No alarms and no surprises, please.

Monday, December 31, 2007

This is wrong. Totally wrong.

KITT is NOT a mustang. It's completely ridiculous that they changed it. First of all, it would be a perfect opportunity to re-introduce the Trans Am brand. Secondly, it's just freakin' wrong. KITT is not a mustang.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't click this link.

Don't do it. That is, unless you have an hour or more to kill. The link takes you to a very addictive and simple puzzle game written in html and javascript. The objective of the game is to progress from screen to screen. That's it. Find a way to get to the next screen. I spent an hour last night going the first 8 levels and believe me, I'll be trying to get to level 9 again when I have time. It's addictive. You've been warned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Best Secret Santa Present Ever

I'd like to thank my secret santa (who remains anoymous) for giving me the best Secret Santa present ever. None of my co-workers are safe. I've been sniping monitors all day. And members of the Quality Assurance team ought to be especially conscious of their tone when suggesting they may have found a defect in my code.

I have to admit, I was a little bummed that I said I would join the Secret Santa this year, after I learned that our company would no longer do the "Yankee Swap", which I thought brought a lot of wonderfully unnecessary tension, greed and bad feelings to the exercise. But, now I'm glad I did. My desk is littered with Nerf darts and a bunch of other toys and my inner 8-year old is having a kick ass day.

Web Phenomenon Mix Tape

The uber-famous OkGO video remixed with the excellent Ben Folds song "army". It's uncanny how well it works.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Finish the Thought

Now THIS is an interesting blog meme. Tagged by Toast, I answer the bell.

I Never... say no when one of my kids asks me to read. leave an empty shopping cart in the middle of a parking lot. seem to catch up on my laundry. want my kids to be disappointed by me. expected to be where I am today.

I Rarely... let someone pass me in the breakdown lane. mean to come across like a dick when I do. think I'm not the smartest person in the room. am on time for work. Go to bed before I fall asleep on the couch. can get my daughter to agree to the first outfit I've chosen for her that day. know what the right thing to say is when a woman is upset

I Cry... when I think about my kids being hurt. when I look at the wreckage of my marriage. only when no one is around and even then for at most 30 seconds - I'm not a pussy.

I Am Not Always... as nurturing with my children as I should be. fair to my daughter, of whom I expect more because she is so capable. the smartest person in the room. as sure of what I'm saying as I sound.

I Lose... bluetooth headsets. on purpose most of the time when I play games with my kids. Pens and Pencils. my hair, very slowly

I'm Confused... when smart people watch CSI. by my wife. by smart people who are conservative.

I Miss... living above my pub. lunch-time setback with Toast et. al. at AMS. having a foosball table at work. Intimacy. My free time.

I Need... a vacation. Someone to go on vacation with me. new floors for my house. to deal with the fact that the time may be soon for my old dog to leave us. to know my kids will be fine. to drag my project at work to the fucking finish line. to eventually be my own boss.

I Should... go fold some laundry. get a dumpster brought here so I can toss half of the stuff in my house in it. push my son as hard as I push my daughter. push my daughter less than I do. give myself a bit more credit.

I Love... my children more than I thought was possible for me. reminiscing with my fraternity brothers. beer and buffalo wings. being the guy that everyone comes to for help at work.

I tag Manuel, who is the only one I could tag and my brother in the comments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rampant Steroid Speculation

I have long been bored with the never ending "steroids in baseball" story. However, at this point I'm ecstatic to talk about something other than where Johan Santana will end up.

Tomorrow, the Mitchell report will be released. The report will reportedly (heheh) name 60-80 former and current major league ball players. So now it's time for some wanton and reckless speculation - something of a specialty of mine. Here's the official Fridge Report of Steroid Speculation. The players are grouped into 3 categories - mortal locks, suspicious, shocking. There's also an implied 4th category - everyone else.

Let's go!

Jose Canseco
Barry Bonds
Rafael Palmeiro
David Segui (see how he got out in front of the report?)
Brett Boone
Brady Anderson
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Gary Sheffield
Jason Grimsley
Jeff Bagwell

Review: Not much here new. Most of these names have either already admitted doing it or no one thinks they DIDN'T do Steroids

SUSPICIOUS: (here's where it gets interesting)
Pudge Rodriguez - I feel pretty good given his somewhat anomalous power explosion during his time as a teammate with Palmeiro
Juan Gonzalez - see above
Todd Hundley - rarely named, but done deal, IMO.
Jason Varitek - Sudden spike in power followed by precipitous drop in power right around testing change. Just saying.
Big Papi - Cut by Minnesota to perennial MVP caliber hitter?
Cal Ripken - I know, I know, but at this point we need to scrutinize statistical outliers.
Roger Clemens - See Ripken, Cal.
Pedro Martinez - It's not unheard of for a little frail dude to throw a ball 97, but it's also pretty damn uncommon.
Paul O'Neill - He was a different hitter after after the trade to NY. Why? Was it Don Mattingly's influence? or the Juice?
Jeff Kent
Matt Williams
Miguel Tejada
David Wells - fat drunk who can throw forever? Or juicing?

These are the guys that I find suspicious. Actually, I don't think Paulie was doping at all, but I had to throw Sox fans a bone, since I named three Sox players.

SHOCKING: (Seeing these guys named would freak me out)

Derek Jeter - That would be unreal.
Mariano Rivera
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine

Those guys would shock the living crap out of me. Especially Jeter. That would rock my world and baseball as well. He's so hallowed, not just by Yankee fans, but by baseball and the media in general. That would be truly mind bending.

That's my list. What do you think? Anyone I missed? Anyone I'm dead wrong about?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hip Hop Charted.

and another one:

All of them here. Having trouble reading? Click to embiggen.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The official Christmas Tree of BuzzingFridge

Credits -
Tree Selection - Fridge's kids
Lights and Star - Fridge
Decorations - Fridge's daughter
Sweet Thomas the Tank Engine train track around tree - Fridge and son

Friday, December 07, 2007

Can I get a ruling?

Just Bad? or So Bad it's awesome?

And, Holy Crap those guys have not aged well. They were amongst the ugliest bands ever when they were young. Now, they're old, bald, fat and ugly. Yikes. Luckily, they still rock.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Celebratory Beer Blogging

In honor of the Giants amazing comeback road win against the Chicago Bears, I decided to blog the beer I am using to celebrate. The beer? Sam Adams Holiday Porter - 5.8% ABV.

The Bouquet:
A deep whiff of the aroma of the poured beer reveals a chocolatey smell with hints of dark roast coffee.

The Pour:
The beer sits dark and opaque in the glass. A deep brown nearing black. The head is a solid 3/4" tan foam. (Note: I forgot to take the picture BEFORE I drank a bit. But I was celebrating the Giants, after all)

The First Sip:
My first reaction of the beer was a bit of surprise over how buttery the chocolate malts tasted, the first sip is smooth with a full-bodied warmth that coats the mouth. The finish is surprisingly peppery. In fact, it provides a very pleasant offset to the initial buttery chocolate favor and leaves the drinker with a clean, refreshed palate.

The Result:
An impressive beer. While I was relatively unmoved by the previous two beers I drank from the Sam Adams Winter Sample Pack - Brown Ale and Old Fezziwig Ale - this is a very different porter than most I've tasted. The warm start and peppery finish is the perfect compliment to a cold winter day, a warm fire and a Giants comeback. Unlike other excellent Porters I've had (Otter Creek's very good Stovepipe Porter, for example) that are more aggressive with a sharper hoppy edge to counter the natural chocolate flavor of a porter, Sam Adams Holiday Porter takes a different approach. They make mellow the chocolate with a buttery evenness and therefore can be more subtle and offset it with the peppery finish. All in all, an excellent beer with high-re-drinkability. In fact, I'll be hitting my favorite package store to see if I can find this beer by the six pack or even a 12. Recommended.

