Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yard Sale

I finally just directly tweeted the Red Sox asking about he Yard Sale. Here's what I found out:

It's today, for RSN and STHs.

Well I'm both, and I heard nothing about it.

They say they sent an e-mail out.

I never got it.

They say it's at 1:30 at Gate B and if you're in one of those groups, just say you are and that you didn't get an e-mail. basically, it's another free-for-all, where free-for-all equals anyone can come as long as they somehow figured out a way to find out when this secretive-for-some-reason sale is going on.

I work at exactly 1:30 today. Until 8:00. So I'm out--we'll see if it happens tomorrow too. But you can be in! If you just SAY you're a season ticket holder or a Red Sox Nation member. In fact, I'd guess if you get there at TWELVE thirty it will already be up and running! Who knows... The only reason I can think of why this is so hush-hush every year is maybe they don't want the memorabilia reseller types to go and get all the good stuff and ebay it within minutes.

The Post That Sounds Like Bragging But I Swear I'm Just Giving Info

Not to say that I'm not psuper-psyched to be going to Opening Day!!!!!!!!!!!! aka the day they hand out the rings.

Here's how it went down: I popped my head out of the Virtual Waiting Room around 10:02. Was surprised at that. Oddly, though, when it sent me to the page for the Ring In Opening Day Pack, it had a message that it was not on sale yet. After reloading a few times and getting the same message, I tried one of the less-desirable pax. And the prices were up. Uh-oh...did this mean they had sold out of all the Opening Day Pax in two minutes? I went back to the Opening Day Pack page and was still getting the "not on sale yet" message. As long as I saw the word "yet," I had hope. Maybe they were holding back the good Pax for a few minutes. Maybe they wanted to make sure the people at Christmas at Fenway got theirs before opening the online floodgates. I wasn't gonna give up.

Somewhere around 10:09, I hit reload and boom went the dynamite. Prices up, bleachers available. In.

And in what becomes less exciting news in a ring-ceremony-witnessing year, commenting person Philip Pane let me know that the Yard Sale will be happening. That's all I know. I work today/tonight, though, so if it starts now I can't get there till day 2. But I think I'll be shoveling the driveway on day 2. If I miss a Yard Sale, oh well, I've got no money to spend there anyway. The only reason me, mom, and Charlie are going to Opening Day is because they were kind enough to provide the necessary funds to buy FOUR games to get one. Thanks guys! Ring ceremony!!!!!

Merry Tixmas Eve

Remember, 10 a.m. is your on-sale time for Sox Pax (including Opening Day) and select April and May games. I did a little unfurling to find out the following:

The on-sale date for the September Orioles and Rays series is showing as Sunday at 10 a.m. So if you reeeeally want one of those games, don't wait for any announcement, just get in there Sunday morning.

The "big sale" is planned for January 25th, as of now.

And in case you haven't guessed, I once again was not chosen to attend Xmas at Fenway. My 11th straight year of losing!

Also, I still have no idea if the Yard Sale is happening.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baubles, Bangles, And Bs

Some promotions are up on the schedule now--just the fan photo days, and...the bobbleheads. I was correct in my assumption that there'd be an Ortiz bobblehead game. That'll be Monday, April 7th. And the Pedroia one will be Wednesday, April 30th. They'll be given to all fans in attendance.

I know they need to do extra to hype those April weekday game sometimes, but I don't know about this bobblehead thing. But I guess people love 'em. I don't see the appeal. But I'm sure 99.999% of people don't see the appeal in all the stuff I like. Still, this better not lead to Aamco Mobile Gas Can Flashlight Decal Night Presented By Free Credit Report Dot Com.

The Crack Of Doom

When Carl "Man, Am I A Shitty, Shitty Person" Crawford signed with the Red Sox, you may remember that at the press conference he sounded like he'd partied the whole previous night, screaming at the top of his lungs about how great it is that he got his money and will no longer have to work hard. They were giving him lozenges and water, but that voice was just gone.

