Friday, January 04, 2013

The State Of Spam, 2013 has done a pretty good job keeping spam comments at bay in the last year or so, but lately I've been getting these ridiculous ones, all of which use the same template. I just want to give you a sample of what I deal with:

I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?
This paragraph posted at this web page is truly nice.
my page :: red flaky spot on face


I had turned on word verification, which stops these, but why should you real people have to suffer for something I can just delete? Every hour. Red flaky spot on face!

P.S. Remember when Hanrahan joined the Red Sox and used the outdated logo as his twitter icon? I told him as much, and he changed it! Awesome....

(Not) My Last Post About This (By A Long Shot)

If I told you I was uncomfortable around Canadians because they like to eat Americans, would you say "hey, you're just being honest"? No, you'd say "you've been misinformed. You need not be afraid of Canadians."

And this is my point about the way gay people are seen in our society. Torii Hunter would be uncomfortable in a shower room with an openly gay man. But it's only because he doesn't understand that a gay man in a shower room is only doing the same thing as a straight man in a shower room: showering. As I said three years ago, society associates "being gay" with "gay sex." As if the only thing gay people do is have sex. Everybody needs to learn that a gay person is first and foremost a person.

Here's another example for straight people: Let's say someone kidnapped you and locked you in a basement, naked, with one other person. Who would you rather that person be? Your straight worst enemy or your lifelong best friend who just came out of the closet? (This goes right along with the fact that people have no problem with a raping, cheating, abusive straight man being allowed to marry a woman, but can't stand the thought of two wonderful, loving gay men being allowed to get married themselves. As long as the sex part fits into the idea of "normal," anything goes!)

What do people think? That there are gay men who say, "Hmmm, what if I became a pro athlete? That way I can look at straight men (who I'm not interested in because I'm gay) naked in the locker room! So I'll quit my job, start training like crazy (if I can stop myself from having dirty sinful gay sex for two seconds), incredibly make the majors, then find a nice spot in the shower and just sit there, staring at Torii Hunter's ass while he showers ALL DAY LONG. It's the perfect plan!"?

And let's say a guy really did come up with that plan and succeeded in it. What is Torii afraid of? That the gay man's thoughts will penetrate into his own mind and make him gay? Will the man send a "mental penis" through the pungent air and into Torii's butt, scarring him for life? And why is Torii so comfortable with straight men seeing him naked game after game for decades? This guy sees 24 dicks a day, but it would "difficult" for him if one of those were attached to a gay brain? What's the goddamn difference at this point? Is he worried seeing a gay penis will instantly make him gay, but seeing an entire roomful of straight ones clears him on all counts? And if he's worried what other people's thoughts can do to him, or what his own thoughts can turn him into, how does he function in society? It's gonna be okay, Torii, I promise!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Exciting Jep Talk

Kim and I never miss a Jeopardy, and if I had all the time in the world, I'd probably do a blog where I talk in detail about each night's contest. In the meantime, I usually don't write about the show here because that would probably bore people to paralysis. But I have to mention something from the other night....

The champion was a woman from my current city of Providence. She'd won one night with about 21 grand and was back to defend her title. On night two, she entered Final Jeopardy with exactly double the score of the person in second place. (The third contestant was in the red and not participating in FJ.) So let's think about this logically:

All she has to do is bet $0 and she's guaranteed to win or tie. Either way, she keeps the money she's earned (about $17,000) and moves on to play again in the next episode.

Now I'm all for Ted Williams not sitting out the season-ending doubleheader in 1941, and Tom Osborne going for two against Miami in 1984. In either case, playing it safe gets the job done, but with a mental asterisk that would stay with you forever. But I think this is different. She's already proven she's a champ on night one, then being a co-champ on night two would keep her going, giving her a chance to continue her reign. And she'd get to keep the money, giving a two-day total of nearly $40,000.

But here's how it played out. Second-place woman, of course, bets it all, and gets it right. Now we're tied. Our champ is shaking her head. Her response is wrong. And she wagered...$5,000!

Terrible job! And not just because she risked an amount above zero, but also because she didn't just bet it all at that point! As long as you're not clinching the tie and saying "I only want to win if I get the answer right (or if the other person gets it wrong)," why not just go ahead and make it so you get the most possible money if you do win? You're move there is to bet zero, but if you wanna take a risk, there's no reason not to take the biggest possible risk, as risking it all in this case is no different than betting one dollar. The only way her $5,000 bet would have even mattered is if she got it wrong and the other person got it right but for some reason only risked a little bit. But you have to know that a person with half your total has to bet it all to have a chance. (Unless she thinks you might do something stupid. Which you did, as it turns out.)

So this woman basically decided $21,000 was enough to just go home with, despite that she could have guaranteed herself $37,000 plus another chance to win more in the next game. How can you be smart enough to be a Jeopardy champ, but not smart enough to know how to play the game?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year To You And The Oddly Titled "Yours"

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own; for the children, and the children yet unborn.

A great quote from the Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street," which I saw tonight during the marathon. That one's for you, Torii!