4.0 out of 5

Go Giants!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jorge Posada Resigns With Yanks - Punches ticket for the Hall Of Fame

The Yankees finally got around to announcing the signing of Jorge Posada today. 4 years and 52 Million is significantly more than most teams would like to spend for a 36 year old catcher. Catchers typically just don't stay productive into their late thirties and early 40s. Here's the thing, though: Posada is not a typical catcher. He's exceptional.

That's where the Posada haters out there will simply have to deal with it. Jorge Posada will be voted to the Hall of Fame. Frankly, it shocked me when I learned that there actually were Posada haters, but they're out there and this will get their panties in a bunch. Yankee fans look at Jorge Posada and say, how could you hate the guy? All he does is play hard every season and You know who you are, haters. The average Posada hater falls into two categories: 1) Members of Jason Varitek's backwards hat wearing boy band, who are jealous of the clearly superior and far less self-aggrandizing Yankee and 2) Met fans who see Posada as a whiny, undeserving rider of the Yankee captain's coattails. Collectively, they spend lots of time dismissing the acheivements of the second best catcher of the last ten years.

Posada is one of only eight catchers in Major League history to record at least 20 home runs in seven or more seasons, joining Mike Piazza (11), Johnny Bench (11), Yogi Berra (10), Gary Carter (9), Carlton Fisk (8), Lance Parrish (7) and Roy Campanella (7). He and Ivan Rodriguez are the only two catchers in Major League history to record two seasons of 40 or more doubles.

Damn right! And all he needs is one more and that list drops to an impressive Piazza, Bench, Berra, Carter, Fisk. Wow. That's like the Mount Rushmore of catchers.

Well, he's just a .277 lifetime hitter! That sucks! Not so fast, haters. Jorge Posada has incredible patience at the plate. His active OBP of .3806 ranks 21st overall and leads all catchers, including the amazing Mike Piazza.

Let's assume that Jorge retires at the end of his Yankee contract, when he is 40 years old. He's averaged 68 runs, 21 HRs and 82 RBIs over the last three years. Were he to match that production for 4 more seasons and do it all as a catcher, his career totals would be
302 HR, 1189 RBI

Those are first ballot hall of fame numbers. Those numbers are right behind Yogi (358 and 1430)and Fisk (376 and 1330) in 17 seasons, rather than 19 and 24 seasons, respectively. They aren't that far behind Bench's (389 and 1376) in the same number of seasons. They are significantly behind Piazza's (427 and 1335 and counting - albeit as a DH now). In short, those numbers are very impressive. They'll get him in.

The obvious question is, is it realistic to expect him to do that? Probably not. You'd have to expect a decline from Jorge as he gets older, despite the fact that he's a very durable player and diligent worker. I do expect him to stay at catcher for the rest of his Yankee career, at least primarily. I don't expect him to move to DH full time like Piazza did, although he's a good enough hitter to warrant it. What I expect is for him to play two more years as the full time catcher before working in a young catcher that is currently in the Yankees system - someone like teenage offensive force Jesus Montero is the main plan for Jorge's successor, but it could be Frankie Cervelli (the yanks most advanced catching prospect - reminds me of LoDuca, hopefully without the crazies), Chase Weems (kind of a lefty Biggio) or Austin Romine (compared to pudge in arm strength and build). At the point that they work those guys in, he'll spend some time at DH or possibly even 1B. He probably will experience a decline in numbers because of age and this potential change in role, so let's discount those numbers 25%. That would make Jorge's final line roughly:
280 homers, 1100 RBI

That, with his championships and being an integral point of the most recent Yankee Dynasty, will be enough. Those numbers may seem a little unremarkable in the "steroid era", but not when you consider the day in, day out wear and tear that 13-17 seasons at catcher puts you through. And don't forget the five all-star appearances. Jorge's durability and production show he's an exceptional player. They count. And when you consider everything he will have achieved when he hangs it up, he'll deserve the honor.

So some day in July of 2016 or so, I'll drag my family to Cooperstown so they can watch Jorge Posada be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And I'll stand and cheer a great Yankee and Hall of Famer.

P.S. And as preparation for the event, Toast and I will have to hit the local Ommegang brewery.

Friend Request Ettiquette

Ok, so I'm new to this whole facebook thing. I recently joined facebook only because I had to in order to see someone else's facebook page and they spammed me with an email asking me to look check it out. Shortly after that, a couple of my actual friends who I didn't know used facebook "friended" me (stupid pseudo-verb, by the way) and voila! I was sucked in and I'm now one of the nine bajillion people who have a facebook page with an entertaining assortment of useless crap on it.

Soon after that, I was choosing musical artists I like, taking movie trivia quizzes, basically wasting a lot of time. I even apparently breached facebook ettiquette (or at least actual friend etiquette) by "poke"-ing Toast's wife, inadvertently thinking this was how you made her a friend so she could see the pointless crap on my particular facebook page. Toast and I dueled with swords and seconds at dawn and moved on with our lives. By the way, I later looked up the real meaning of "poke" and it turns out it doesn't have one - you cheeky facebook bastards...

Anyway, this brings me to friend requests. I recently got one from a woman whom I have never met. She is apparently a "facebook friend" of one of my actual friends. What's the ettiquette here? I've learned that I probably shouldn't "poke" her. She's a married woman. But, I don't know her. Am I obligated to accept such a request? My instincts say I should tell her to piss off. Is that a gross facebook violation? Is the point of this exercise racing to have the most friends? If so, maybe I'm not cut out for this facebook thing after all. What say you?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

If I wasn't me meme

Hmmm... I've been tagged by Toast. On a nice short meme created by konagod. Personally, I prefer ten questions or less memes. The 25+ memes are tedious.

What would Fridge be if Fridge weren't Fridge? I'm actually pretty happy with my career now. I mostly really enjoy what I do and more importantly, I'm good at it and I am very well suited for what I do. It fits me in many ways.

1) GM of a Major League baseball team - I would absolutely love this. I am the greatest fantasy baseball player of all time and would love nothing better than to have the opportunity to run a team. I'd also be excellent at it. Wouldn't matter which team, really. I'd enjoy running any one of them.

2) Movie/TV Producer - When I was in college, I balked at the sheer nerdiness of my chosen profession, wrote some goofy screenplays and applied to NYU film school and was rejected. I certainly didn't deserve admission by any stretch. But, had I been, I think I would have been pretty good for it and enjoyed it. I really think I have excellent movie and TV taste. In a true geeks dream, I always wanted to make a movie of the Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock.

3) Standup Comedian - First, I'm a funny bastard. Second, I enjoy speaking in front of people. And lastly, I've been best man twice and each time I gave a toast that had people laughing and DJ's saying I should rent myself out as a best man. I loved it. I've also liked the construction of a good joke. I'm still looking for an open-mic comedy night so that I could really try it out. Not that I'd actually do it. The life of all but the most famous comedians is kinda crappy. But, I'd like writing jokes.

4) Governor of Connecticut - I think being Governor is the sweet spot of American Politics. Being president is too much of a pain in the ass and the republicans would be all over my ass for inhaling many times, etc. Being a congressman is a pain because you're in a constant election cycle and only have one vote once you're in there. Nope, Governor is where it's at. You can affect real change and I could help the people of the state I love. I could bring them health care, better roads and probably higher taxes. But, my state would kick even more ass and then maybe I could get tapped as a Vice Presidential candidate (the other sweet spot of politics).

