Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Separated at Birth

Longtime reader and regular blog commenter Biff Tannen has been suggesting for ages that I pair the chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke (l.) and actor Jeffrey Tambor (r.) of Arrested Development fame. I'm finally relenting not only because they do resemble one another, but because she was kind enough to cut and copy the photos for me.

This one I came up with on my own when I saw news this week that Miami Heat coach Pat Riley (r.) was retiring. Have you ever seen Riley and NPR sports commentator Frank DeFord (l.) in the same place at the same time? I sure haven't.

When you see a gross white pony tail, are you looking at comedian George Carlin (l.) or New England furniture pitchman Eliot Tatelman (r.)? Tough to tell.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Jobs I Wouldn't Mind Vol. V

Did you know there are still pirates terrorizing the world's oceans? I guess I had been vaguely aware of this, but I heard a story about the pirates this morning and thought "Piracy -- that's a job I wouldn't mind."

There's a lot of travel, plus you get to spend time in the sun. And who can forget the booty? Oh, all that booty. The main drawback is that you face the death penalty if caught, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

Yay pirates!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Boston story

I was out recently with some friends at that bar where my friend won the lotto.

There were five us at the table, and we were playing cards. Yeah. Cards in a bar. I'm not embarrassed, because it's the kind of bar where that's okay.

A dude came up and said, "Hey I'm from out of town and I have a bet. How many of you have masters degrees?" Three of us raised our hands. (Mrs. N-B and I were the outliers, for those of you scoring at home.)

Clearly an outsider, the guy who'd asked the question predicted we'd only have one among us. Five kids playing cards in a bar that's basically on a college campus? What was he thinking? Hell, we had a freaking Ph.D. at the table.

In fairness, I have to point out that he soon turned the tables on my table of smarty-pants. Here's a tip: If someone bets you $10 you can name all 50 states in 10 minutes, don't take the bet. You'll forget two. Everybody does.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Flakes on a plane

I am now going to make fun of a lady who got arrested at Logan Airport the other night.

Her name is Randi Goldklank (that's her twice at right, one pic from the Herald and the other from the Globe). She's the 40-year-old general manager of Boston's NBC affiliate, WHDH-Ch. 7. You've probably never heard of her, which is part of what makes it so funny that she told arresting officers "Leave me alone, don't you know who the $@#! I am?"

Well, we do now.

She also threatened to call a camera crew and put the officers on TV to ruin their lives. She changed her tune once she was being booked, telling a sergeant "You think I’m cute and I think you're cute, just drive me home."

Why such erratic behavior?

According to the police report, she was overheard saying she'd had "about three dozen drinks." I struggle to believe her, since Ch. 7 is prone to exaggeration. Though she is from Long Island, so maybe it's true.

In Goldilock's defense, she says she was so angry after getting of the flight because she was groped by a male passenger.

She's been placed on administrative leave from her super high-powered job.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nap prep

I'm gonna take a nap this afternoon, and I'm warning you that I am totally going to wreck that nap. It doesn't stand a chance. I'm going to be the Michael Jordan of napping this afternoon. The assembled sleeping press is going to murmur things like "I love watching him nap" and, in a hushed and reverent tone, "I'm just glad he napped in our lifetime."

Today's nap is going to be so epic, I think I might have to break it into two parts. An initial appetizer nap on the couch from, say, 12:45 to about 2, then a second more powerful nap in bed from 2 to 5. But who knows -- maybe the couch nap will go 'til 3. Maybe I'll nap on each of our couches. Yeah, that's how crazy I am. Crazy like a napping fox.

I can't really say all the details yet. All I know is that today's napping is going to be the stuff of legend. I should charge admission, because watching me nap will be like watching Da Vinci paint.


Monday, April 21, 2008

State holiday

Of all the fake Massachusetts holiadys (including but not limited to Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day), Patriots Day is my favorite. It has a little bit of everything -- a baseball game that starts at 11 a.m., a reenactment of the battles of Lexington and Concord, and 25,200 people running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

It's tough for me to capture in words just why it's fun to stand on Beacon Street and shout encouragement to thousands of people I don't know. It just is. Maybe because of the beer. Who knows.


Friday, April 18, 2008

I must've read this wrong

A quote from a clergy abuse victim who met with the Pope, as reported in today's Boston Globe:
I said, "Holy Father, you have a cancer in your flock, and you need to do something about it." And then I gave him an Irish bread from my mother.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Long Overdue Props: Vol. X

My favorite candy has always been Snickers. Sure, my eyes have strayed a few times over the years. Who doesn't love Twizzlers at the movies? And then there was a long flirtation with Whatchamacallit in the late '90s. But Snickers has been my go to since childhood.

And that's why I feel almost guilty giving out these props, the long overdue variety, to Rolo caramels. There's something so inviting about their braces-ruining flavor, their shiny foil, their "They're small take two"-ness.