So now when players I'm rooting against have introductory press conferences, I of course hope to hear a similar voice. Just now, Jacoby "And You Thought Crawford Was A Shitty, Shitty Person" Ellsbury was draped in stink, as he put on the Naz-stripes for the first time. And that voice--it was cracking like a mofo! Woohoo! He's toast.

Last Few From The City

Going back to last Sunday now.... so after Chan and I got off that special holiday train, we walked over to the World Trade Center. I hadn't seen the new WTC 1 in person in a while so we decided to go get a peek. Here's a shot from right near the base of it. On a gray day, it's pretty drab. And if you're thinking "it doesn't look that tall," remember that this shot cuts off about 20 floors.

The aforementioned base. By the way, that thing running up the entire side of the building is not part of it.

From a little farther away, you can see the spire.

Here's a closer look. I'm not really a fan. In the renderings, I guess that round thing did exist, but I never really noticed it, because of the nice bright, sleek spire above. But in reality we ended up with a Greatest American Hero spaceship topped with an Elroy Jetson antenna. Now on paper, that sounds like the coolest building in the world. But in the real world, much like Ralph Hinkley/Hanley, it doesn't fly...too well. And I like it even less when seen from very far away--when you find out it's a triple-decker spaceship. Now I'm only an armchair architecture critic, but I don't think it fits at all with the tower itself. It's almost like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, showing off his "manly" suit, only to reveal he's wearing pink socks. Is there a chance this tower is really from another planet, pretending he's the Empire State Building's Earthly Uncle Al? "Well one must have a hint of outer space...."

I liked this view from up the street, showing old buildings with the new towering over it. I also like bars called "Bar."

Same spot, close-up of "the mothership."

And here it is from the Union Square B & N--note the triple-layer space cake. And the window reflection. And also note the tower is two miles from the building in the foreground.

I think overall I'm going to like this building a lot more on a sunny day, as it reflects the bright blue sky in its glass. I mean look at this old rendering:

Like I said, I had never even noticed the spiked dog collar, probably because of the sleekness of the rest of it, including the non-Jetson spire.

And here's the evolution of the design--you can see the radical change in '05 to a more basic structure.

Later that night, I got to see my first snow of the '13-'14 season.

Which left us with this. Love NYC in the snow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Girl Still Going Strong

Wow, the husband and wife team are even being interviewed by Yahoo now.

And in the story, of course they have left out the key detail that I, Jere, aka LetsGetRamblin on reddit, was the one who turned it into a meme which then went viral. Be assured I left a comment there saying as much.

If you missed it, here's my original reddit post from late Monday night, which includes all the proof that this was the original meme-version of the picture, complete with the husband of 60 Y.O.G. responding to me directly and people talking about how they were witnessing the birth of a meme.

[Update: I was able to go back to Meme Generator and edit MY creation! So now the whole story is right there with the image. Of course, it's up on other meme-generating sites, but I used MG that fateful night.]


Going through old posts, I was reminded that last year they had the free "Holiday Bash" at Fenway on the Friday night before Christmas at Fenway. (Pics here.) Said Bash included the Yard Sale. Gotta figure they won't be doing the Bash again since it's only two days from when it would be. Does this mean more bad news for Yard Sale fans? We shall see. Speaking of last year's sale, anybody wanna buy a Kalish bat barrel ? I'm ebay-ing that thing.

Grave Yard?

I haven't seen mention of the Great Fenway Yard Sale in any of the releases about Christmas at Fenway. I wonder if it's not happening. Considering they seem to be selling many of the old game-used/issued jerseys at the Souvenir Store, maybe that stuff has just become normal sale material. But I know they must have a crapload of bricks and all kinds of other things that have been yearly staples of the Yard Sale. We'll see.

