Saturday, September 30, 2006

Quiet tribute to Saturdays in fall


Friday, September 29, 2006

NaturalBlog News Updates

Are Americans thin and happy now? The Walgreen drugstore chain said this week its fourth quarter profit rose 25 percent compared to a year ago. The company cited strong sales of generic versions of Zocor and Zoloft, which treat high cholesterol and depression. I have chosen to illustrate this story with The Beacon of Spartanburg, S.C., where you can have both high cholesterol and depression.

Speaking of fat people. New York City is thinking about a ban on so-called trans fats at restaurants. Opponents are employing the Soup Nazi in a new ad campaign. He checks diners on a scale, then tells them "Only salad!" Will the home of the Statue of Liberty be the first place to ban it altogether? NB says: Give me french fries or give me death. Or both.

And finally. This long-distance dedication also goes out to NYC, where they're kind enough to give you a seat on the train. The MBTA has decided the only way to motivate fat, lazy, inconsiderate Boston-area commuters into being nice is to bribe them with Dunkin' Donuts. A $2 gift certificate for giving up my seat to a pregnant lady? Whatever. I'll wait til they start handing out ski passes.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fake Elizabeth Hurley costs only slightly less than real Elizabeth Hurley

This is something funny I saw on Gawker. The Austin Powers FemBot mock up was on sale on e-bay. I'd link you to it, but it was taken down yesterday. Perhaps because the page contained NSFW jubblies. Before her demise, she was just $3,000 and -- believe it or not -- nobody had bid yet.

I can't pick my favorite part of the description. It's either 1) that she works on a 9-volt battery, or 2) that there are holes for firearms where her nipples would be, but that the gun barrels that pop out of her boobs are sold separately.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Still Separated at Birth

In my first human-non human pairing, we've got tennis pro Jelena Jankovic, ranked 20 in the world, on the left and the robot from I, Robot on the right. Creepy, no?

Phillippe Cousteau (left) is the grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. Lance Bass was going to be a cosmonaut. So they have a lot more in common than just frosted tips.

It's been a while since I had any toplessness on the blog, so I offer you actor Jason Statham (left) and Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler (right). I like both these guys -- Statham because he acts hard, whether we're talking Snatch, the Italian Job, or Crank, and Kapler because he plays hard, whether the Sox are springing with April promise or creeping toward a disappointing fall.

It's hard to believe how many separated at births I've done. Check out earlier volumes with these many helpful links.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wait a minute -- Christy is a man?

Even though last night's debate among the four Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates was moderated by the conspirator-in-chief, it was no cake walk for the Republican candidate Kerry Healey.

But this isn't a political blog, so I'm going to focus on the media aspect of the debate. Namely, how WFXT Fox 25 was kind enough to include the voices of regular every day people in the debate. And by regular people I mean the ultra wealthy and famous.

Sure, they did have a question from a Cambridge mom about the state's graduation exam, but they quickly dispensed with the political hoi polloi, moving on to a question from Shonda Schilling, wife of the Big Curt, then to one from celebrity chef Jasper White.

Maybe they just couldn't find any regular voters out there.

Or maybe it was part of a grander plan: After all, 75 percent of the candidates for governor (and 100 percent of the candidates who don't have mullets) are millioniares. Shouldn't they be made to answer the important questions that weigh on the minds of those who could buy and sell the NaturalBlog 10 times over?


Monday, September 25, 2006

What I learned from Alex P. Keaton

I caught Michael J. Fox on "Inside the Actors Studio" the other day and realized that his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties had a more than minor impact on me when I was a kid.

I didn't just look up to Alex P. Keaton -- I wanted to be just like him. Good at money, good at Scrabble, good at loving Ronald Reagan.

But I suppose it wasn't just Alex P. Keaton I loved. I even followed his fictional footsteps when I tried a turn in politics briefly, though my guy was a little brighter than Barry Bostwick's portrayal of the vapid Randall M. Winston Jr. in Spin City.

And looking back on it, Fox is probably the reason I used my middle initial until I went to college. That's right -- way back then I was Natural J. Blog.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Great -- more competition

You may have heard that Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley is starting his own blog.

You might enjoy reading his dispatches from a trip to Rome, but not as much as you'll enjoy these O'Malley pictures I found on his facebook page.

You can see he likes to tailgate, but is slighty disapproving of drinking from an ice luge.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

The wild card remains in play

Now that the Red Sox are mathematically guaranteed to finish behind the Yankees for a ninth straight season, I will come clean about my own failure this baseball season.

Way back in April, I made an important life-affirming decision: I was no longer going to follow the Yankees.

For Red Sox fans such as myself, following the Yankees is something is something of a second national pasttime. It used to be that I couldn't go to bed without checking the ESPNews crawl one more time to see if the Yanks were leading or trailing.

