+Myers,+FL&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=31.095668,59.238281&ie=UTF8&z=5&om=0

Today the Red Sox' equipment truck pulls away from Fenway Park to bring the team's equipment to spring training in Florida. After suffering through an especially brutal winter (for New England-not where I live), today is the first sure sign that it will not be brutally cold and wet and sloppy forever-that spring will come and the sun will come out and the ground will dry (by June, maybe) and baseball will be played.

Averages will rise and fall, errors will be made, home runs will be hit.

Baseball is back, bitches.

The KatieView!

Thanks to the irrepressible Katie, (, five blog related questions.

1) If you could rename MY blog ( to something more appropriate to its content, what name would you choose?

That's hard to say, because Don't Call Me Kathleen is well pitched-funny, a little edgy, but also self deprecating. Maybe something alcohol related, or perhaps a little more flirty. But it's kind of like a baby, in the sense that the name that it has becomes the only name it could possibly have.

2) If you could have 3 wishes (blog related of course) what would they be?

1. Talent. I look at some bloggers, and I just swoon with envy.
2. More readers. Why do you do this, if not to be heard?
3. Less whining. I tend to get self pitying.

3. What's your favorite "Guilty Pleasure" blog? (You know, that blog you read and you don't want to admit)

Without a doubt, secrettweet. I only recently learned about it, and I can't stay away.

4. Which of your family members / friends know that you blog? What do they think about it?

I'm not sure that any do. My dad commented once, but I don't know if he's a regular reader. My wife knows I do it, but again, I don't know if she reads it.

5. If you could be ANY character from any book, whom would you pick and why?

Without any doubt, Spenser from the Robert B. Parker detective novels. Smooth, urbane, witty, tough, sensitive-the uber man.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I saw an item on a shelf today that puzzled me. A pair of women's socks, manufactured by a company called Eros.

Really? Eros brand SOCKS?



I wish I had remembered to take a picture.

And also...

Last night, I finished Buzzie Bavasi's remarkably self serving memoir, "Off The Record". Although I guess a non self serving memoir would be somewhat rare, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hear That? It's The Brain Drain...

“The consequences of it are going to be a massive brain drain of senior talent from those companies that have taken TARP money to those companies that have not.” [Donald Straszheim, managing principal at Straszheim Global Advisor]

Unintentional comedy alert!

1) If you've taken TARP money, you have run your company into a ditch. How much brains did that take?

2) If you have run your company into a ditch, you think that makes you a candidate for other companies who aren't in the ditch?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-to quote Douglas Adams, first against the wall when the revolution comes.

What I've Read

Already breaking my promises, here are the books I've recently finished:

"Baseball: The Golden Age" by Harold Seymour
"The Home Run Heard Round The World" by Ray Robinson
"Baseball When The Grass Was Real" by Donald Honig

Is there really any objection?

Hard to believe anyone objects to restricting executive pay for bailout cash recipients. If you want your pay uncapped, give us our money back!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

"Airliner"-the ITunes Shuffle Meme

Courtesy @aubs (, the ITunes Shuffle Meme. Put your ITunes on Shuffle, and write down the next song that pops up as the answer to the question.

What do your friends think of you?
"I've Got A Feeling", The Beatles
A feeling they can't hide. Oh Yeah.

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
"Ebony and Ivory"(Live), Paul McCartney
I've always been a harmonizer.

How would you describe yourself?
"This Little Girl of Mine", Ray Charles

What do you like in a guy/girl?
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer", The Beatles
Murder convictions are always a turnon.

How do you feel today?
"Patience", Guns and Roses
If you say so.

What is your life’s purpose?
"Hoodoo Man"(Live), Eric Clapton

What is your motto?
"You Can't Count On Me", Counting Crows


What do you think about very often?
"The Long Run", The Eagles

F*&king eerie.

What is 2 + 2?
"Candy's Room"(Live), Bruce Springsteen
Now we're back to meaningless.

What do you think of your best friend?
"The Unforgettable Fire"(Live), U2

What do you think of the person you like?
"The Battle of Evermore", Led Zeppelin

I can't say that I like that.

What is your life story?
"Are You Gonna Be My Girl", Jet

Tru dat.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Fuel"(Live), Metallica


What do you think of when you see the person you like?
"Glass Onion", The Beatles
It is true that "nothing is real". However, my wife is not the walrus. Koo Koo Ka Choo.

What will you dance to at your wedding?
"High Water", Rush
Uh, no.

What will they play at your funeral?
"Begin the Begin", REM


What is your hobby/interest?
"She Moves On", Paul Simon

Uh oh.