So we've got 8 Sox Pax revealed so far. Notable things:

Let's start with the "Pedroia Bobblehead Pack." We know this team doesn't resort to gimmicky giveaways to get people to the park. Even the schedule magnets they give away on Opening/Closing Day is an unadvertised event. Could this bobblehead thing be opening the floodgates? I wonder, does it mean one of the games in the pack is a bobblehead giveaway day? Or do you get one when you buy the pack? And are we to assume there will also be an Ortiz bobblehead? I just hope this doesn't turn into Yankee Stadium, with their annual swagfest of windshield pens and visor frames. Presented by Shop & Dunk. Or whatever.

Then we've got a "Turn Back the Clock Pack." Does this mean one of those games will have TBTC uniforms? One game is against the Reds, if we do it, I hope that's it. I wanna see the '75 unis.

The "Yankees Pack" only has one Yankees game.

The Pats Day pack included three weekend games. And we await the other three on the inevitable Opening Day Pack.

Good luck on Saturday....

14th Minute Update

What a day in the world of my creation, the 60 Year-Old Girl meme. I see they've collected a whole bunch of them over at Buzzfeed, closing with my original about the hot flashes and the E-Z Bake Oven. Who would have thought that when I sat there cropping the photo and titling the meme, it would be something that the whole e-world would be talking and laughing about so quickly.

It does stink that everyone tells the story this way: "Guy posts picture, Internet does shit to it." They omit the key middle step: "Jere Smith sees pic, crops it, titles it, and turns it into an image macro which catches on and becomes a meme." And the original post I did is a record of that vital step, as it has the husband of "60" commenting, along with me, and scores of others talking about how fast it was moving and how psyched they were to be witnessing the birth of a meme.

I earlier mentioned how I hope Know Your Meme gets the story right. They haven't mentioned 60 yet, but they show their top searches, and it's right up there. The world wants to know where she came from. And here I sit during the all-important "first 48 hours" hoping I can set the record straight. So, here's the timeline:

Monday, December 9th, 2013, approx. 9 p.m.: reddit user "beerdrummer" posts pic of his wife as a kid, and it goes to #1 on all of reddit.

Monday, December 9th, 2013, 11:42 p.m.: reddit user LetsGetRamblin (aka me, Jere Smith, writer of the blog A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory since 2004) captures pic from other post, crops it, titles it "60 Year-Old Girl," and gives it the caption "My E-Z Bake Oven is giving me hot flashes," and posts it to r/funny on reddit.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 1:30 a.m.: LetsGetRamblin's post reaches reddit's front page. Another user has already stolen LetsGetRamblin's original version of the meme and posted it on r/AdviceAnimals, but LetsGetRamblin's post rightfully turns out to gain a much wider audience.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 1:37 a.m.: LetsGetRamblin's post reaches #1 on all of reddit.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 2:45 a.m.: LetsGetRamblin's post reaches 10,000 upvotes. Others are starting to make their own captions for the meme.

As this point I go to bed and wake up to see the meme has exploded, and throughout the next day, a number of 60 Year-Old Girls have made the front page, all capitalizing on the fact that viewers knew the picture from the previous night's original post by beerdrummer. By the end of Wednesday the meme has thousands of versions, thousands of mentions on Twitter, and has been mentioned by various web sites.

So I'm only a little pissed about not being mentioned as the man who turned water into wine, but like a lot things, it took someone else doing something in order for me to have an opportunity to do something else. I've said since the beginning that the husband (and the unsuspecting wife) get the credit. But I should get second-tier credit. I mean, the Internet didn't just start doing this. Somebody had to name the thing and get it started. And don't think I'm about to break into Diane Wiest's line from The Bird Cage where she cries, "somebody has to like me best!" It's just a meme after all. But it's a good one, and its true history must be known!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Greatest E-Complishment, Or How Some Guy's Wife Got Me To The Top Spot On Reddit

Today on reddit, every other new submission is a version of the "60 year-old girl" meme. Did you ever wonder how these things get started? I mean who was that one person who put caption to photo, starting a phenomenon?