But this year, I decided, it would be different. No more rooting against another team. It's just too exhausting. I even threw out my Yankee Hater cap. I was done defining myself by dislike of another. From here on out, it was just going to be positive thoughts about the team I liked. If the Yanks were on ESPN, I'd change the channel. If the Sox were playing the Yanks, I'd watch through clenched teeth.

This was a great strategy, so long as the Sox were in first. But as soon as they slipped behind the Yanks in late summer, like they always do, I was back to scoreboard watching and wishing ill upon A-Rod, Abreu, and the rest.

Of course, now I've pretty much given that up as well, as the Sox flirt with third place.

A baseball plan hasn't bombed this bad since my fantasy baseball strategy, so it's back to the drawing board for me. Good thing there's always next year.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My first par

After a disappointing 9-over on the par-5 second at the Newton Commonwealth, it was easy to get down. Even moreso after following that up with a septuple bogey on the 455-yard fifth.

Undaunted, I lit up a Romeo y Julieta, regathered myself with a nice double bogey on 6 and made my way to the par-3 seventh.

It's 177 yards, steep downhill, with a back-to-front sloping green that drops off to the right.

I pulled the six-iron out of the bag, and drove off the tee. Instead of making the usual 90-degree turn to the right, the ball was high and straight and true, and it landed about 10 feet off the green on the left, clear of the sand. My chip passed about two inches from the pin and rolled to about three feet from the hole.

You should've seen the celebration after I sank that putt -- you'd have thought I'd just beat Tiger on a Sunday. Of course, it was just the 16th hole of golf I'd played in my life, so there was something to celebrate.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NaturalBlog News Update

This story is an excuse to put up a picture of Gisele. There are calls for London Fashion Week to follow the lead of Madrid and ban skinny models. In Madrid, you can't walk the catwalk unless your body mass index is 18 or more, which translates to about 130 pounds for sultry six-foot model. Isn't this be like telling fat guys they can't play on the offensive line?

She is now considering a career in modeling. When a nurse from Portland, Ore., got home from work and found an intruder in her house wielding a claw hammer, she strangled him. Turns out, he was a hit man hired by her estranged husband. The woman is 5-foot-7, and goes 260 pounds.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Long Overdue Props, Vol. II

The NaturalBlog has only been a football fan for five years, but that's been time aplenty to develop a healthy respect for NFL referee Mike Carey. Not Carey himself, really, but his biceps.

This guy looks like he puts his zebra shirt in the dryer at about 6 in the morning on Sundays, so it will be plenty taut for the 1 o'clock kickoff.

So what if you're middling at your job, Mike, your concise explanations of penalty flags more than make up for it.

Plus, you own part of a company that makes ski equipment, and that makes you alright in my book.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

NaturalBlog News Roundup

Boy, I sure didn't see this coming. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are separating. This is treasonous. How, you wonder? Osama bin Laden loves Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston is making herself available. Ergo, Whitney Houston is aiding our enemies. The NaturalBlog makes no distinction between the terrorists and those who want to date them.

Exception proves the rule. Two economists from a libertarian think tank say that drinking (moderate, of course. Moderate!) boosts your income. The thinking is that those who drink socialize more, have greater business networks, and end up with "superior market outcomes." The researchers are from San Diego State University, which was conspicuously absent from the Princeton Review's recent list of top 20 "Stone-cold sober schools."

Shawn Carter reenters the workforce. Jay-Z is ending what he described as the "worst retirement in history" and will put out a new album this fall. You had to know he was bored when you saw that HP ad from a few months back. I wonder if he's doing this because Beyonce got tired of him lounging around the house in a $50,000 robe.

Does it fly, at least? I'm all for the future, but can somebody please make sure we don't end up looking dumb?

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sock puppet theater

Once upon a time on the Internet, there was this cute girl who claimed to be something she wasn't. Believe it or not, this is news.

Jessica Rose, known online as LonelyGirl15 (at left, looking to her left), portrayed a character named Bree online, apparently laying the groundwork for a movie deal.

In light of this, I want to take a moment to reassure you that the NaturalBlog is as the NaturalBlog appears: a slightly neurotic, baseball-obsessed blogger who spends free moments thinking alternately about celebrity look-a-likes and Lindsay Lohan. No hidden agenda, just, as one reader put it, an "ongoing application to the nut house."

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hef knows a bargain

Why is it so hard to save money? Two words: Hugh Hefner.

I'll backtrack.

The future Mrs. NaturalBlog and I are trying to save some money ahead of our nuptials this November -- the social event of the fall, by the way. And we have the best of intentions.

Like the other day, when we went to Marshalls in search of a couple things. The selection was lacking and we were poise d to make a getaway with $0 spent, and then we saw them.