5) Gadget geek - I love gadgets. And the only thing better than having lots of gadgets is getting rid of them and getting new ones. I'd love to have a David Pogue type gig, or work for C|Net or Gizmodo. Traveling to those shows, having manufacturers send you all that stuff? Constantly trying new gadgets and then giving them the thumbs up or down? Heaven.

There you go! That's what Fridge would do if Fridge weren't already Fridge (and therefore already pretty kick-ass).

I tag Manny and my brother in the comments.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't you do it!!!!

Don't cancel Journeyman, NBC. By my reckoning, it's the only good new show of the season. What are you gonna do, make the office into an hour and a half? Clearly the network of brilliant ideas.

Watch that clip. Please excuse the stupid use of Evanesence. Then set your TiVos. It's on at 10pm tonight.

Thus ends another pathetic blogger plea for their favorite new show. You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming (now that it includes Journeyman).

See? It's not just me

Yes, Google is trying to take over the world.

Google's truest and most formidable foes are much older and more powerful. Today we call them Verizon and AT&T, but their real name is the Bell system. Their ideology, which today governs the cell phone world, is called "Vailism," and it can be traced back to 1907 and the origins of AT&T's domination of American telephony. The Bells' philosophy, as promulgated by AT&T's greatest president, Theodore Vail, is based on closed systems, centralized power, and as much control as possible over every part of the network. Vailism is the antithesis, in short, of everything Google stands for. It is this—conquering the business culture of the telephone, as opposed to the computer—that is Google's great challenge.

Great article. Please read it and then stop shaking your head dismissively at my paranoia. Thanks.

Long live my iPod!

Well, my iPod is back. Welcome back my little black shiny friend. As it happens, the problem seemed to be an incompatibility between the version of iTunes I had on the PC that has my library and the new iPod software update that Apple just published. My iPod will sync just fine with iTunes version 7.5, but I was kicking it old school at 7.3.2. So, if your iPod seems to sync but doesn't show any songs listed when you spin the wheel, that's likely the problem. I updated my iTunes version, synced and all was right with the world again. On that note, a here goes a shuffle!

1) Ryan Adams - "New York, New York" Gold
Can't you just picture A-Rod strolling down the street bopping his head to this peppy tune, his pockets filled with million-dollar bills? Yep, I can. Welcome back A-Rod.

2) Radiohead - "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" The Bends
This would be a kick-ass song for my funeral. You hear that, people? Play this tune, get your sobbing and weeping over with chop-like and then tap the keg!

3) Stereophonics - "Lying In The Sun" Just Enough Education To Perform
Kelly Jones has a fantastic voice. That is all. This shuffle is going very well, if I do say so. Three quality cuts. Time for an iPod curveball, I'd think. We'll see.

4) Evanesence - "My Immortal" Fallen
I know, I know. They suck, right? They're the Hootie and the Blowfish of goth crap music. That's what I keep hearing. Still, another amazing voice. Frankly, I'll forgive lackluster songwriting and general lameness if an exceptional voice is in play and this girl has one. And this lyric truly fits my current situation.

And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

5) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Shuffle Your Feet" Howl
One of the best albums you're probably not listening to. I think they have a new one. I'll have to find out.

6) Queens Of The Stone Age - "Broken Box" Lullabies to Paralyze
In my head you're all brand new
I guess you're really all the same
In my head you're all brand new
Tell your new boy where i came
In my head you're all brand new
Take that broken pussy elsewhere
In my head you're all brand new
Save it baby, i don't care

Excellent eff-you break up song!

7) Haven - "Beautiful Thing" Between the Senses
learn to live, you're not alone
take your time, and it will come and die
don't know when

These guys are ok. An able example of the whiny Britpop genre, but not a distinguished one. That lyric is a perfect example.

8) Ash - "There's a Star" Free All Angels
This is a song that starts out sounding like a Bond theme and then slips into muddled lameness. This band had an outstanding single in Burn Baby Burn (see video below). But the rest of the album is merely ok.

9) AC\DC - "Shake A Leg" Back In Black
Idle juvenile on the street, on the street
Who is kicking everything with his feet, with his feet
Fighting on the wrong side of the law, of the law
Don't kick, don't fight, don't sleep at night

10) Weezer - "Simple Pages" Weezer
Rivers Cuomo is probably the greatest living Connecticut Rocker. That is, until I finish Guitar Hero III.

No iPod curveball. Glad to have you back in my life, my little buddy. I had forgotten how much radio sucked without you. Now that I've remembered, I can go back to forgetting again.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Item #1 - A Fan's website buys an English Soccer team. Apparently they're gonna let people vote to approve roster moves and lineup changes. Sounds just crazy enough to work. I am now going to to see if I can register a good URL so I can do the same to my poor ridiculous Knicks.

Item #2 - A pictorial Album Review/Analogy.

Devil Without a Cause by Kid Rock is to 1985 Kelly LeBrock

as Kid Rock's new Album Rock And Roll Jesus is to 2007 Kelly LeBrock.

Meaning, you can see how they came from the same place, but it's just not at all the same.

Item #3 - Tom Morello, I'm gunning for you this weekend. I will Rock You Like a Hurricane.

Item #4 - Yankee Update:
- Welcome Back Jorge.
- Welcome Back (after much unnecessary nonsense) A-Rod
- Mo, Please sober up and sign.
- Dear Andy Pettitte. Couldn't you use another 15 million dollars? Please?
- Dear Hank Steinbrenner. You sir, are the new "Big Stein". Glad to have you aboard.

Item #5 - Don't be this Bluetooth guy. Larry David will school you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Paranoid Android

I once wrote that Google frightened me. But they also do some wicked cool stuff as well. Like the demo above, which is for a development platform that Google has created for phones called Android. They've engaged loads of handset makers and will let them battle it out for making the phones Not exactly Motorola Razr type phones, but combo devices like the iPhone or a smart phone. Check it out and see what they've done in the prototype phase. It's pretty impressive. Additionally, the tools are free for developer nerds like me and will eventually be open source. As an open platform, I can develop apps for my phone for free.

It's completely the opposite model of the super-closed, super-controlled iPhone Apple model. There have been lots of rumors about an gPhone to compete in the cell phone market. But clearly this is not that. Instead, Google couldn't give a crap about which phone you're running. They just want you to be using their software and by extension, viewing data that they send to your handset. And they will give away LOTS of free functionality to do that.

So, I'm in a weird position. I'm still a little dubious of the ever increasing control that Google seems to like to have over information. While they are probably benevolent now, that could change. On the other hand, the phone looks sweet. As a gadget lover, I want one (especially if I can trade if for my windows mobile phone - what a POS) and it would be tons of fun to write an app for one. Anyway, I find the whole notion truly fascinating. I'm gonna download it and try it out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


First, the Giants get their collective asses handed to them by the Cowboys. Now, my iPod has died. I tried the "reset" sequence. I tried "restore". My poor little ipod doesn't show any songs...

Hold me.


I decided to try and sync it to a different machine (my vista laptop) and that appeared to wake my little black buddy up. It now accepts and plays songs. So, it's apparently not a hardware problem as I feared, but more likely a software bug. In my panic, I had forgotten that the problem began on first use after my last sync, which included a software update. Phew.

Updated 2:
I checked and, unfortunately, the Giants still lost.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goin to the game!

Won't be around the couch on Sunday. Due to the kindness of a long time friend who got a ticket for me, I will be tailgating at Giants Stadium with 70+ thousand other Giant fans as we ready for the Showdown at the Swamp.