Answer: Me!

The story: For a few hours last night, the #1 thing on reddit was a post called "My wife looked like a 60 year old woman as a child." The link went to a shot of the wife's childhood photo being held in the guy's hand:

My first thought was that this should be a meme. The "old lady girl." But I figured it'd already been done, as things move fast in the e-world. Still, I cropped the photo, gave the "little lady" a title ("60 year-old girl"), and added the first caption that popped into my head:

Funny, but not front page funny, unless you get the reference. And that's what reddit is all about: timing. Everything has to go right for a submission to take off. Usually you get one upvote and your little idea goes into e-blivion. But if you get some votes right away, more people see it. And if they like it, you get more votes, which leads to more exposure, which leads to more votes, and on and on. I've submitted lots of things that I thought were the best thing in the world, but they usually die a quick death. In this case, everything was perfect, especially the timing. Anybody coming to reddit at that moment had seen the original photo, since it was on the front page, and now they were seeing my thing--they got the reference, my caption was mildly funny and fit the image, and the next thing I knew, my vote total was skyrocketing.

Long story short, two hours later, 10,000 people had said Yes to 60 Year-Old Girl. It not only made the front page, it settled in at the top spot. I had a Yaz-like 400 comments and 3,000 points.

What I really wanted was for this to become a meme as opposed to just an "image macro." In current-speak, I hoped it would become a thing. When I woke up this morning, I found out that it had. Another version of 60YOG was #1. A few hours later, yet another was in the top 3. And a check of the "new" queue shows that this thing has exploded, with every third submission being a 60YOG:

She even has a twitter account now! And some website (who clearly doesn't know the whole story) has reported on this like it's news!

Of course, the credit for this very, very, very important episode goes to the guy who posted the initial photo. Or really the wife, who had no idea she'd go to bed one night anonymous, and wake up the next day a meme. Or her childhood self, anyway. Lots of comments at my post were of the "this guy's getting a divorce" variety. But I don't see how the wife could be mad--she has a hilarious childhood pic and now it's famous! I even chatted via comments with the guy and he was not mad, just a little upset at himself for the fact that someone in his post had asked for a current picture of the wife and he posted that, deleting it after his post had gotten famous (before mine took that fame to the next level).

Above is from 1:38 a.m., shortly after I reached #1. You can see that the submitter's name and the logged-in name are the same, which is (vital!) proof that I was the submitter.

So if you see the 60 year-old girl floating around these next couple of, let's say you know where she came from. Would somebody have made her into a meme if I hadn't? Probably. But screw that mythical person, I'm the man! And I'm happy. This thing could go anywhere, and nobody's gonna know I started it. But the point was to get it going, and I succeeded. It wasn't mine anyway. I just gave it wings. "This is not my tune/but it's mine to use." (But if it makes "Know Your Meme" they better link to this blog post!)

The S Train

Was in NYC this weekend. Chan and I were waiting for a subway train when suddenly...something from the past barreled towards us. Soon we were back in good ol' 1955:

It wasn't until we got off that I was able to get a shot of the exterior. Though I easily could have started with this shot and pretended I took it before we got on. These were the best shots I could get, as I tried to get as many as possible while the train was stopped. I later realized I should have been taking pics of people's reactions as they boarded. The eyes were lighting up. Like they just got on the Polar Express or something. The conductor (who stood with the passengers as you see above as there's no special room for him) said this is the 7th year they've been pulling these babies out. But it's only on Sundays during the holiday season, and only on this one line. One passenger said "wait till you get to 2nd Avenue, the band's playing and...". But we weren't going that far so we never saw that. I did suggest to Chan we just stay on the train all say as it goes back and forth....

And for reference, here's what the modern-day train looks like on that line:

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Location: Rhode Island, United States