Friday, January 30, 2009

Suggested reading

I've been a fan of Pointy Universe for several months now. There have been a couple of individual posts I've even recommended here and here.

She's been posting some very well-written and compelling posts since the New Year. Unfortunately, they are about her diagnosis and experience seeking treatment for breast cancer.

There's a guy where I work whose wife is going through a very similar experience. The timeline is similar and for a second, I almost thought KJ from Pointy Universe might be the wife of my coworker, in disguise.

KJ has been kind enough to comment here and I enjoy her blog so much I felt compelled to send her some good wishes. But I don't really know her, I've just read her blog. I sent her something very plain, short and simple. She clearly has people very close to her who know her well (and in real life) that have been supporting her.

The same is true of my co-worker's wife. I know him, but not her. He and I have long, spirited conversations and debates about the Patriots. They always end with escalating voices and someone storming away, but laughing as they do so. Last year, the week after the Super Bowl, he came to my office doorway. I said not a word, simply rose, walked to the door and closed the door in his face. He understood.

But I haven't seen him much since news of his wife's health spread around the office. To be honest with you, I was kind of dreading seeing him. He's no doubt been repeating every latest detail to tons of people and probably didn't want to repeat them all one more time, I figured. I was afraid any attempt to discuss it with him would only depress him. (People have been sending flowers and cards to the house and it has been a bit too much like a funeral parlor for them, I'd heard) So I sought updates from another guy who is close to him and when I saw him, we were heading in different directions, engaged in other activity or were surrounded by others. The only time we sat one-on-one for a conversation, someone came in within ten seconds.

Today he came in and sat down. We talked Patriots a little. I told him I didn't want to bring him down and he didn't have to talk about it, but I wanted to let him know I was wishing them the best.

About a half-hour later he had told me many of the grim details. She has a less common, more deadly form of breast cancer than KJ and things don't look good. Still, it sounds like they've got their heads in the right place. They're taking a realistic look at their options and doing what they feel works for them.

My heart breaks for both of these women and I wish there was something I could do to help them and the loved ones around them. It's been sad, but amazing, reading and hearing about how courageous they've been.

Song of the Day: Thank God It's Friday

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Song of the Day: River of Tears

Here's hoping the rain and some steady temperatures above freezing will "clean the slate" on the roof dams/leaks. It wasn't a lot of fun yesterday trying to shovel the waterlogged snow off of the driveway after clearing a lot of waterlogged snow and ice off the roof. Having to go out again after dark because ice was still causing a drip stain in the bedroom wasn't a lot of fun, either.

If not New England, Pacific Northwest?

Not that I have any intention of leaving Massachusetts or New England, but if I did, I think I'm much more likely to end up in Washington or Oregon than Mississippi or Alabama.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Plenty of birdseed and barbeque grills!

But if you're in Massachusetts, in January, you can't find a snow roof rake at an area Lowes, Home Depot, Ace or Aubochon.

And we wonder why retailers are going out of business?!?!?!

How about this for economic stimulus: have something on the shelf that people need when they need it.

How about this for job stimulus: hire people to ship things to the store that people need, then hire people to put that stuff on the shelves.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Song of the Day: Ice, Ice Baby

It's tough to post to the blog when you're on a ladder, leaning against the house, breaking ice so that the drips in the house stop.

ICE DAM(N)s!!!!!!!!!

I really don't enjoy my house sometimes. Maybe I would if the people who owned it before me had spent any money keeping it in better shape.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Haven't you been thinking this, too?

Longer than I've been blogging, I've been worrying about David Ortiz. His "wait and see" approach to the bad knee and wrist didn't go so well. I've never heard of him going to any fitness performance institutes in desert locations in the offseason(Manny did, though).

So it's high time he start getting called out in public for effectively hitting cruise control on his career.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ranking the inaugural hats

I'll try to fill in with pictures as they become available. But for now, here's how I rank the hats on the main stage of the inauguration.

3. Red Pimp Fedora--I don't know who the guy was, but he had a prime seat, right on the aisle and in perfect view whenever they showed someone coming out of the doors of the Capital and down the stairs.