I'm unbelievably pumped for the game, despite the fact that I have to drive to the off site parking, take the shuttle and then find my friends in the vast parking lot before I can get down to some serious pre-game drinking.

The Cowgirls are a very good team, but this is the healthiest the Giants have been at this point in the season in a long time. It should be a great matchup.

I'd say Go Big Blue! at this point, but we're wearing red. Go Red!

Can't wait!

South Park does Guitar Hero

Imagine my surprise when my TiVo listed the title of the latest South Park episode as "Guitar Queero". I took a deep breath and readied myself to be mocked by Parker and Stone. It's hysterical. Along the way, they also spoof the stereotypical musician movie, where the talented young artist is scooped up by the music business, corrupted, hits bottom only to find redemption by going back to his roots. Great stuff.

BTW, my imaginary band, "The Fridges" is steadily climbing through the set list, and absolutely I picked the Gene Simmons character as my avatar. Screw you, South Park, Guitar Hero is totally awesome. And I rock because Guitar Hero says I do.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Quick Hits

Sorry to anyone that might have come to this blog hoping to find anything of interest to read. Things have been crazy in Fridge's world and thus blogging opportunities have been few.

In lieu of some engrossing long diatribe, here are a few quick thoughts:

1) This is hysterical: Jerry Seinfeld tooling on Larry King.

2) Halloween with the mini-Fridges was a lot of fun. It also prompted this exchange with my 4 year old son.
Me: Okay, don't forget to wash your hands after you go potty.
Him: Uh, dad. Batman doesn't wash his hands.
Me: Sure he does.
Him: No, he has gloves.
Me: You don't have gloves.
Him: But I am Batman.
Me: Ok, listen. Even Batman has a Dad. Wash your hands.
Him: Oh, alright...

3) How egotistical do you have to be to think that God helped you win the World Series? Why would God give a crap? But, hey many thanks to Curt for taking himself out of the running for Yanks 5th starter. The Yankees had of course centered their offseason plans around signing this bloated ego-maniacal asshole. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

4) P-Krug has a book. I'm reading it now. You should, too.

5) Guitar Hero III for the Wii could be one of the coolest things I've ever owned. I have mastered Foghat and Pat Benatar (yes, Pat Benatar. I was initially confused, too).

6) Because you didn't ask for it, here it is. The history of LOLCats. - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A failed test of character

Rudy Giuliani was in Boston today and was asked a question about the upcoming World Series. His response:

"I'm rooting for the Red Sox," the Republican presidential contender said in response to a question, sparking applause at the Boston restaurant where he was picking up a local endorsement.

Wait, a sec... THIS RUDY?

Or, was it THIS RUDY?

Or maybe it was THIS RUDY...

Listen up, people. This is clearly a minor issue in terms of Presidential politics. The future of Iraq doesn't rest on whether Rudy roots for the Yankees, Rockies or Red Sox (this is of course unfortunate because it's a subject that's right up our president's alley). But let's not fool ourselves. In my opinion, there has never been a more telling indicator of Rudy Giuliani's true character. It's really this simple: If you are a Yankee fan who roots for the Red Sox for political reasons, you are capable of selling out any value for any reason. Rudy Giuliani is a cheap political whore. I know this because as I know that no self-proclaimed #1 Yankee fan would ever root for the Yankees sworn enemy for ANY reason, much less the potential for a few more votes in a state that will certainly vote against him. Even the AP article is smart enough to point this out.

Indeed, if Giuliani was pandering, he miscalculated.

In the last presidential election, Colorado went with Republican President Bush, and recent history shows Massachusetts voters would sooner adopt Manhattan clam chowder as the state's official food than vote Republican in 2008

So not only is Rudy a soulless shell of a Yankee fan poseur, he's either stupid or he's just such a natural whore that he doesn't care. Holy Crap. Rudy Giuliani has just moved himself to the top of the list of political whores in a field full of them. And I thought no one would top Mitt Romney spinning the "dog on the roof story".

As an aside: As a Yankee fan who finds religious zealotry distasteful, I have nowhere to turn this series. Manuel sent me this link to a NYTimes article pointing out that the Rockies have the highest concentration of evangelical christians in baseball. What's with that mountain air? First the gazillion mega-churches and the Promise Keepers and now this? Maybe they should put Todd Helton in the humidor with the baseballs. I guess I'll have to vote for them anyway. Actually, it's the fucking Red Sox. Screw it. I'm PRAYING for the Rockies to win.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ok, I've finally decided.

White Stripes - Over-hyped Bullshit? Catchy, quirky and fun?

It's official: Over-hyped Bullshit. Off my iPod they go.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, we won't have Joe Torre's bullpen skills to kick around anymore

The Torre era is over. The Yankees didn't seem to make him much of an offer, so I can't blame him for blowing it off.

Looking at the positive side, I won't have to watch another season of a manager who nods off regularly only to wake up in time to call the same reliever in to the game that pitched last night (probably because he forgot who else was in the pen). I won't have to groan because of the lineups he sets and his reliance on more experienced and more crappy players over young guys.

On the negative side, I won't have him to hum A-Rod off to sleep each night after making him green tea. The media won't be able to worship him and will probably be all over the next guy. Worst of all, it may mean that A-Rod and Pettitte opt out and Posada and Rivera don't return. That would be pretty incredible as a fan, as those guys have been with Torre the entire way.

Who should they get? Well, the Yankees clearly aren't listening to me, as I said they should bring Torre back and they barely tried. But, here's who I think should be next. Not Don Mattingly, who has shows all the signs of being a Torre lite. Not Bobby V who, despite being twice the baseball strategist of Torre, would likely be chewed up and spit out by the NY media in his second run. To me, there's one choice. Joe Girardi. He has the cred that might keep the old dudes and the fire and smarts that have been missing in Sleepy Joe. He's intense and driven and this team has taken on their managers laid back demeanor for too long.

Make it happen, Cash. Announce Joe Girardi tomorrow.

Updated: Toast and I have known each other too long. Our brains are starting to work the same way. We both wrote "don't have Joe to kick around anymore". Joe first, then me. I'm always a tad concerned when I too much like Toast.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Bush League"

Stolen from and posted without comment.

UPDATED: How in the FSM's name did I forget the immortal words of the WoW geek himself, Curt Schilling, when A-Rod made the same exact play?

Curt Schilling, who made recruiting calls to Rodriguez while the Red Sox chased him last winter, criticized Rodriguez before Game 7 for the Slap in Game 6.

That was "junior high school baseball right there, at its best," Schilling told ESPN Radio, adding: "First off, Bronson wasn't in the base line to begin with. He could have easily broken his arm right there."

Schilling continued to malign Rodriguez by comparing him unfavorably to Jeter. He said Jeter would not have done what Rodriguez did because Jeter is a class act and a professional. Schilling said that Rodriguez could end up as the greatest player ever, but that he would not consider him classy.

Thank you, Dustin Pedroia, you freaky little hobbit. I needed another reminder that Curt Schilling truly and completely SUCKS ASS.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Right Brain - Left Brain Test

Ok, supposedly, this image is a right brain-left brain test. Take a look and see which direction the dancer is spinning.

Here's the link to the original article. You should go look at the original image in case importing it to Blogger hosed the functionality. And here are my three immediate thoughts.

- It amazes me that anyone else can see this and have it spin counter-clockwise (left brain, supposedly). I just can't imagine this woman spinning anything but clockwise.

- Since this article is from Australia, does it relate at all to the "water drains the opposite direction below the equator" business?

- Did they have to give her nipples?