What is your biggest fear?
"Seek and Destroy"(Live), Metallica
I guess I wouldn't mind being sought. Unless I owe you money.

What is your biggest secret?
"Zoo Station", U2

A bit surrealist, eh IPod?

What do you think of your friends?
"Too Late Too Late", Metallica

That's a little bit funny.

What will you post this as?
"Airliner", REM


Larry Kudlow, Professional Parrot

I checked in on CNBC and saw Larry Kudlow and a female anchor I did not know doing a segment about Barney Frank. Representative Frank had apparently had a meeting with reporters about the legislative agenda he planned to pursue in 2009. After some back and forth with the reporter on the scene, Kudlow snorted "if I may about lowering tax rates?"

Of course, for conservatives like Kudlow, lowering taxes is the solution to everything, including psoriasis and the Yankees' infield defense. But Larry? We tried it your way. It didn't work.


(I'm starting to think I should do something like that, to alert my 12 readers to a shift of tone, topic, or mood, so they won't think I'm schizophrenic.)(And yes, I know that schizophrenia is not split personalities, it is the split between the patient and the real world. On second thought, maybe I am schizophrenic.)


A woman I had a life threatening crush on in high school recently asked me(on Facebook, which is increasingly looking like a bad idea) how my life was. I didn't say this,(I said something equally full of wiseassery), but what I should have said was this:

My life is basically being an actor in a play that I have never read, in a place I have never been, in a language that I do not speak, with people I have never met before. In other words, my mental life is just basically the following phrases-
What? Who? Me? Now? I dont understand. When? You want to say that? OK. You mean now? Oh, I see. Yes. Really? Huh?-over and over again.

I've used this analogy before, and it's pretty close to the mark. I will continue to use it, I suspect, until someone pries it out of my skull with forceps. I think that Phil ( and Miss ( will understand what I'm talking about with this analogy better than anyone.

Pedro Martinez

On the MLB Network's Hot Stove program, they were discussing the greatest pitching seasons of all time, and the panel was skeptical of Pedro's 1999 season being the top rated one on the list. In baseball, there is often this kind of attitude-anyone that we see or remember seeing can't possibly be the best ever.

But in 1999, Pedro Martinez posted a 2.07 ERA in a season when the league ERA was 5.02.

Suck on that.

Monday, February 02, 2009

'Ol Whatsisface Gets Busted

Apparently Olympic hero and All American Special Dude Michael Phelps was photographed smoking marijuana. Reminds me of the Eddie Izzard joke that recommends that performance debilitating drugs should obviously be allowed in Olympic sports.

Last night I watched the film "Juno" for the first time. I thought it was wonderful. The Ellen Page character was a little too precious and self assured to be a realistic teenager, but it was a really charming story, well acted and well written. I loved it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Apparently there was some sort of sporting event tonight....?

I managed to miss the first three quarters of the Most Important Game What Ever Was Played while helping my son finish his science project.

Fatherhood FTW!


Stuff I Forgot To Say:

TTBOOK (To The Best Of Our Knowledge, a public radio program that is available as a podcast) was excellent this week-the topic was loneliness, an idea that one author linked to an ancient word, ascetia, (I may be misspelling that, but I don’t have Internet access right now to check.) meaning a sort of spiritual restlessness and revulsion to human contact-almost like a midlife crisis. I knew exactly what she meant, and as soon as I can look up her name I will probably buy the book.

Dan Carlin’s Common Sense was also extraordinary. Dan described letters and emails he had received that described him as “un-American” due to his opposition to America’s adventures overseas. Dan very neatly pointed out that his “radical” idea that the American armed forces should demobilize in peacetime is one that comes directly from the founders, and is thus as American as all get out.

The third wonderful podcast I listened to was Bill Moyers’ Journal, which had a long, pseudo military historical discussion about the bombing of civilians. They raised an interesting point-it hasn’t ever worked, really. At least, not on its own. The lone exception I can come up with is the atomic bombing of Japan-but that doesn’t really count because that was an utterly new weapon, and also not really the carpet bombing or precision strikes of the modern era. (I have Carlos Mencia’s voice running through my head right now, in an exaggerated, B movie Japanese accent-“they drop TWO BOMBS!”)

But think about it-even in the pre-airplane age, total war, intended to break civilian morale and thus bring their government to heel, never works, does it? The British in the Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, World Wars One and Two, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and even the current CIA Predator strikes-trying to dishearten doesn’t seem to work. It may assist in a military campaign sure, but in every case, to get anything done, you need to go in there with troops and seize territory and hold it.

It is pleasurable to seize upon a new idea, to learn something for the first time.