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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disgusting

Sure Garza had good stuff, but it takes two to tango.

Really bad showing. Embarassing.

Celtics late game offense

It's so consistent, I can only assume this is what they mean to do each time:

Fart around beyond the top of the key until there are 12 seconds left on the shotclock.

Struggle to get the ball to the guy you want to take the shot.

Frantically try to beat your man off the dribble (unsuccessfully) until there are 2 seconds left on the shot clock.

Launch an off balance or fall away jumper that has little chance of going in.

Don't get the rebound.

(mrs. noternie--who was a bit of a baller in her day--goes crazy when they hold the ball and let the clock run down. she yells at the tv every single time.)

Song of the Day II: I Am Changing My Name to Chrysler

Thanks to WBZ for turning me on to this one.

Great Arlo Guthrie performance of a Tom Paxton song. It was done the last time Chrysler was on the brink of going under, but the general tone is fitting for our time, I think. Graphics are little more than a distraction (except the last one, which is an embarassment). Couldn't get the song without them.

Lyrics here.

Oink, oink

I'm sick of the wall-to-wall swine flu talk. Enough already. I was about at my limit when a report on WBZ mentioned that the swine flu was neither more contagious nor more dangerous than any strain of seasonal flu.

So unless something changes, I'm opting out of the swine flu hysteria.

Throwing up in my mouth a little

The Celtics look like crap. Pierce hurt, Allen gone cold, Rondo immature and everybody getting outhustled. Surprised it took them so long to back down by 12.

Sox even worse. Beckett clobbered, no Sox player has reached base through 6.

Song of the Day: I need a nap



Weird Al Yankovic and Kate Winslet(!) sing this Sandra Boynton-themed tune.

138

Tied with the Toronto Blue Jays, but with a winning percentage a few points higher, the Magic Number for the Boston Red Sox to clinch the American League East Division Title is 139.

Onto Tampa for a series with the last place Rays.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot!

My car says it's 96 degrees right now.
Sent on the Now Network� from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Specter to become a Democrat

Big news?

Might be, if the Democrats could get the existing members of their party to support the party's agenda.

Does anyone know how many times the Democrats have gotten to 59 votes to end a filibuster? My guess is it's not that many times, if at all.

And what does it say about a guy that he trades one political party for its polar opposite after all this time? Go independent and I might respect you. But joining the Democrats smacks of political desperation.

Why hockey is better than basketball

Consider the following scenario:
--A seven game series sits 2-1 with the next game being a home game for the team trailing the series.
--The young start player of the home team trailing in the series is being played roughly, so much so that it is limiting his effectiveness, according to most watching.
--The home team gets blown out in game 4 as much as any team ever has in the sport’s playoff history. And the blowout starts really, really early.

In hockey there is a long string of fights involving every player on the roster, including the goaltender and, when he gets thrown out of the game, his backup. The coach gets multiple bench penalties, probably throws enough equipment on the ice to stock a Dick’s Sporting Goods and insults the weight, eating habits and genetic disposition of the ref to testicular cancer.

For Game 5, the team that lost will bring up a guy from the minors who averages more fights a week than he has teeth in his head. He will skate onto the ice with a pocket full of coupons for discounted emergency medical care, which he will pass out to the other team before faceoffs. The other team will make a similar roster move.

In basketball, the coach gets not a single technical foul and afterward admits he couldn’t motivate his players:
"I want them to think about what happened tonight and rewind in their minds because when we get to Denver, it's a one-game elimination process," [Byron] Scott said. "I told our guys in the first quarter, if we don't match their intensity level this game is going to be over quick and I don't think we ever did." He publicly absolves the refs of any blame.

Before Game 5, players on the losing team will Twitter fans the name of the club where he and his teammates will be hanging out after they are eliminated.

Globe staff: Smoke 'em if you got 'em?

The largest union at the Globe, the writer's guild, is being asked to take a 25% reduction to make up half of the $20 million in savings the NYTimes is looking for, according to Christine McConville's piece in the Herald today.