Anyone see this lady "dancing" counter-clockwise? If so, are you people crazy?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What to do this Yankee Offseason - Q&A

In a fair and just world, I'd be the Yankees General Manager. However, it's my lot in life to be a Software Architect and I'm forced to leave that to the capable hands of Cashmoney.

But, if given the task of preparing the 2008 Yankees, WWFD? (bracelets soon to be available at the Fridge Marketplace) Well, here goes, Q&A Style.

Q: Whither Joe Torre?
A: Hardest question first. I'm a huge critic of "Sleepy Joe/Green Tea Joe/For the Love of God stop picking your nose on TV Joe". It's been my adamant position that his baseball strategy acumen places him as at best average amongst his managerial peers. However, I must acknowledge the following. He is exceptional in handling the mildy retarded and constantly irritable NY Media. He is exceptional in managing the diverse personalities of a clubhouse. In fact, the only players who've talked bad about him in the 12 years he's been the Yankee manager were Chad Curtis and Gary Sheffield, both of whom are clinically insane. Addditionally, he did a pretty darn good job handling the team over a difficult season where one third of the games were started by rookies. Several key players returns hinge in part on his return. Lastly, there's the legitimate question of where the available upgrade is? It's hard to see. So... as much as it will pain me to say so.... Bring back Joe Torre.

Q: What should be the prevailing vision of the offseason?
A: Continue rebuilding around the core of All-Stars. Lost in the tearful dismay over the Yankees loss is that they in large part rebuilt on the fly and those parts that they introduced to the team were mostly young and are likely to get even better. Each player should be evaluated into these. Keep players who are approaching or in their primes. If they are in their primes, be sure you have a reasonable window of prime performance left. If you don't fall into one of those categories, sayonara. The first phase of rebuilding is seeing what you have in the young guys. The second phase is placing those young guys in important roles. It is time to be cutthroat with some of the veterans. Lets' apply this approach on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What are the weaknesses of the team?
A: In order:
1) Need younger arms in the rotation
2) power arms in the pen
3) Right-handed hitting

Q: What to do with A-Rod?
A: Duh! You try and keep him. He's the best player in baseball and your team won't be as good without him. It's that simple. Whatever his way overrated faults may be, he's a dude who works incredibly hard, plays hard every day and if anything wants to win TOO much. Hopefully, we can extend him, thereby keeping the 10 million that Texas pays each year to be rid of him. However, it's not up to the Yanks completely. Should he leave, swing a deal for a big first baseman and play Betemit at third.

Q: Who's under contract and not going anywhere?
A: Jeter, Melky, Cano, Wang, Joba, Hughes, Vizcaino, Farnsworth, Mientkiewicz, Betemit. Jeter is the captain, the face of the Franchise and is entering the Cal Ripken at the end of his career phase where his diminishing range is becoming an issue. Still, #2 will be the SS. Melky is the starting CF. Cano is the best second baseman in the AL. Minky is relatively cheap and keeps A-Rod happy. I'll address the pitching in a minute.

Q: Who should be sent to a condo next to Mr. and Mrs. Seinfeld in Del Boca Vista?
A: Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. Clemens is a no-brainer as his obscene contract, bad hamstrings, injured elbow and declining velocity should mean the end for the Rocket. The Yanks are under no obligation to re-sign him and I say let someone else pony the $$$ if he dusts off the ol' jock strap again in '08. Moose is a different situation. He's under contract of increasing cost with decreasing skill. When I close my eyes I see the word "buyout". Give him half the 12 we owe and he can go off and do whatever really smart guys from Stanford with 85 MPH fastballs do.

Q: Who should we simply get rid of?
A: Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano. Pavano is obviously a blight on humanity. If you can get anyone to take anything for him, fine. Giambi is in the last year of a guaranteed contract and has a 5 million buck buyout in 2009. That's 26 million. I say pay 13 of that and trade him to someone else. He simply is too one dimensional at this point in his career. He can't do anything but take walks and hit home runs. His defense and base running are pathetic. He's not the hitter he was. Maybe Houston would take him to play first? Maybe back in the bay area to fill up some of the gap from Bonds? I don't know, but if the Yanks take half the salary, someone will want him.

Q: Who's options should we pick up?
A: Bobby Abreu. He's not the most exciting player out there. He isn't a leader. But he is a grinder and was one of the few Yanks who didn't look lost against the Indians. He's the ideal hitter between Jeter and A-Rod. He's merely OK in the OF, but RF in Yankee Stadium is pretty easy to play. He seems to be well liked and a good teammate.

Q: Who's gonna opt out that we should resign?
A: Other than the aforementioned A-Rod, who may want to opt out, but I think the Yankees should extend, Andy Pettitte! He gave himself the out for not wanting to stay in NY. But he looks as strong and gutty as ever. Bring him back and give him a raise on a 2 year, 30 mill deal. It's a big hole in the staff in terms of innings and leadership if he opts out. We gotta make this happen.

Q: Who's a free agent that we absolutely NEED to resign?
A: Mo Rivera and Jorge Posada. Mo is getting up there. He's clearly not as dominant as he was, but he's still incredibly effective. He's publically said he wants to pitch until the new Yankee Stadium opens and that tells me a 2 year - 32 million deal is open to him. Posada is 35 and had a career year. The chances he'll repeat that are almost nil. But, he's still a very dangerous hitter, a solid defender and the fact is there is no one on the FA market or in the Yanks system to replace him. Pudge just got his option picked up in Detroit for 13 mill. That means Posada is worth at least 16 mill. 2 years, 32 mill.

Q: Who should be starting next year?
A: The rotation should be as follows, assuming the above moves: Wang, Pettite, Hughes, Joba, Ian Kennedy/Horne/Igawa/FA. Hughes and Joba showed in the Cleveland series that they are the Yankees best pitchers. Both should start. Some will say that Joba should stay in the pen, but to me, Sunday's game showed the value of starting pitching. We need to give Joba the opportunity to grow into the ace-level starter he has the ability to be. Hughes showed how much better he is with his legs under him now that he's completely recovered from the hamstring tear. Ian Kennedy looked very promising, but it's early to count on him to be a solid ML starter. He could be, but you have to plan for the case that he isn't. In the Yankees case, I recommend leaning on the ML depth with guys like Alan Horne, T-Clipp and Kei Igawa (I know, he's pretty bad) or potentially kicking the tires on a mid-level FA.

To me, the main difference between the Yankees and the Indians wasn't the bats, per se, as much as it was the difference between the "live" arms of the Indians and the "old" arms of the Yanks. The Yanks bats were dead because the the Indians were throwing gas (except for Byrd, who confounds with average stuff). The yanks, meanwhile, only seemed to pitch well when their young heat throwers were out there - Hughes and Joba. That's the model the Yanks need to continue to adopt as they have throughout the minors.

Alan Horne fits this mold as a hard throwing righty. He could be the mystery 5th starter if Kennedy needs more seasoning. His ceiling is nearly as high.

Q: What to do with the bullpen?
A: Re-sign Mariano. This is a must. After that, you'll need to fill out the space around the over-used Vizcaino and the fragile Farnsworth with a few younger power arms. Ohlendorf needs a shot. If Steven White, Kevin Whelan, Steven Jackson and others rock in the Arizona Fall League, they should get a shot. But, kick the tires on any available relievers. I also think there are a few Japanese closer types available. Those guys have had a very good track record of adjusting to the majors, moreso than starters (Saito, Otsuka, Okajima, etc). Bring in a real lefty if you can.

There are also three minor leaugers, all coming off of TJ surgery that can have a bit of a "joba-lite" effect on the bullpen. JB Cox, Mark Melancon and Humberto Sanchez. All of them, especially Sanchez, could be impact arms later in the season.