Well, my Winter Red Sox, aka the Cornhuskers, gave it a good fight in their bowl game today, but gave up too many big plays on D, losing to a Georgia squad that was 5 yards shy of playing for a national championship. (I didn't appreciate that one guy trying to rip Taylor's head off on the last play, or the announcers/refs for not noticing/caring.) Next year we've got Taylor back for his 9th and final year, hopefully at this time in 2014 I'll be talking about championship dreams.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Sorii State

In one day, it will be 2013. Not for Torii Hunter, though. He's living in an antiquated world where gay people are monsters who creep around trying to snatch you up and bring you to the gay kingdom where they'll gayly have gay sex with you until you become gay too. He said:

"For me, as a Christian ... I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable."

That's right, people, Torii Hunter thinks it's "not right" who you are!

This is why I don't practice any religion. Because you're forced into someone else's beliefs. Hunter is an intelligent guy who should be able to figure out that the sexual orientation of his family, friends, and co-workers have no effect on him. Instead he's reading age-old quotes written by who the hell knows, that tell him "these people are doing it wrong." Of course it goes without saying that this same religion preaches loving your fellow humans and how supposedly this long-hair died on the cross for...well I really don't know what the hell these people believe but I'm pretty sure they're taught to love, not hate.

Looking at Torii's recent Tweets, I see he quoted the former slave (do I even need to bring up the irony in this department?) George Washington Carver:

"How far u go in life depends on ur being tender to the young,compassionate with the aged,tolerant of the weak n strong."

Looking up the actual quote, I see Torii left out* the line about being "sympathetic with the striving." Interesting. Torii showed today he has no interest in doing that.

I should add that he never said "gays shouldn't be allowed to play" or anything like that. He's even been responding to Tweets accusing him of similar things by saying "I never said that." (Though he also thanks people who are congratulating him on sticking with his faith.) But what makes me mad about this is that he is a well-known public figure with influence over a lot of other people. It's a dangerous thing when you've got someone like that saying what he said. Which, in 2013, is something I'm still having trouble believing anyone would think, let alone say out loud.

And I should also add that there are many Christians who don't believe gay people should be treated any differently than anyone else. And there are many non-religious people who do. I just personally feel that it's impossible that there would be any religion/philosophy with the exact views as mine, so if I were to follow one to the letter, I'd be guaranteed to be going against what I really think at some point. And worse, it might cause harm to others.

*In case you're thinking he only left that line out to fit it all into one Tweet, note that there's one final line to the quote ("Because someday in life you will have been all of these.") that Torii added in a separate Tweet. So he could have written the whole thing.

P.S. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I've had my issues with Torii, and I always felt kinda guilty because so many people, Joe Castiglione for one, speak so lovingly about him, and I always thought he might be one of those guys who I'd love if her were on my team. Now I can believe he's a prick without the guilt!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Me In Another Picture

June 25th, 1999. The night they taped Pedro to a pole in the dugout. And I was there! (Have I told this story before?) I never actually saw the "incident," though. Here's why....

My friend Gumby was home from one of his worldly trips. Our little tribe had recently made a baseball fan out of him, which led him to surprise us all by buying an entire set of catcher's gear. I wanted him to see Fenway Park, despite his being one of those Connecticut-default Yankee fans, so I took him up there on a Friday night.

I remember nothing about the game itself or where we sat. But toward the end, I moved us to the box seats. As I recall, we were right in the front row behind the Red Sox dugout.

In the ninth inning, there was a commotion in the stands. We heard people saying things like "tied to a pole," but we just couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.

As the game ended and the fans filed out, Gumby and I stood in the front row, with him making calls on his CELLULAR PHONE--possibly the first one I'd ever seen, outside spotting a driver on a CAR PHONE. I used his newfangled device to call either my mom or my dad as we headed to our car in the Lansdowne garage, back when it coset $20 instead of $50, and I got the news of what they'd done with Pedro. We were so close to it! But never saw it.

I have looked for pictures of this with the crowd visible, but never found any, as they're usually close-ups or side angles. I think my only chance of being in a shot of a taped-up Pedro is from the TV broadcast, but who knows if I'll ever get my hands on that.

Then the other day, I did another search, and I finally found a shot with the crowd above visible! And there we weren't! There are around 32 seats above the dugout from end to end, and the picture only shows six. We had an 18.75% chance of being in it, and we lost. So I did some touching up. (Note the empty seats in the background because I'm really lousy at drawing people.)

original photo courtesy Winslow Townson (AP)

First Real Snow In Providence Since Two Winters Ago. Pretty Much.

The kind of snow that collects on wires creates an awesome effect, but it also makes you realize how many wires there are. I got the shovel out for the first time in two winters. (There was one shovel-able snowfall last winter, but I was on my way to Florida at the time and Kim got stuck doing the dirty work.) Also did some driveway sledding, which is a must.

This one came out in 3-D somehow. Look down at this pic from above your screen and you'll see that tree popping out at you. Maybe.

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