The smaller unions at the Globe are going to have to collectively come up with the other $10 million in "savings" for the New York corporate bosses.

Oh, and all of this has to be worked out by the end of the week. Imagine all those greedy union folks are dragging their feet over giving up their vacation time, 401k contributions and taking pay cuts? Granted, the Times is still in miserable financial shape and they may go under anyway, but why won't those selfish people just volunteer to work for free until then. There are still fat salaries to pay in NY, you know!

140

Happy Days are here again! Warm weather has arrived and with it, the first appearance of the "Magic Number" for the Boston Red Sox.

The magic number for the Red Sox to clinch the American League East Division is currently 140.

Song of the Day: Sweet Dreams

Creepy hard rocking version of the big Annie Lennox (Eurythmics) hit from the 80s. It's actually not as outrageous as some Manson stuff, most of which does not interest me. But this one is good stuff.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bruins hockey: funny and relevant!

Good and timely commercial for the Boston Bruins.


Even better was this one:


This one's pretty good, too.


And finally...

77 years later, he got his job back

On Saturday, the Red Sox will have a bat boy that is 100 years old. No, they're not letting him on the field during the game. But it's a good story.
Only recently did he move into an assisted-living facility with his wife of 61 years, Harriet, who during the living-room interview stopped by and exclaimed, "Oh, the Red Sox! That's the best vitamin for him!"

Song of the Day: ...Crazy Tonight, Magnificent

I mentioned a while back that I had bought the new U2 album "No Line on the Horizon" and would give my thoughts on it at some point. I finally give it here in the hopes that the flood of email to my Inbox requesting it will cease.

I'll end the suspense with the unsurprising verdict that it's very good. I've always really liked U2. "The Joshua Tree" is on my all time list of favorite albums. Like it, most of U2s albums I find to be high quality and very consistent from start to finish. "War," "The Unforgettable Fire," "All That You Can't Leave Behind," "Achtung Baby" are all great to the finish. Try to find a better 10-11-12 finish than Ultraviolet-Acrobat-Love Is Blindness. Good luck.

And so it is with "No Line On the Horizon." Terribly original? Not really. I notice some good Clayton bass lines carrying songs more than i have in the past. But, truth be told, both the Edge and Mullin, Jr. stay pretty close to what they've always done. The thing is, if it ain't broke...

The interesting part, as it always seems to be with U2, is Bono. His voice continues to get weaker as the years go by. Maybe it's all that hard singing over the years. He certainly gives it is all both in the studio and on stage, where he's got a solid legacy as one of the industry's best frontmen. But he doesn't hide from the weakening voice. In "Elevation" from "All that you can't..." he sings "Can't sing but I've got soul, the goal is elevation."

So Bono cranks it up and lets it crack. He knows it's the ooomph that makes him and it's what his fans want from him. He gets some help in the studio, but not from the style of songs the band continues to record and perform.

It took me a few listens through before I warmed to "No Line On the Horizon" but I've grown to really like it. At first I mentioned to someone that it was at least better than just about anything else being put out which drew the response "that's not saying much." But I think it is. How many albums do you find in a year that you buy and want to listen to repeatedly, not just skipping through for one or two songs?

So there it is: I like it. Just like I figured I would.

This is my favorite song on the album: "I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight." Great energy. Lots of fun to listen to. Makes me want to jump around. And it has one of my all time favorite lyrics: "the right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear."

This is my second favorite tune on the album: "Magnificent." It's got all that passion and soul that has made U2 a fan favorite for all these years. nice work by The Edge, too.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

All of a sudden...

Rondo can shoot? He hit a big jumper from 18 feet the other night and he's already hit a few from downtown tonight (mid 2d quarter).