Q: What about Matsui?
A: DH. The dude can still hit but he can't run and he was always a bit of an adventure out there. If you're convinced that his declining speed will be better with an offseason of rest on his knee, than he is passable in left field.

Q: Johnny Damon?
A: Trade him. I like the dude, and he's been a solid citizen. But his numbers are diminishing and his defense is pretty sketchy, with the exception of his speed. He's very tradeable and doesn't have a no-trade. Maybe to SD for bullpen help?

Q: Any other outfielders?
A: This lineup needs to be more right handed. Or, we could go a totally different direction and play Brett Gardner in Left and Melky in center. Gardner is basically Juan Pierre with walks and would add a tremendous amount of speed and OF defense to the team.

Q: How about first base? You said to ditch Giambi.
A: No Minkie. No Phillips. Go out and get a plug in the middle of the lineup right handed hitting first baseman. Paul Konerko type. The team was destroyed by lefties all year and were exposed by Sabathia and Perez in the ALDS.

So, after all that. What would the roster look like?

C: Posada (+4 mill to payroll)
1B: RH power hitter (about 13 million more to payroll)
2B: Cano - no change
SS: Jeter - no change
3B: A-Rod (+8 to payroll)
LF: Brett Gardner (-13 Mill from payroll)
CF: Melky (no change)
RF: Abreu (+ 2 mill)
DH: Matsui (no change)
Bench: A. Gonzalez, Minkie, Betemit, Shelley Duncan
SP1: Wang (no change)
SP2: Pettite (+3 Mill to payroll)
SP3: Phil Hughes
SP4: Joba Chamberlain
SP5: Kennedy/Igawa/Horne/TBD (-35 million from payroll)
CL: Mo Rivera
Pen: Ohlendorf, Farnsworth, Vizcaino, New 8th inning guy, New Lefty

That's the 25 Man roster. 22 million trimmed from the payroll, too. That's how I'd build the team. What do you think?

There's no crying in baseball

That is, unless you're Suzyn Waldman. Here, you can listen to the worst baseball radio announcer ever crying because the Yankees lost. Unbelievable. Can we fire her in a package deal with Joe Torre?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I am Spiderman

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

HAHA!!! This is fantastic because I've always wanted to be Spiderman. No, seriously. I was Spiderman for Halloween several times and I collected his comics from the time I was 5 to about 13. He's still a favorite of mine and the Spiderman movies are by far the best comic book adaptations. Sweet. This is the first of the goofy web quizzes that nailed me. Beautiful. Take the quiz!

UPDATED: The "cut and paste" HTML from the quiz is looking funny in my Blogger Template. Not sure why, as it looks fine in "preview" mode. Stupid

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Because I can't wait for Toast to post one.

1) Neil Diamond - "Cracklin' Rosie" The Neil Diamond Collection
This song is about getting loaded and is excellent for drunken sing-alongs.
2) Frank Sinatra - "Making Whoopee" Songs for Swingin' Lovers
Now, this is one of the more cynical pop songs ever.

He's washing dishes and baby clothes
He's so ambitious, he even sews
But don't forget, folks, that's what you get, folks
For makin' whoopee

3) Turin Brakes - "Clear Blue Air" Ether Song
Here she comes,
Buzzing through my memory,
Here's the ghost,
Perfume trickles through the...

Air... I need you like air
Water... I need you like water

4) Neil Diamond - "Done Too Soon" The Neil Diamond Collection
This song is fantastic for being simultaneously pretentious and stupid.
5) Stereophonics - "Looks Like Chaplin" Word Gets Around
Kelly Jones probably has one of the top ten rock voices I've ever heard. He's ranked far lower as a song writer, especially a lyricist. If you're not paying attention to the words, they sound fantastic.
6) Led Zeppelin - "Tangerine" Led Zeppelin III
In this wiki entry, you can learn that this is the second song title that references a fruit.
7) The Verve - "Drugs Don't Work" Urban Hymns
This band is most famous for being sued by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for their hit Bittersweet Symphony where they "sampled" a Stones tune. But the rest of this album is fantastic, too.
8) Alice In Chains - "Nutshell" Alice in Chains Unplugged
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Man, that's some uplifting stuff!
9) Cracker - "Dixie Babylon" The Golden Age
I really must confess
Id like to get undressed with you
and though the thought had never really crossed my mind,
oh, but that was a lie so we went along

10) Screaming Trees - "More Or Less" Sweet Oblivion
One of my favorite Seattle Grunge bands. They never made it big. I think it's because they're pretty fugly.
11) Queens Of the Stone Age - "Someone's In the Wolf" Lullabies To Paralyze
Once you're lost in twillights's blue
You don't find your way, the way finds you...

12) Red Hot Chili Peppers - "This Velvet Glove" Californication
Is it weird that this is my favorite RHCP album?
13) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Complicated Situation" Howl
The young must be our sacrifice, they say with crippled grins,
The eyes of youth must lose their way and stumble here within,
So the sleeping children were awoke, in time to haze their eyes,
So it's never known on which they choke's worth books of old and time,

This album is GREAT.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Help me decide. Is this awesome? Or does it suck?

The original cast of Karate Kid get back together for a video to a crappy song that's actually called "sweep the leg".

I'm leaning toward awesome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm pretty sure that our Preznit going to buy it...

... but a 710 year old copy of the Magna Carta is up for auction.

The Magna Carta established rights of the English people and curbed the power of the king. The U.S. Constitution includes ideas and phrases taken almost directly from the charter, which rebellious barons forced their oppressive King John to sign in 1215.

Of course, once the dumbass-in-chief has his grubby mitts on the great charter, he'll take a big batch of white-out (yellow-out?) to the nasty bits about habeus corpus. Because, you know, King John was weak on Terrah.

No time for posting today

Sorry. Don't have anything interesting to say, I'm too busy listening to the new Foo Fighters album for the 3rd time.

In the absence of anything interesting to say of my own, let me post a pic of my little guys at Six Flags New England outside the gates of Thomas Town.

When we got to Thomas Town, we immediately boogied over to the replica of Knapford Station and Jonny (pictured on right, but whose eyes I couldn't pry from Thomas for the picture) ran with his sister down the winding path of railings that organize the line for the Thomas the Train ride. His sister navigated the serpentine path all the way to the front easily(the park was near empty). Jonny, however, wasn't so lucky. About two-thirds of the way there, he couldn't take his eye off Thomas as he pulled into the station and walked straight into a metal pole. There he stood for a moment contemplating a newly bloody lip. He wiped it with his hand and examined the blood. Now, I'd expect most three year olds would be retty dismayed at the sight of their own blood, no? And under other circumstances, I'd definitely be expecting an apoplectic meltdown from little JB. But, this is apparently not the case if you're in the middle of a Thomas euphoria. Even a bloody lip couldn't stop him from riding his favorite train. He kept right on running to the front of the line and paid no attention as I dabbed his lip dry with a napkin while he yelled "Thomas, Daddy! Thomas!".

That Thomas the Tank Engine is powerful stuff. Must be all the lead paint on the toys.

sidebar: See, it's the trump card of parenting. Even when you don't have anything interesting to say about yourself, there's always a cute little story about the kids to bore your friends with.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One game back in the all important loss column

Yoo Hoo! Anyone there?

Hello? Red Sox? Anyone home? It's us, the Yankees! We're just two games out of the loss column today and were just wondering if you guys would mind terribly if we kept our major-league-leading streak of winning division titles alive by winning our tenth. Just a few more appearances by Eric Gagne ought to do it. Thanks in advance! Btw, this is what it will look like. See you guys in October!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This piece of art truly sums up how I feel today

Interruption of Service

FYI, I've been mucking around with the Template and what not. In doing so, I inexplicably decided to switch comments from Blogger to Haloscan. I did this despite the fact that it's often a little goofy. They just look a little nicer and I'm superficial like that.

