Saturday, November 24, 2007

Recent Visuals

We were in Massachusetts' "upstate"--western Mass., this past weekend. Above, trees.

Craggy crab apple tree.

Cow. Not the black & white kind.

On the way home, got this shot of the moon and a church in Cambridge.

Cat climbing window. Look where his feet are....

And now, wishing he could eat that squirrel.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Naive Americans

So, I hope you all did your Indian research. Mine brought me to this. It's not about those Indians, though, it's about the Cleveland Indians. I missed this one when it came out, right before this year's ALCS. It's from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. And it boggles my mind. (I linked you to page two of the article--part one gives you some examples of hapless Indian activity from 1983.) Where do they get these people? Is this a joke? This article is premised on two things that are completely false. I don't even know which one to start with.

Let's take the "whether or not there's woe" theme before getting to the "whose woe is worse" one: This guy wrote this at a time when the Red Sox had recently ended an 86-year championship drought, had just won their first division in 13 years, and were entering the ALCS as favorite to win yet another World Series. And he's acting like we were in a state of "woe," and that Fox would be "bombarding" us with talk of Bill Buckner and curse of the Bambino, or as he calls it, "all the other curses." AS IF HE MISSED THE 2004 SEASON. Even Fox wasn't dumb enough to talk about a curse that--if you believed in it--had already been broken three years ago. (Only that one Indians fan brought it up on a homemade sign--I'm tellin' you, this curse is getting really lazy lately, letting us win all the time...)

Did the guy think that all those times, pre-'04 win, that when Fox brought up all our past heartbreaks, it was just a history lesson? And that they also brought up the really positive things that happened in 1903, 12, 15, 16, and 18 that led to joy in the streets of Boston? No, dumbass, they brought that stuff up because it was the stuff that kept our drought in tact. That drought ended in 2004. We weren't sitting there last month, heading into the 2007 ALCS, saying, Woe is me...I'm so sad about Bill Buckner....we'll lose for sure.

Moving on to the second theme of the article: The guy, on top of acting like both teams are currently in a state of woe, tries to make it seem like the Indians' woe is worse then the Red Sox woe....uh, was, I guess. I'll give him this: that's debatable. But it's a debate he'd lose every time. (Again, if it was before 2004, as there's no need for a debate of "who's sadder" anymore--that honor would clearly go to the Indians. I'm starting to wonder if the guy wrote this in 2003 (look at his e-mail address at the bottom, I might be right!) and just wanted to wait to publish it until the two teams played each other in the playoffs, and then he sent it in, only to realize, Whoops, the Red Sox already put an end to their woe!)

So, he says the Indians' drought of 1949 to 2006 would be a harder one to deal with than the Sox' one of 1919 to 2004. Very key initial reason why he's wrong: His drought was WAY shorter than ours. Therefore, ours, no matter what it contained within, always ended with us not winning, just like theirs, only for a much longer period of time. He talks about how the Indians didn't play a meaningful game in September, let alone any in October, for 34 years in a row. I guess this "despair" would've been lessened had they made it to the World Series, been one strike away from winning it, but still losing. Or going to a seventh game of the World Series four separate times, only to lose each time, with three of those times seeing the opponent put the series away in their final at bat. Or losing to your rival on the final day of the season two separate times with a chance to win the league or division. Or losing a division race by a half-game due to a strike. Or even losing a one-game playoff, at home, with a trip to the World Series at stake--to the Cleveland Indians.

He points out how the Red Sox went to the World Series and lost three times during the Tribe's drought. Yet he fails to mention that the Indians went to the series five times during the Sox' drought. And won twice! (And also had a stretch of winning five division titles in a row.) I think this guy is just jealous. We've got the cooler war stories and our drought ended. Again, I think this article was supposed to be for a pre-2004 world. And also was supposed to say the Indians have suffered less than the Red Sox. That might have made some sense.

"At least the Red Sox never traded Ted Williams," he says. No, but we sold Babe Goddamn Ruth. That's what the "curse" is referring to, guy. And the part about "shrewd scouting or a savvy deal"--gimme a break. Make your own sarcastic remarks about that one.

The kicker is his closing line: "When it comes to utter despair, Tribe fans have Boston beat -- no matter what happens in these playoffs."

It all makes sense now. In this guy's mind, misery continues even after you win. You think we've got pessimistic fans? This guy's jealous of misery that doesn't even exist anymore.