Quite a compliment

One of John McCain's top campaign strategists did a joint event with Obama's campaign manager at the University of Delaware. In addition to noting the difficult conditions McCain faced trying to follow a very unpopular President from his own party and a quickly deteriorating economy he said of Obama's effort:
This was, in my view, the unfinished Bobby Kennedy campaign the idealism, the passion, the inspiration he gave to people, it was organic and it was real and it wasn’t manufactured at a tactical level in the campaign.

From Politico.

A little more on gumshoe-ing from Sam Spade

I liked this article in the Globe about the investigation resulting in the arrest of the med student as the "Craigslist killer," but I was interested in finding out even more detail. So I asked my buddy, "Sam Spade" for his input. (He is a real life detective, not in Boston.) I specifically asked him how many guys would get put on something like this where he is.
Most murders are committed by a friend or acquaintance of the victim, and even if an arrest isn't made in the first 48 hours it's usually pretty apparent that it wasn't a random thing, meaning that there isn't a big public safety threat to everyone. This case was different because it was random. Plus there were the two other girls he robbed which made it very likely he would hit again. In a case like this, the PD writes a blank check an nobody goes home until either you catch the guy or all leads dry up. (my emphasis)

This case worked out good. It's amazing to me that this guy used his own internet service to email this girl. Quite often when you trace an IP address, you find the account holder is not your suspect. A lot of times they have an unsecured wireless connection in their house that people on the outside can pick up on, especially in an apartment building like the one this guy lived in in Quincy. Plus, like the article said, people can hijack your IP address remotely.

We had a case that started in Minnesota with a person who bought a car through Auto Trader. The whole transaction was done on the internet. The Minnesota cops traced the IP address back to an account in [our place], so they turned the case over to us. We watched the house for a while and did some background and were pretty sure these weren't the right people, so we didn't get a search warrant to seize their computer. Instead, we traced the origin of the email address the suspect used through gmail, and it turned out it originated in Romania and was part of a worldwide scam.

I don't know exactly how they do it, but somehow they're able to take over an IP address without the account holder knowing. So Boston did the right thing by surveilling this guy until they had some corroborating info, and eliminated other leads.

Plus this tends take the wind out of the sail early on the inevitable defense by his Attorney that "the police only focused on my guy and did an incomplete investigation.

Song of the Day: Wonderwall

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save the Earth, go to the movies!



I'm a big fan of Happy Feet and I'm very interested in seeing this movie, too. Here's the regular trailer...

Song of the Day: It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

Don't let Mother Nature sing bad songs to you

Happy Earth Day!

Here are simple things you can do to help the environment.

The last two years have seen me:
--started using cf bulbs
--started recycling, big time
--when doing dishes, turn water off when not rinsing.
--turn off lights not in use
--turn off computer when leaving office
--when needed, chose an energy star clothes dryer
--bought real plate, silverware and started using and resusing at work, instead of using and throwing away plastic/paper
--started using insulated lunch box, rather than plastic shopping bags for daily lunch
--bought resuable grocery bags and refuse to take bags for any other purchases whenever possible.
--recycling paper at work on my own. (co-worker takes it all to recycle at his son's school)
--add insulation to the attic
--replace a couple of really drafty windows

My next goals are:
--Buy produce from farmer's markets. they're cheaper, they help small, local farmers and they reduce the number of exhaust spewing trucks delivering stuff across the country. Oh, and it would be good for me to eat more fruits and veggies. you can find one here.
--Start using rain barrels to water plants, grass.
--Investigate smell proof composting containers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Song of the Day: Ha Ha You're Dead

Let's warm up for Earth Day tomorrow by imagining what Mother Nature would say/sing toward all of those who roll their eyes at protecting the environment if she were a vengeful, spiteful bitch. Try their best, those folks won't outlive the planet, though their actions make it a place that will eventually be uninhabitable for humans.



The fact that the song is by Green Day is a bonus. Lyrics here.

New Jersey is nicer than Mass

At least right now, New Jersey is much more beautiful than Massachusetts. I know, I was there for a few days.