Drawn like Odysseus to the sirens, we couldn't turn away:

A set of four Playboy double old-fashioned glasses for just eight bucks? Were they serious? They were practically giving them away. How could we pass that up? We'd be losing money if we didn't buy them.

Eight dollars later, ee saluted Hef that night, enjoying highballs as we watched The Girls Next Door.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

EnzaBabie, speak!

It's funny what ignites people's passions. When I wrote a couple weeks back about the rumored relationship between former Affleck heartthrob Enza Sambataro and Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis (5 of 7 in SB attempts this season), the haters came out of the woodwork.

There's apparently a group of people who comb blogs looking for Enza, then unleash their anger in the comments. See for yourself.

Anyway, in the interest of fair play, I'm inviting Enza to respond, maybe with a comment of her own.

Also, I'd like to know how she would rate the Ben Affleck date package No. 8, the trip to Fenway.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Long Overdue Props, Vol. I

I can't believe I've blogged for almost a year without giving a shout out to the Motel Hi Ho, conveniently located on the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield, Conn.

Yes, you're reading that name correctly. It's actually called the Hi Ho, and it is the first recipient of my new occasional series "Long Overdue Props."

Sure, you're derided as the "filthiest, most run-down hotel ever," but I care not.

I couldn't find a picture, so instead I'll take this chance to say hi to my ho.

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Friday, September 08, 2006


I've been in New York for a couple days, so you'll have to forgive me for posting a day late and a dollar short on Vanity Fair's mighty get: the first public pictures of Suri Cruise.

Typing that now is the first time I realized that all the letters in her first name are contained within her last. That's a cute baby, though that shouldn't be much of a surprise, since her parents are both movie stars. And it's actually not all that unusual to be cute and crazy.

Anyway, here's the cover, which is nice but not as nice as one from a few months back:

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Joe Maddon rocks

There's something about Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon that I like, and it just may be the glasses.

It would take somebody pretty sure of himself to wear those kind of specs in a major leaguge clubhouse. But what sold me on Maddon was how he described the Red Sox 3-4 hitters David "Big Papi" Ortiz and Manny "Being Manny" Ramirez:
"Those guys. They're freaks. They are. If you throw a strike and they can reach it, they hit it hard. Ruth and Gehrig. Batman and Robin. I don't know. They're like the best combo in the history, maybe, of the world. Peanut butter and jelly. Chocolate and red wine. They're the best."
Chocolate and red wine? That's about the last comparison I'd ever expect from a major league manager. Chew and a spittoon, maybe. But chocolate and red wine?

You're all right in my book, Joe Maddon.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hey CBS, quit pulling my heartstrings

I was able to catch about two-thirds of Katie Couric's debut on the CBS Evening News last night. I'm pretty sure I caught the seminal moment, though, which was her discussion about post-9/11 America with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. (Good to see CBS's liberal leanings continue even in the post-Rather era.)

Friedman was so emotive it was painful, almost like he was trying to dumb himself down so Katie (or America, maybe?) could understand him. And Couric was the opposite extreme, banishing even a hint of perkiness and instead pursing her mouth purposefully.

After the exchange, which was taped, we came back to Couric live. You could tell because the quality of the audio was so different, and because Couric immediately began to stumble. It'll probably take her a while to get used to doing quick news headlines. Probably about as long as it will take for me to get used to hearing her do them.

A few other quick hits...
  • I put the over/under on the new Evening News segment "freeSpeech" at six months, especially if they're all as unimaginative as last night's was.
  • Couric said she hadn't yet come up with a sign-off, and suggested people email their suggestions. My two cents: A simple, understated "Smell ya later."

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Celebrities -- they're just like us

They put coins in parking meters, like Jessica Alba is here. Not me, of course, I just risk the ticket.

They let their kids dress themselves. Did Seal break all the mirrors in the Klum house? Harsh.

They resent more successful siblings. What do you bet that Britney just said something like, "I'm eating for two."


Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin died how he lived

I hate to bear bad news, so I hope I'm not the first to tell you that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has died, when a barb from a stingray pierced his chest.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Welcome to Boston, player to be named. Here's your life preserver

It feels like it happened in the blink of an eye, but I suppose it took the entire month of August for the Red Sox to collapse, implode, crash, and finally settle at the bottom of the ocean.

They opened the month at 63-41 in first place, and finish it 9 wins and 21 losses later, out of the race in the division and in danger of finishing third behind the Blue Jays.

I was going to try and write something positive, but there's no point now that Theo and the crew have raised the white flag. David Wells is now a Padre (traded to a contender for a prospect to be named), depleting the already emptied Sox pitching staff to its core. Middling reliever Julian Tavarez started last night.

Are you ready for some football?