I was surprised to find that the comments that my millions of readers have dutifully typed into little misshapen Blogger windows were subsequently gone. I'm not sure why was I surprised by this - I am, after all, a software engineer.

So, to all my peeps who took the time to comment on my posts, I say this: BWAHAHA! Suckers! Those comments are gone forever! That's what you get for commenting on the crappiest blog in the internet. Serves you right.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I love Shelley Duncan

I'm sorry, I think this is hysterical. I liked it so much, I made my own motivational poster out of it. It now adorns the wall of my cube. Good times.

This Just In

The Giants suck. I have said for sometime that this season could go one of two ways. First, the defense would be better than last year, as they looked in the final three pre-season games, and the team might surprise for a playoff spot. Or, I'll be scouting college players by week 8. After an 0-2 start and a defensive performance that looks like it was schemed by Harry Reid, the Giants are officially bad. The over-under on the team completely tuning out lame-duck coach Tom Coughlin is one week.

Can they get better? Osi Umenyiora sets the bar hilariously low:

Is there any hope that things can get better as they head to Washington next weekend?

"We don't really have a choice," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "We're 0-2 right now, we're not going to get any worse, that I can promise...."

Ladies and Gentlemen...The 2007 Giants! We're not going to get any worse!

There is only one good thing to come out of this season. Eli Manning is legit. He played great in the first game (a loss) and well in this one with a slightly-separated throwing shoulder. He may look like a mama's boy, but he's a tough dude. There's maybe only a couple QB's I'd take over him. He's the franchise. Everyone else can go.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Five-Year old comes to a difficult realization

The following conversation occurred between me and my daughter in the car on the way to catch the bus after dropping my son off at pre-school.

Daughter: Dad, how do babies get out of their mommies' tummies?
Me: [pausing to consider - Truth? or Lie? WTF!] Um, usually they come out of their vaginas.
Daughter: What the heck!?!?!?!
Me: Uh, yeah, sometimes a doctor has to take them out of the tummy, but ususally they come out of the vagina.
Daughter: [dumbfounded]... But, vaginas are so small...
Me: Well, babies are pretty small, too.
Me: [really hoping this conversation is over soon] Yeah, well, you're right. I guess vaginas get bigger when you have a baby.

With that, I was relieved that Emma had no further questions. She quietly pondered the implications of this. I would have loved to know what she was thinking, but was not at all prepared to go into further detail about it. I later called her Mom to let her know she should expect questions along these lines.

I guess the notable thing to take away from this is that, in addition to her increasing understanding of biology, it's pretty clear Emma also has a good understanding of spatial relations. So, that's good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Slow Down, People

It's raining here on the beautiful Connecticut shoreline. When it rains and I'm driving, I'm always reminded of the words of a guy who was a regular at my Dad's bar.

This guy ran a very busy towing and body shop. During a big Nor'easter snow storm, he like many of the other guy who were out plowing came in for a few pops to shake off the cold. Thinking that icy roads were good for his business, I said, "You should be doing a nice business today, eh, Tony?" He said, "Nah, not in the snow. People stay home. I love it when it rains. People don't slow down."

There you have it, people. Right from a man who depends on you crashing your car to meet his payroll. Driving in the rain seems deceptively safe. It's not. Please slow down.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I haven't been checking in much recently. There is just so much going on both at work and at home. It's safe to say that this week that I have been on vacation has been the craziest roller coaster week for me ever, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much.

So, instead of commenting on the week, allow me to take this moment to remark upon today, the 38th anniversary of my birth. Happy Birthday to me because I am clearly awesome. My arrival on this earth has been a boon for humanity with my life's work most profoundly affecting the arenas of smart-alec comments, fantasy baseball and software design.

The world would certainly be a lesser place in the absence of me and as such feel free to take a moment to reflect on how thankful you are that I'm here. Go ahead, I'll wait right here.

Right, well, thanks for the kind thoughts. You may now return to pretending to work.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I think we can all agree

That it's about time that the NFL changed it's logo. This one is much better.

Our long national nightmare is finally over.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lancelot Link

This is funny now. Back in college and after a couple bong hits? REALLY FUNNY. I loved this show.

Michael Vick and the Science of Dogs

I've had dogs at different points throughout my life and never thought much about "the science" of them. They've mostly been just lovable dopes that became part of our family. Probably because we always had "mutts" I never thought much about the breeding aspect of dog ownership. That is, until my mom decided that she wanted a Basset Hound to cope with her empty nest syndrome. We won't discuss the possible implications of the fact that it was to replace me specifically when I went to college.

His name was Newton and he was an excellent beast. He had a willingness to endure all forms of good-natured physical abuse from little kids, such as being forced to wear socks or a hat. He had a sweet nature and was gentle and kind. But, damn, he was funny looking. Some human wanted him to look this way. He wasn't designed by God. He was designed by a bunch of wealthy dudes in France. They wanted him short and with droopy skin and ears to help him track scents. See, the shortness means he's closer to the ground for sniffing. The loose skin and floppy ears supposedly help fan the scent to his nose. Reading that this was what he was bred for, my brother and I quickly hatched a plan to "train him to track stuff". We tied a milk bone on a string, dragged it in a round about way around the yard and hid it. He did it the first time. No training needed. He was literally born to do it. Humans engineered him to do it.

I was reminded of Newton (who also answered to 'Boner'), as I was watching a fascinating show the other day called The Science of Dogs from National Geographic Explorer. In it, they examine the genetic impact to dogs of their many thousands of years long relationship with humans. They talk about the obvious effect of the incredible diversity of dogs as a species and how that hasn't always been beneficial to dogs. They can end up pre-disposed to deafness (Dalmatians), blindness (Briards) and even obsessive compulsive behavior (Bull Terriers). But what struck me most was an experiment they conducted comparing wolves and dogs.

They raised a group of wolves as if they were dogs. This meant, loads of human contact, walking on leashes, etc. The idea is to make the wolves as comfortable with people as dogs. Then they present the dogs and wolves with equal problems. The attached a tasty treat on the end of a towel and put the treat in a cage, with the towel hanging out. Both the dogs and the wolves were able to pull the towel to bring the treat out of the cage and eat it. Then they attached a stick to the towel so it could not be removed and brought the dogs and wolves again. The wolves worked hard to remove the treat and kept working on their own. They ignored the humans. The dogs tried and eventually gave up and looked at the humans for assistance (Dude, a little help?). They ran a couple other experiments as well (even some where dogs can pick up on human non-verbal communication - like pointing), and the results are the same. Humans are special to dogs but not to wolves. We've bred them to be this way by selecting those who respond to humans better for many years. We've bred them to look to us for help, depend on us and even love us. In exchange they serve us in amazing ways. It's like a symbiotic contract. As a result. dogs are literally (hu)man's best freind in the animal kingdom.

Which, in a bit of a non-sequitor, brings me to Michael Vick. He's pleading guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges and will apparently even serve time in the penitentiary. His co-conspirators have made statements against him and that changed the case.

The co-defendants said Vick bankrolled virtually the entire "Bad Newz Kennels" operation in rural southeastern Virginia, including providing gambling funds, an act that could trigger a lifetime ban from the NFL under the league's personal conduct policy.

Two of them also said Vick participated in the brutal executions of at least eight underperforming dogs.