Seriously, the weather in New Jersey must have been much better so far this spring than in Massachusetts. Trees are fully green there, flowers have bloomed and grass needs to be cut desperately. There are even flower trees that have started dropping flowers.

Coming back to Massachusetts, we were greeted by the barren branches on trees, winter height grass and only sporadic color from blooming flowers.

This weeks rain combined with the sun and warmth of last weekend and the coming one should help.

I know New Jersey is south of here, but it's not that far.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will it come to this?

Was talking to a coworker yesterday about the economic situation and the frustrations people are feeling and he referenced and old movie I had never heard of.

Soylent Green. Is this sort of thing possible? Impossible? I think a better argument would be whether it was probable or improbable. I'm definitely interested in seeing the movie.

Once again, as before, more than once I've got to make it clear I'm not actively advocating for anything violent or disruptive or bad or anything to happen, be done, planned or discussed. I don't want to buy anything bought, sold or processed. I'm just watching and listening and trying to imagine what might happen in the world.

Song of the Day: Grace Is Gone

I can't hear a "my heart done got broken" song now without thinking of poor Joe. And now, checking in on him again, it's double plus ungood stuff coming from Joe.

If blogs were nickels...

I'd have some change in my pocket. I'm using them a lot. Not that I'm reading too many. And it's not that I'm posting here too much.

I'm creating too many blogs!!!!!

I like to keep my many identities separate and unknown to the general public, less the paparazzi and cybercreeps know too much. But suffice to say the one I created today means I am now the creator and manager of SIX mostly active blogs!

Three work, three not work.

Truth be told, I'm not actively posting on all six right at this moment. Some I just make suggestions and review/edit content. Some are not very busy. But still. Has this become a compulsive thing, you think? Or just an easy way to communicate?

It's only a matter of time before Blogger starts pushing me to do a Super Bowl ad for them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rough day for famous people

First it was Harry Kalas.

Then word came that Mark "the Bird" Fidrych had died at his Massachusetts home, at the age of 54.

Then I heard last night that Marilyn Chambers, one of the big early porn stars from the 70s and 80s had died.

And finally Bruce Snyder, college football coach who led three programs, had died. Allen final coaching job was at Arizona State, where he led the Sun Devils to an undefeated regular season and coached future NFLer Jake Plummer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Song of the Day: 99 Luftballoons



Let's all acknowledge the fact that a song that was a hit back in the 80s was an even bigger hit when they put it out in German. And chances are if you hear the song today, it's probably the German version you're going to hear. Odd? Yes. Odd.

Here's the English version. Which will you listen to?

Sad passing

Goodbye Harry Kalas, voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and NFL Films. If you've ever seen an NFL Films production, you know the voice. Here it is in an NFL video game commercial.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Song of the Day: Territorial Pissings



It's been 15 years since Cobain committed suicide. Tragic. Here's one of my favorites from their iconic "Nevermind" album. One of my favorite song lyrics ever--and one I use often in life--is in here. "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean their not after you."

Dinner warming without global warming

Meet the Kyoto Box. Technically, it's two boxes, one inside the other. Cut the top off the big box and put a piece of clear plastic in its place. Line the inside of the big box with foil. Paint the inner box black. Put a pot of water inside the little box, put the whole thing in the sun and it'll boil.

No, probably not an alternative for most. But in Africa, it's better than cutting down trees for a fire. And it allows boiling water to purify it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Not to be gross, but...

I never knew what a nasal spray or a nasal saline rinse would do to someone.

Now I know.

Boy, do I know.

I feel like I could snort Bolivia.

Funny thing: I picked up a prescription for cough syrup with codeine yesterday and I swear the pharmacist was on coke or speed. Way too jumpy and frenetic. It was odd.

I can't imagine he was sampling the wares; there were half a dozen cameras aimed at the pharmacy area from the ceiling and probably an equal number of other pharmacists working in there. Plus, isn't that just about the worst place to try to get away with that kind of thing?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Song of the Day: Yoda

Over the weekend, I showed my Star Wars-crazed nephew the video for Weird Al's "The Saga Begins" featured as a SOTD here last week. Surprisingly, he'd never seen it. He may have heard the song a while back.