I don't know if they can overtake Snickers, but they're certainly a threat to Snickers' long dominance. The only drawback is that taking off that foil is so labor intensive. It's almost like the Rolos themselves created their protective covering as a response to natural selection.

Editors Note. Can you believe this is my 11th Overdue Props posting? What are the other 10? Click the link down there to the left, the one that says "Long Overdue Props," to find out.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The Boston Herald all but admitted in a correction this week that it routinely rewrites blogs and press releases without crediting them, then puts an AP byline on their copy as a cover.

They got caught when they mistakenly took for real a fake Andy Borowitz satire about Dick Cheney challenging Hillary Clinton to a hunting match.

Borowitz made up that Cheney was on Meet the Press and fabricated this quote:
To be frank, Hillary Clinton's stories about her adventures with guns don't exactly pass the smell test. If she really wants to show that she knows how to handle a rifle, there's an easy way to do that: meet me in the woods.
What's worse, the Herald story (I'd link to it, but it's been taken down) said Cheney made the challenge on ABC's Meet the Press. You think the fact that Meet the Press is on NBC might've tipped an editor off. If the Herald had any editors left.

Hopefully they don't also read the Onion.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The cursor becomes the cursee

David Ortiz hit two singles last night, which usually wouldn't be news. But the guy is hitting just .104 on the season and is in the midst of the longest slump of his career. You might blame his balky knee, or that long flight to Japan, maybe.

But I blame Gino Castignoli, the New York construction worker (and Red Sox fan) who buried an Ortiz jersey in the new Yankees stadium being built right now in the Bronx. Gino said he did it to forever curse the new ballpark, but I worry that it boomeranged on him.

Fortunately for everybody, the Yankees spent a couple hours jackhammering the concrete and the new stadium and unearthed the offending jersey.

Don't you wish we could just bury all the curses?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Bored Game

Mrs. N-B and I took in a delightful three-hour musical about Chess yesterday. The tickets were free, courtesy of the widget factory where I'm employed. If you think three hours of people pantomiming playing chess (and singing about it) would be boring, then you're right.

I shouldn't be so flip. It was clever of the guys from Abba, who wrote the musical in the early 1980s, to portray the Cold War as a chess match. They even threw in a sexy love-triangle. (Life later imitated art -- 2d item.)

But the best part about Chess the Musical is the one-time No. 3 hit "One Night in Bangkok," made famous on U.S. pop charts by Murray Head. Never heard of it? Here's a refresher.


Friday, April 11, 2008

It's not a schooner!

CNN spent about 45 minutes on this topic this morning, so I figure it's okay for me to blog about. The flap has to do with an official White House picture of Dick Cheney on a fishing trip.

Some people say they see an image of a naked woman reflected in his sunglasses. A spokesman says it's someone casting a fly fishing reel. What say you?

I say it's a headless naked mannequin.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Your move, Mr. Gore

I know it's almost a week old, but I can't miss the opportunity to mark the passing of Charlton Heston, who died at age 84 on Saturday.

That time he called out Al Gore remains one of my favorite truth-is-stranger-than fiction moments of all time.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Nerd corrects other nerds, wins plaudits from third group of nerds

An 11-year-old from Michigan named Kenton Stufflebeam spotted a mistake while on a trip to the Smithsonian. He pointed out that a placard referring to the "Precambrian era" was incorrect, because Precambrian isn't an era but a unit of time describing the estimated four billion years before the Cambrian Era.

The offending sign had been in place since 1981, or about 16 years before Kenton Stufflebeam was born.

In a letter to Kenton about the mistake, the Smithsonian wrote his name as "Slufflebeam."

NaturalBlog salutes you, Stufflebeam.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Delicious Spam

There's a funny web site called "Spamusement" that illustrates the subject lines from spam emails. (They describe it as "Poorly drawn cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines.") You can see their work by clicking here.

I decided to give it a shot myself, after my blog email account got some spam under the headline "Tell her about your new asset."


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

You are the Decider: Philly Anthem Edition

Pennsylvania's presidential primary is a scant 20 days away, so it's time to revisit my occasional series chronicling the 2008 race for the White House, "You are the Decider."

Hit the graphic with the bulls that poop:

Alright so Hillary Clinton compared herself to Rocky at a campaign event in Philadelphia yesterday. She told a union audience that like the famous Sly Stallone character, she is not a quitter and said that she wouldn't suspend her campaign, just as Rocky didn't get halfway up those steps and call it a day.

I'm surprised she chose this analogy, given that Rocky lost. To a black guy.

I watch this Rocky video to get pumped before Wednesday night volleyball games in my advanced beginner-low intermediate league, where I play on a team called the Mini Ditkas.

Please enjoy.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Can we split the difference?

The Red Sox have their stateside opener today against the Athletics in Oakland, after playing the A's in a two-game set last week in Japan. Through the first three games, the Sox starting times (Eastern) have been 6 a.m., 6 a.m, 10 p.m.

This schedule is just not working for me. Maybe we could take the average? Eleven in the morning wouldn't be good for most folks, but I think it would work just fine for me.