Facing those allegations and the prospect of a superseding indictment from a new grand jury that began meeting Monday, Vick opted to change his plea.

I'm really glad (and sadly, a bit surprised) that these grotesque acts will be punished. Here we have an entire species of animals that have been domesticated and bred with one purpose only, which is to serve humans. And yet, in a clear example of human depravity, we have a pampered NFL millionaire who will fund an operation which breeds dogs not for companionship or service but to fight each other for his pleasure. When they don't perform, he kills them. Why does he do this? Because he enjoys it. Because it makes him feel more like fucking Scarface. More Gangsta. What a fucking disgrace. All those dogs wanted, even those wild aggressive fighting dogs, is to love a person. It's all "Boner" wanted. It's all my two goofy hounds want. We know this because we've bred all dogs to want that. It's the dog's singularly unique characteristic. Michael Vick, and any other person involved in this kind of obscene activity - pampered NFL superstar or not, is a disgrace to humanity. It's perverse to use an animals genetic desire to serve to make it fight it's own kind. It's depraved and immoral. Mike Vick makes me ashamed of my species. Enjoy the pen, gangsta.

Crime is so totally screwed

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bats II:The Little Winged Bastards Strike Back

Allow me to provide an update on the bat saga. We had a bat specialist out to bat-proof the house. This involves sealing every crack like opening into the upper part of the house and then constructing "bat doors" over the entry points they are using. The idea of the bat doors is that the bats will not be able to get back in after they leave. The Bat Doors are basically funnel-shaped netting that leads away from the entry point (kinda like the reverse of a lobster pot). I know for a fact that it worked exceedingly well. How?

Well, when I brought in a company that specializes in such things to evict my bats, it never occurred to me to consider where the evicted bats might go. I guess I just imagined them flying around my house somewhat frustrated by not being able to get back in. Then, with a tiny bat shrug, they'd take off and move on to someone else's house or a bat cave or something.

As it turns out, that's not how it works. I found this out as I sat down to have a cup of coffee today on my deck. I looked down at our patio table and saw the unmistakable shape of bat droppings. Like a character in a "B" movie, I flashed back to the words of the bat dude (who, BTW, had one of the sweetest mullets ever). "They leave their droppings as they fly out to go eat. Basically, you find the droppings, look up and that's where they're going in and out." I did exactly that. I looked at the droppings on my table. I looked up, there was my closed patio umbrella. We kicked the bats out of my house and they moved into the umbrella. Bastards!

My deck had become a very unappetizing place to have a cup of coffee. Yuck.

I adjourned to my PC desk and fired up the scary Google. You see, in telling and retelling my story to my friends and co-workers, I got two useful tidbits of info. The first a helpful tip I'll share that's useful if you're ever in the same situation I was with a bat flying around the house and a screaming child. The second is a way to reduce my risk of this happening again.

1) If ever a bat is flying around your house, I am told that simply opening a window is not enough. You need to throw something small out of it. Bats, supposedly, are attracted to the motion. I don't know this for a fact. I do know a tennis racket works just fine.

2) If you put up a Bat House in your back yard, the bats are supposedly less likely to go in your house. Bat House? I said? Like a bird house? Yeah, exactly. Unbelievably enough, there are such things. Looks like I'm gonna buy one. The website says if I have a colony of 100 or so bats, I'll get "natural mosquito control". I'll also have the coolest house at Halloween.

You've won this round, you little winged bastards. But the war's not over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Quick Hits - RIP Scooter Rizzuto edition.

Goodbye, Phil Rizzuto. You will be missed. In fact, let me say I'm already missing you. You were integral to the infancy of my Yankee fan tenure. I loved listening to you. Please let me recount some Rizzuto tidbits.

- When I first started watching the Yanks, Phil was no longer a great announcer. However you were a Yankee institution. But, back in the day, he was pretty darn good and a lot of fun to listen to. Here you are calling Roger Maris's 61st home run.
- You were also enough of an institution that Meat Loaf famously used you as the announcer in Paradise by the Dashboard Light. I always loved hearing how he didn't realize exactly what the song was about. He was just brought in to record a play by play. He did and only later found out how it was used in the song. His reaction? "That Huckleberry!"
- I even miss the Money Store.
- I'll always remember how Phil and many other Major League Players gave up several years of their careers to serve in the military during WWII. Can you imagine Barry Bonds doing such a thing? Hell, you can't even get Kobe to do a slam-dunk contest.
- One time, when my brother and I were watching a Yankee game, Scooter out of nowhere said, "I smell onions." He then became a bit obsessed with where the smell was coming from. He wouldn't drop it. We thought it was hysterical. From then on, whenever the subject of Rizzuto came up, one of us would say, "I smell onions." In fact, here's the email my brother sent me today:

Scooter has gone to the big Yankee Stadium in the sky.

*hangs head*

"Seaver, do you smell onions? I smell onions!"

- Scooter was also a pretty darn good player. He played a very good shortstop even with the gloves like these.

and in 1950, he batted .324, had an OBP of .418 and even improbably won an MVP. Coincidentally, Phil had 112 runs created that season which nearly matched even the magical 1987 season of Jack Clark (inside joke). He'd later get into the Hall of Fame via the "veterans committee" everyone loved Scooter.

Goodbye Scooter. The Yankee fan experience is worse without you. RIP.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Google Frightens Me.

We may eventually be longing for the days of Microsoft's ruthless marketing and licensing practices. Google is starting to freak me out a bit. Because they are so darn good at helping us find things on the web they have become an enormous influence on what we see. This, of course, is completely fair as they've earned that. However, as they continue to expand in every direction, we become more dependent upon them. What if they lose their apparent taste for benevolence?

I came across this tidbit the other day, when had to answer their stockholders regarding why their site traffic all of a sudden dropped 28%. Here's what they said.

Answers Corporation (NASDAQ: ANSW) announced today that, due to a search engine algorithmic adjustment by Google, has seen a drop in search engine traffic starting last week. As a result, overall traffic is currently down approximately 28% from levels immediately prior to the change.

"We are working diligently to analyze and address the recent algorithm change," said Bob Rosenschein, CEO. "We will update investors on the financial impact of this development during our upcoming Q2 earnings conference call on August 13."

Let's think about that for a second. Here's a relatively small $5 million company who, in the blink of an eye, lost more than a quarter of it's traffic and had it's stock pushed down to a two year low. Wow. That's pretty incredible, isn't it?

So if you're a company that relies heavily on internet traffic finding it's way to your site, you are at the mercy of some spoiled geeks at the Googleplex? Maybe.

Or, is it this really the business model that Google has been planning all along? They built the best search engine and rightly everyone started to use it. Google is a fucking official verb now. They have a huge portion of the mind share related to searching. It's an institutional part of the internet experience. To test that, just imagine if Google ceased to exist. Sure, there are other engines, but Google has almost half of all searches. If they wanted to steer the results in a particular direction for a fee, why couldn't they? If they wanted to steer the results away from a particular place in the absence of a fee (what could have hypothetically happened to, why couldn't they? Would anyone notice? How often do you run a search in Google, and then again in another engine? Ever done that? Would you know if you were getting slanted results? In many ways, this is potentially more insidious than Microsoft's aggressive OS licensing. Trying to control a desktop that will be obsolete in 4 years is one thing. Controlling a living, breathing behemoth like the internet is another. They don't control the content, they just control finding the content for a large section of the population like me.

Now realize that Google's method is also to continuously expand it's reach into every where that puts faces in front of monitors. Not just that, they've already branched out into 411-Phone information. They're driving around taking pictures of our cats. They're building giant data centers to store the pictures of our cats. The more they expand, the creepier they become.