Anyway, he loved it so much I decided to do a SOTD just for him today. He said he had never heard of this other Weird Al Star Wars tune, so we're going to use that. Good news and bad news here. It doesn't seem Weird Al ever did a video for the Yoda song, based on the Kinks classic "Lola." That's the bad news. The good news, for my nephew at least, is that someone out there did a Lego video for it. If there's anything my newphew loves as much as Star Wars, it might be Legos. So here you go, Ben.


Here's a link to all of the Weird Al stuff on YouTube. After watching The Saga Begins, he insisted we watch "Fat" a brilliant and sophisticated takeoff on Micheal Jackson's "Bad." We'll say it's just here for my nephew, but I expect others will find their way.

Friday, April 3, 2009

You gotta see this yarn, seriously

Some would see this and say there's someone with too much time on their hands. Others would see it and say everyone should do a little something like that to brighten the world in which we live.

When I saw it, the first think I thought was something to the effect of "holy crap, that's kinda cool." Then it was both the too much time and better world stuff.

Song of the Day: I Wanna Get Next to You



Ease back into the 70s for a few minutes. I wonder if Irving R Levine played this song for his lady friends.

Goodbye Irving R Levine

Longtime NBC correspondent Irving R. Levine has died.

He was from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I never knew that! I didn't realize he was so widely praised for his economic reports that were easily understandable to the average Joe. I also didn't know he was the first network reporter that really covered the economy.

What I remember is the bow tie and his delivery, particularly his sign off: "Irving R. Levine, NBC News, Washington." Here's a report, to refresh your memory.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Song of the Day: The Saga Begins



From the all time best song parody guy, Weird Al Yankovich.

Always glad to see a new one

This may be an old one, but I've never heard it before. In considering the pitching staff, Tony Mazz writes this:

"All of that gives the Red Sox, particularly Francona, more options than a Chinese menu, which is something every manager desires."

Pack your bags

We've all got to call friends and relatives in other parts of the country and tell them we need a place to stay. Notice has been given.

Smell the roses, etc.

You've gotta be a certain type or be in the right mood to appreciate certain pieces or certain sentiments. If you're not in the mood, a touching, emotional consideration of issues in life can seem maudlin, trite or sappy. So if you're not feeling this post, save the snark and just move on. Come back to this post at another time, maybe.

That being said, we all have moments that stick in our heads for giving us a heads up or a wake up call or something similar. They may help us see something that's been in front of us forever. Something might give you the same feeling you get when you learn the lyrics you've been singing to a favorite song all those years were wrong. Or that the real reason that was so funny has been going over your head.

For Mary McNamara of the LA Times such a moment was an episode of ER from the first season.
"I turned on the TV to watch that season's sexy new medical drama, and there I was, shaking and dry-mouthed and my life would never be the same."
---
"Inevitably, through a series of events that will probably start with something unremarkable - a headache, a cough, the decision to change lanes - it will be me in that final shot. With any luck, I'll be very old and not quite so hacked up, but who knows? So it's important to pay attention to what is happening, to participate in my life as it is right now."

"Not only to ensure that something serious doesn't go wrong when I'm not looking - there's no ensuring that - but to know that I got the most out of my days when it finally does.

Not too bad for a 14-year-old episode of network television."

As a teen home alone one afternoon, I remember flipping through the channels and stumbling onto HBO. My attention was caught by a familiar face I soon recognized as Grossman, the doughy doofy secondary character from "CHiPs." (Quick imdb.com search finds his name to be Paul Linke. See memory jogging pics here). He was on a stage talking. Curious, I watched.

What a show, what a story, what a storyteller. The special (more reserach identifies it as a 1986 production called "Time Flies While You're Alive") was about the sickness and ultimate death of his wife from cancer. It was about his life and relationship with his wife and three kids before, during and after her death.