2. Old Man Bush--The large fur hat with ear flaps and all was accentuated by the bewildered look on George HW Bush's face every time they caught his image on camera. I don't agree with his politics, but I respect his career and achievements. Still, there was a day a few years ago when, during a rain delay, he walked onto the NESN set to talk with whoever was the anchor at the time. He looked disheveled and undignified; very un-Presidential. He looked that bad today. Anytime I even saw him in the background I had to stifle a laugh.

1. Aretha--Good grief! Anyone with a head that big would try to draw attention away from it, you'd think. Wear a large ribbon at the intersection of the chest and shoulder. Get a colorful, chunky necklace. Instead she goes the other way and gets a hat with such a ridiculously large, bedazzled ribbon that you can't help but be distracted from her voice. Was that silly thing suggested by some English royalty?

Cheney in a wheelchair

Please don't think less of me that I think it's funny Dick Cheney hurt his back moving boxes and is in a wheelchair. It will make it that much harder for the door to hit him in the ass on the way out the door. Will they put a blanket over his legs while he's at the inauguration? Here's a picture of the VPs last day in the office.

Song of the Day: Dancin' in the Streets

Summer isn't here in a real, physical way. But I think the argument could be made that W stands for a long, dark winter in America.

Happy Inauguration Day, America. Enjoy the celebration!

Martha and the Vandellas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 200th Edgar

Edgar Allan Poe--born in Boston, but not a big fan of Boston--was born 200 years ago today.

I've always liked Poe. I own a book of his collected works. I'll never forget reading "A Telltale Heart" in Mrs. Goodwin's English class.

Read lots of tasty tidbits at Wikipedia, like the fact that he was in the Army and posted at Fort Independence (now more commonly known as Castle Island in South Boston). He got himself discharged from the Army and went to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He didn't like that much and got himself thrown out.

Big Game Ben

In his last Super Bowl, Ben Roethlisberger did this: 9-21, 123 yards, 1 rush TD, 2 picks. His QB raiting was 22.6, that's the lowest of any winning quarterback in the Super Bowl and lower than a lot of losers.

Yesterday, he completed less than 50% of his passes and most of his 255 yards passing seemed to come on yards gained by receivers after the catch (YAC).

The defense is the star of this team, no matter how much Jim Nantz gushes over Ben. And for all the raving over "Big Ben," doesn't he seem a bit fragile for a guy 6-5", 245?

They'll probably win the Super Bowl, but I think Ben is overhyped and I'm hoping the Cardinals can pull off their first Super Bowl win.

Song of the Day: By the time I get to Arizona

Kickin' it old school with PE. Chuck D was GOOOOOOOOOD. And that's one helluva groove.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Not so bad

It was -2 when I left the house this morning. Now it's sunny and 15. Almost balmy.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

An empty street corner

The guy that usually stands at the intersection selling the Boston Herald was nowhere tob e seen this morning. Must be because of the cold. Did you hear it was cold? Not just here. It's cold in a lot of places. During the winter. Go figure.

Sogn of the Day: Never go to work

Funny song by They Might Be Giants

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No more rich, Corinthian leather

Ricardo Montalban, from Fantasy Island and Chrysler commercials, is dead at age 88.

I actually saw the famous waterfall from the Fantasy Island open during a helicopter ride over Kauai on my honeymoon. Spectacular. Not the best on the island, but good. The waterfall from Jurassic Park is there, too.

Song of the Day: Learning to Fly

Who wouldn't like to do this?

This weekend "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd came on the radio. Great song.

Now someone sent me this video. I think I need to make a commitment to skydive this year. I'd love to do this, but I'd smash into the wall. Maybe in ten years or so they'll have something developed to do something like this more safely. What a rush!

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

Ryan Seacrest; what a tool

Did anyone watch American Idol last night? The last five or ten minutes were all about this inspirational blind guy that tries out. They fill the thing with sappy music in the background and details about his life. Then he comes on, sings well enough and gets through to Hollywood. He comes out the doors with his golden ticket, walking stick and human guide to his cheering family. Ryan Seacrest then interviews him and throws his hand up to high five the guy. The blind guy.

Somebody took advantage of their TiVo, their video camera and YouTube. Take a look.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Song of the Day: Rice, Rice Baby

Parody King Weird Al Yankovich, dedicated to new Hall of Famer Jim Rice.

My favorite player growing up

If you watched the Red Sox around here in the late 70s or early 80s you're probably, like me, one of the many people whose favorite player was Jim Rice.