Next thing you'll tell me is he was "just kidding about the whole article," Alex Beam-style. By the way, I listened to Beam's latest podcast, where he has people read his hate mail. I'm still confused. He kept saying it was "almost tongue-in-cheek," or "sort of with crocodile tears" that he said he felt sorry for the Yanks. I still think he was serious about that part. Not the parts that were obviously making fun of them--Yankee fans sent a lot of hate mail about that. But I really think he meant that it is so bad for the Yanks (and he loves it--I'm not arguing that), that he's actually feeling bad for them. I even asked him directly in an e-mail. He likes to read his hate mail, but apparently he doesn't answer personal ones. And to the commenter who I rejected who made fun of my subtlety-detecting abilities, terrible job. You could've disagreed with me respectfully, like Matty did. Also, you could've signed your name instead of going by "anonymous."

[Update, 2:32 AM: While doing "research" for a project you might hear about soon, I came across yet another article giving reasons why the Yankees should be felt sorry for and why it's "not easy being a Yankee fan." From 1981. (Three years after their back-to-back championships.) I couldn't see the whole thing, as you need to be a subscriber or whatever, but I did find a letter to the editor from a Yankee fan saying he wouldn't even feel sorry for them. Ha. By the way, I'm pretty sure that article was completely serious. Funny to think the author was in for 14 more years before he'd see a championship.]

Torii Hunter goes to the Angels. Glad to see him kept away from the Yanks. I'm still wondering what we're gonna do about center field. People are acting like the lineup is set. But there's clearly a decision to be made. You know what I hope happens? In my perfect little world? That Coco and Jacoby battle it out in spring training. The winner starts, and the loser takes his place as one of the best back-up outfielders in the league and does it happily.

Two movies we actually want to see, out at the same time: The Stephen King one and the Coen Brothers one.

Looks like there's talk of extending Tito. Apparently Michael Kay's idea of the Red Sox getting rid of the man who has led us to two championships in four years in favor of Joe Torre was exactly wrong.

My final thought for this day after Thanksgiving, whatever you wanna call it, is about Mike Lowell. You've probably been waiting for me to say, "See, I told you Mike Lowell was a great guy who cares more about playing for the Red Sox than he does about money and terrible job by the douchebag who called me 'silly' for saying so before he signed." Well, I kinda just did, but, forget I said that, and read Cyn's summary of the whole thing--it's better. (Also, to those who implored Mike to "take the best deal while he can," what are you gonna say when he's batting for us in '08? "Oh, here's mister bad businessman fool guy! Strike out you bum, you know nothing about finance! I wish you were on the Yankees right now!"? You should've been happy that your guy was happy on your team, and that even money couldn't sway him to another. To people who this doesn't apply to, Anti-terrible job! You wanna hang out? Okay, other people, you're forgiven. You can play, too.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Flag Of Many Colors

Had a good time with my girlfriend's family today, and will with mine soon. Hope you had a good time with yours.

Thanksgiving, aka Thxgvng, is a good time to think about the Indians. When someone brings that up, we might think of them in the impersonal sense. And as a whole. Like, "oh right, the ones we slaughtered, TJ by us," and then we move on. But if you can, try to find some of the first-hand accounts of battles between settlers and Indians. There are plenty, told from both sides.

As Americans, we're taught about historical events when we're very young. We might learn more about them later in life, but a lot of people don't. I'm talking about things like happened in the last few centuries. When you're six years old, and you learn about George Washington, he seems like a symbol. You can't relate to him in a human way. But had you been born two hundred years earlier, he could've been your neighbor's dad. So, now that you're older, think about looking into some of this historical stuff. It blows my mind that the New York Times reported on the Civil War as it was happening, right there, in our country, a few hundred miles away.

And this stuff with the Indians--it was only a few generations ago. Imagine if your relatives were driving across the country, and you got a text message from them that went "Injns attax, wil try 2 go round, but may hve 2 fite." And then remember how that would pale in comparison to "crzy peple with ghost-skin & magic fire-deth-stix killng us all, takng our land. ttyl."

This post is dedicated to my ancestor, the Native Canadian who had an "8" in her name.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Rest For The Wicked Awesome

From June 20th to July 13th, in 1975, the Red Sox played every day. On four of those days, they played two games. Then there was the three-day All Star break. Then, from July 17th to August 17th, they again played every day. On four of those days, they played twice. That's almost two straight months of playing every day, including eight doubleheaders. At the beginning of the stretch, they were two games ahead of the Yanks. At the end, they were 11 ahead of them.

Did you know Bill Lee pitched a complete game, 78-pitch, two-hitter that year? Time of game: 1:51.

Reigned O'Laze

I'm really into rain delays lately. I'll let you figure that one out on your own. But I found a great story somebody wrote a few years ago that involves a rain delay at Fenway.