Though I was an age where I'd do my best to resist it and never admit it, I cried. I remember it often. The specific words and details of the story have fallen victim to time and a very bad memory. There may have been a story about a difficult birth, but I can't be sure. The emotion, though--the humor and sadness, the mutual love, the simultaneous frustration and determination of the family--is something that has stuck with me to this day.

There are often stories thrown around about actors using certain devices to get themselves in a mindset for a scene or before they take the stage. They think of their childhood puppy dying to cry, they read details of the Holocaust to build rage. Did you ever wonder what you'd use as a device if you were an actor? For a long time, Larry Linke's performance was on my list.

I'm not going to close the way McNamara did. Either you know or you don't. Consider yourself reminded though.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blackberry App store open today

Thanks iPhone users, we realize we don't have iPhones and our apps will never be as widespread or as cool as yours. But the Blackberry expreience should get a little richer now that the app store is open.

There have been a few apps around. A few weeks ago, I found the espn app. Cool, if little more than a desktop shortcut right to espn.com.

Yesterday I discovered Pandora. Long in existence, but ignored by me because 1) streaming usually hung up buffering and B) I found my iPod and later my Sirius radio more satisfying, I finally checked out Pandora and I love it. I plug my phone right into the AUX jack in my car and hook it up to my home stereo. The sound is very good and I figure to discover a bunch of music that I'll like but otherwise might not have ever found.

In fact, look for future SOTD selections coming directly from the Pandora experience. And I'll let you know if I find any other cool apps at the new BB store. Feel free to suggest any you find, too.

Oh Joy! Oh yummy gobbler bliss!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a party for noternie nana-in law at the home of mr and mrs noternie inlaw's house. In addition to my mother inlaws blissful pistachio cake with pistachio frosting, the main course was a turkey dinner. (you know where this is going, don't you?)

In addition to a few rude, late cancellations fortune smiled on me by giving me inlaws who always make more than they need to feed the crowd at their functions (a very good thing, and polite, too. they've never run out of anything, to my knowledge). So rather than consuming the full two turkeys prepared, leftovers remained from the first. The second was untouched.

It came home with mrs. noternie and I.

And so the last few days have been a happily embarrassing early spring orgy of turkey eating. Turkey sandwiches for lunch yesterday. Turkey with mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce last night. Turkey sandwiches for lunch again today. Turkey pot pie will be on the menu tomorrow, I think.

Stuffing was limited, so I held off from taking some for my sandwiches yesterday so there'd be enough for dinner last night. But there was some left over, so it's on my sandwiches today. Technically, it's not stuffing, it's what my wife's family calls "black potatoes." It's ground meat stuffing with mashed potatoes and is very good. Better on a sandwich than Stove Top or some bread stuffing would be.

So be jealous, dear readers. This week I am feasting on lunches of dark meat turkey with cranberry sauce, warmed "stuffing" and mayonnaise on lightly toasted white bread.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Song of the Day: Mother


By John Lennon or the Plastic Ono Band, which ever label you prefer to recognize.
From Wikipedia:
Though the song is called "Mother", it is actually a cry to both of his parents, who "abandoned" him in his childhood - Father Alf Lennon left the family when John was an infant, and mother Julia was hit by a car and killed on the street by a drunk-driving off-duty policeman, when her son was 17.

This is a song I've heard a whole bunch of times, but generally passed over. Yesterday I heard it and it finally clicked in my head. I needed to hear the entire thing, hear it build and hear it without a lot of background noise and distraction, I think. The end of the song contains the well-known screaming/crying of Lennon to his mother and father. But the build up from the start of the song is excellent. I've finally gotten to the point with this song where that ending doesn't feel repetitive and dragged out. It flows over me now.

This song perfectly illustrates the kind of thing the American Idol judges are talking about when they say you need to feel the song and mean it, not just sing it. Who can hear this song and not cry a little on the inside for John Lennon. It's such a simple, yet honest and painful song.

Lyrics here.