My attention span wasn't the greatest when I was a kid. My older sisters often didn't want me to play board games with them because they knew that I would lose interest and quit midway through the game. Even with sports, my favorite thing as a kid, I often couldn't sit to watch a game for an extended period of time. So when it came to watching the Red Sox, I would often drift away and come back to watching when my dad told me Jim Rice was coming up.

My mom worked evenings then, so Dad watched us and was responsible for putting us to bed. Even I knew I was being favored when, at bedtime I was allowed to stay up later than my sisters to catch a little more of the Red Sox game. An extra half inning to see the Red Sox bat one more time was allowed. Often I could stay on his lap with a plea to "see Rice hit one more time."

When I went to bed in the middle of a game, often the first thing I would ask my dad in the morning was whether Jim Rice hit a home run.

I remember walking through Sears or another department store at the mall and seeing the t-shirts that read "Pitchers pay the price when they pitch to Jim Rice."

I'm glad he made it to the Hall of Fame. It's recognition for him from his peers, which is something that can't be equaled. But for me, growing up sitting on dad's lap hoping to see him hit one over the fence, round the bases and have that primitive golden star graphic over his image as he returned to the dugout, he's been in the My Childhood Memories Hall of Fame for a long time.

Congratulations, Jim Ed. And thanks.

Can we chip and get him a place in Boca?

Gil Santos is retiring from his on-air gig at WBZ. It's unclear if he will continue to be the play-by-play guy for the Patriots. I hope not.

In the last few years, I have become increasingly frustrated at his inability to correctly name the down, distance or where on the field the ball is even marked. He's got a great voice and when he gets things right, he's tremendous. But he gets too much wrong. It's time to replace him.

He can take Gino with him, too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Song of the Day: Locomotive Breath

Hard-driving, musically diverse Jethro Tull fills a second consecutive day with another track off the Aqualung album.

Here you get the classic hard rock-flute fusion Tull is famous for in a tune that sounds like the deranged black sheep brother to the Beatles "Rocky Racoon."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Did you see it?

Did you see Josh Beckett throw a four hit shut-out against the Washington Nationals last night in a 4-0 win for the Red Sox?

Probably not. I was pulling the strings on my Wii MLB 2k9.

The night before I piloted the Patriots to a 77-0 nothing win over the Dolphins in Madden. Then I beat up consecutively on the Bills, Steelers, Colts and Giants 5-on-5 games. You play on a shortened field with a center, QB, RB and two receivers. You get four downs to either score or not score. First one to five scores win. In five games, I gave up 2 touchdowns.

Sure, I'm playing in rookie mode in both sports, but I've NEVER played either game in any incarnation before this. And I've never traditionally been one to excel at videogames.

I got both games and a few more as Xmas gifts. Along with learning to dominate these games, I'm flying through the first level of Aerosmith's Guitar Hero. All of this without yet taking advantage of the Force. That will come soon when I begin my work on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Mrs. noternie received a Wii games program (lawn darts, shuffleboard, beer pong, etc) and Bigfoot: 4x4 racing, because the later is the closest I could get to a racing game that allows you drive like you're in a tank. It is often that while on the road and confronted with drivers she deems incompetent Mrs. noternie dreams of piloting a tank so as to crush them. I'm hoping letting her do that on a Wii will assuage the desire to do it in real life.

Song of the Day: Aqualung

Tremendous rock n' roll classic song. Great riff, memorable lyrics. The entire album is great, in fact, but this is the biggest tune of their careers. Here it's creatively put to images.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

BC takes ball, goes home

Jay posted a mini-item about BC a few days ago. I had a reaction. He kindly shared my views with the world.

No. I don't like BC. Not even a little. Neither does Jay, apparently.