Of course, I had to figure out which game it was (this was an easy one), and I came up with this one--6/29/90. (Multiple FNIBSs there--full name in boxscore....)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


David Ortiz' on-base percentage was 23 points higher, his batting average was 18 points higher, he had 21 more doubles, 16 more walks, 17 fewer strikeouts, and even one more triple (in eight less games), than the "no-brainer MVP." But so what--he's got two more World Series rings. (Yeah, I was saying this stuff a long time ago, but I wanted to bring it up again now that it's official.)

Who would you rather have on your team? Who's truly more valuable? These are the real no-brainers.


Over at Uniwatch, they've been compiling a list of FNOB. You know how sometimes a player will have the same last name and first initial as someone else on the team, so that player will have to have their first and last name on the back of the jersey? Well, that's FNOB--full name on back. When going through my tapes, I found footage of the NBA Legends Game from 1988 (as you know from my last video--with Elton John promoting the NBA). In it, players wore jerseys with their first name above their number, and their last name below. Weird. Above are some video highlights, and below is a still-frame:

Rice Mix Tapes

Get smarter, feed people.

Did you know the Operation Ivy collection was re-released? If you've never heard this band, and you've liked any band rooted in punk or ska that's come out in the last 20 years, you should like them. The members of those bands surely have the Op Ivy tape. I've said this before, but that must've been the number one tape of all-time. Everyone seems to have it. Man, I miss tapes. Tapes rule. Tapes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Money In The Bank

From "Jere's Tape," which was made when I was 12. Lots of good stuff on here--Tiffany videos and stuff, but also Fish Heads, The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun, the Beach Boys/Fat Boys collaboration, and other stuff that's already on GooTube. But what you see here (after a hello from Sir Elton John) are two classic commercials.

1. These dudes with the dandruff--my sister and I would endlessly imitate when the guy goes "exact-a-mundo!" How he cuts the other guy off. This ad is so 80s, the way they try to make these dudes seem "real."

2. The spot where a playground legend is described. It's said they just called him "Money, 'cuz when he shot, it was money in the bank." This was a huge moment in American culture. How many people describe someone or something as being "money" today? I even checked Urban Dictionary to see if I could get a feeling of when people (read: stoned teenagers) thought "money" (used in that way) was invented. Of course, they all credited it to the movie Swingers, which came out eight years after this commercial. And if Reebok knew about it, you can be sure it had been used in real life since long before. Then again, maybe the writer of that commercial honestly came up with it, and it caught on from there. By the way, speaking of UD, I tried to "define" "terrible job," but it wouldn't let me. So, that's not allowed, but this is:

"yadi: Some delivery guy who walks into your house and uses your phone without asking."

Yeah, I use that one all the time....

Looks Like Mike Lowell Will Sign WIth The Red Sox

It seems we will keep our friend Mikey Lowell. Great news. But something we knew was going to happen.

This was another case where we saw some of that old Sox-fan pessimism come out of the woodwork. Some people, despite seeing what's been happening with this team lately, still allowed themselves to get to the point of, "Well, it's not really a sure thing, and I really want Lowell back, but, hey, he should go for the best deal he should get." No! He should go for the best deal with the Red Sox he should get. We are the winning side! We are the fans who love the guy. I wanted nothing more than for him to stay, and I didn't wanna hear any crap about money this and family that. World Series MVP--that's as close to "top of the baseball world" as you can get. That's what he is, of course he was going to stay right where he belongs. Granted, if the team had said, Uh, we just don't want you anymore, take this one-year deal, of course that would be a different story. But I knew we'd make him a fair offer. (That's "actual" fair, not Yankee "we're printing this stuff up in the back, we'll give you more if you want...." fair.)

Now, plenty of Sox fans just said "re-sign Lowell!" and left it at that. That's what I like to hear. Great job by you folks. But the people who said the same at first, but then started to waver and make the "if he doesn't sign" fallback excuses, come on. It's just like that Indians series, when everybody started saying, Ah well, it was a great season, the Indians deserved it. Knowing we'd just come back from an even bigger deficit three years earlier in the same situation! I'm not asking anybody to be arrogant. But your team has given you a reason to be confident if you weren't before! Enjoy it! (It was seeing the pessimist attitude that made me write this the other night.)

All For Charity

I was going through an old tape with game one of the 1990 ALCS on it, and I came across this thing. Cracks me up. The Bush pic, the "Rap" Outreach Program,--get it, Reynolds Rap?--all of it.

Reader savethejellyfish was at Papi's charity thing (for flood victims in the DR) this weekend, and snapped this shot of the trophies. Yes, trophies. (Look under the "H.") It''s just hit me that when I see Red Sox World Series stuff, I now get to try and figure out which one it's referring to. How awesome is that?

Thanks for the pic!

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Location: Rhode Island, United States