Here's a blog name/story for you

The name of the blog is Whiskey Fire. Would that we all had such a great story to back up our blog names.
Streams of Whiskey
Whiskey Fire, 1875:
An extraordinary scene took place at a great fire in Dublin on Saturday night. The fire was at Reid's malt-house and Malone's bonded warehouse, in the Liberties. The former had above £2000 worth of malt in it, and the latter, which immediately adjoins it, had 1800 puncheons of whisky, the property of various distillers, and worth £54,000. The burning liquor, running down Ardee-street, Chamber-street, Cork-street, and Mill-street, spread the flames with great rapidity. In two hours all the houses on one side of Mill-street and several in Chamber-street were destroyed. The fire brigade could not use their engines lest the water should carry the flames through the city, but they tore up the pavement and used sand and manure carried from a depot in a neighbouring street. A force of military, under Colonel Fellowes, was present, and rendered all the help they could, but all that could be done was to isolate the fire. Among the places destroyed was a large tannery in Mill-street. Crowds of people assembled, and took off their hats and boots to collect the whisky, which ran in streams along the streets. Four persons have died in the hospital from the effects of drinking the whisky, which was burning hot as it flowed. Two corn-porters, named Healy and M'Nulty, were found in a lane off Cork-street, lying insensible, with their boots off, which they had evidently used to collect the liquor. There are many other persons in the hospital who are suffering from the same cause. Two boys are reported to be dying, and it is feared that other deaths will follow. It has been ascertained that the fire originated in the bonded spirit stores of Mr. Lawrence Malone, in which there were 5000 barrels of whisky and other spirituous liquor. A subscription has been opened to relieve the distress of families whose dwellings and furniture were destroyed by this fire. A meeting for this purpose was held on Monday, by the Lord Mayor of Dublin's invitation, and several hundred pounds were at once subscribed.

Song of the Day: Kiss From a Rose

This is not a planned or intentional link to Monday's Song of the Day.

Make sure you check out all the pictures that go with the "awwwww" story of the week. Mrs. noternie used to spend a week on the Cape every summer as a child. All kinds of family would go down and stay or visit. It was one of those warm family memories that you imagine being revisited on slightly blurry color home movies.

Anyway, on the way down, they always used to stop at the fish hatchery in Sandwich. A few years ago we revived the tradition of spending a family week on the Cape, complete with a stop to feed the fish at the hatchery. It's a great little activity. Simple, cheap, uncrowded and fun. Obviously there are always new people discovering the fun.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One for the ladies...

Universal Hub--oft the source of interesting blog posts about interesting stuff--led us to Women Do, a new blog mocking news stories about all the things that, well, women do.

Not just a good concept, but well written. It only started yesterday, but it bears watching.

Song of the Day: Anything But Down

Good tune from Sheryl Crow. Comes from "The Globe Sessions" album, which is good all the way through.

Back in the day...

I lived in the Fenway for a year or two. Sine I was poor, I didn't make it to as many Red Sox games as I thought I would. But I did make it over to Thornton's, a neighborhood restaurant, a few times for breakfast. I seem to recall that they had a pretty good breakfast, though I don't remember the details about what it was that was good.

Anyway, it's gone now. All burned up. Seems that major fire that tore through a block of the Fenway started at Thornton's.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Song of the Day: The Batman Theme

No, not the one from the old TV show. This one's from the first movie's soundtrack, in honor of the departed Commissioner Gordon. It's by Danny Elfman. Takes a few seconds before you hear anything, but it's there.

RIP, Commissioner Gordon

(CNN) -- Longtime character actor Pat Hingle, a veteran of early television dramas, Westerns and four "Batman" films, has died at age 84, his family announced Sunday.

Hingle began his acting career in the 1950s, appearing in numerous television theater shows. His first movie role was an uncredited appearance in 1954's "On the Waterfront," which won eight Academy Awards; he played the by-the-book judge opposite Clint Eastwood's vengeful marshal in 1968's "Hang 'Em High," and appeared as Sally Field's father in 1979's "Norma Rae."

In 1989, he appeared as Gotham City's Commissioner Gordon in Tim Burton's "Batman," carrying on the role through three sequels. His last film role was in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," released in 2006.

Whaddya mean 'where have you been'?

I've been on vacation. That's why there have been no posts. Sorry for the gap. I shut off the phone and virtually all contact with the outside world, other than with those in the room or house with me. It felt really good, too. I did feel a few pangs of guilt over not posting, but it was easy to fall out of the habit when I didn't find myself with down time or sitting in front of the computer. I was busy interacting with live people.

I hope my regular readers will return and bring friends with them. I promise to return to regular posting.

Happy 2009, by the way. Hope it's off to a good start for you and yours, whoever "yours" may be.