Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Four of my favorite people

Generally speaking, if you put Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Bob Knight in the same place, it's a place I don't want to be.

Unless it's this ad:


Monday, March 30, 2009

Yay, college!

I went to Boston University, so it's pretty rare I get to root for my alma mater in anything. So you'll forgive me if I bask today in the No. 1-in-the-nation Terriers' advancing to the NCAA men's hockey national semifinals, or "Frozen Four."

So what if they needed an own goal from UNH with less than 15 seconds to go to advance? Go BU.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Analyze This

Back when this blog was in its infancy -- I mean really young, like just two days old -- I was already out of ideas. So I wrote about my dreams.

Now that the blog is three-and-a-half, I'm going back to the well.

Help me figure this one out. Yesterday, I dreamt a detailed opening sequence to an animated, made-for-TV movie about the JFK Jr. plane crash. The exact details are too harrowing to share here. Suffice it to say, you could tell it was a dream sequence when an image of JFK Jr.'s head rose from the smoke of his plane, and he spit out a piece of popcorn.

What does it all mean?


Thursday, March 26, 2009


The following picture represents my present levity level.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two for the Road

Here are a pair of news stories, neither of which I made up.

1. A 15-year-old in Lakeland, Fla., has been suspended from school for farting too much on his bus. The school bus driver turned him in. Something about this story doesn't add up. If the bus driver smelled it, isn't it an immutable law of the schoolyard that he also dealt it?

2. A dad from Hudson, Mass., faces charges for hosting a party with beer for his high school-age son. When police came to the house, the man leapt from a window and ran into the woods. Sounds like he fit right in with the kids.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good night, sweet blogger

Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced on his blog yesterday that he's retiring.

His blog is called 38pitches, so it must be named after how many pitches it takes him to get through an inning.

I promised many years ago that I'd always love all the members of the 2004 Red Sox championship team, but boy has he made that hard. Hopefully he'll be as unavoidable for comment in retirement as he was in his playing days.


Monday, March 23, 2009


If your bracket is already busted, take solace in another competition.

It's the annual Name of the Year bracket. Trust me that it's worth your time to read through the entries closely. I'd hate for you to miss the No. 7 seed in the Crotchtangle region (that would be Chuck Fugger), or the No. 5 in the Sithole region (Bunkless Bovian).


Friday, March 20, 2009

Thoughts on the World Baseball Classic

I've really enjoyed watching the World Baseball Classic this winter, despite my fear that it will mean injuries to every one of my fantasy players, as well as all of the Red Sox.

I'd break down my enjoyment this way.

Pro. It's fun to watch games with a playoff atmosphere before the season even starts.

Con. Rick Sutcliffe is calling the games on ESPN, and I can't stand him.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Upset Special

I don't think I have any religious readers, so I don't mind telling you that the week from Selection Sunday through the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament amounts to my high holy days.

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a few wild predictions. If I make enough of them, then at least one will pan out.

  • No. 6 West Virginia over No. 3 Kansas on Sunday.
  • Wisconsin in the Sweet 16
  • Binghampton over Duke, but that's my heart talking, not my head.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To the moon

The discovery of a planet called Fomalhaut b, which is located in the middle of that picture but is not visible because it's so small, has me thinking about the final frontier.

Like most little kids, I wanted to be an astronaut. As I got older, I started to realize there would be a lot of challenges on that career path -- I'd have to be in the military, which would likely mean attending one of the Academies, which would require four years of P.E. in high school. A lot of sacrifice, and I haven't even mentioned that I'd need to cultivate 80s hair.

Instead I somehow ended up as a liberal media stalwart.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pedro, I miss you

The clever blog Sports Crackle Pop had an item this week about former Red Sox pitcher Brandon Arroyo's party boat. If you remember the college dorms where he spent his time in Boston, this is quite an upgrade.

His boat is called the Nasty Hook, presumably a reference to a curveball, thougha longtime reader suggests it should be renamed the Nasty Hooker.

Please enjoy this photo of friend-of-Arroyo Pedro Martinez.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Two for the road

I'm always reluctant to refer you to other web sites, because they're often funnier than mine. But I can't help it with these two. At left, Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. At right, This is Why You're Fat.


Friday, March 13, 2009

This is why we play

When I started this blog three-and-a-half (!) years ago, I did it because I thought the Internet needed a place to be a repository of the dumb things that occurred in my brain.

I figured that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people who'd be thinking the same things and making the same jokes, that they'd find the blog, that we'd form an online community.

I've revised that figure to dozens, if not a dozen. But every once in a while there's a real diamond in the rough. Like the person who logged onto the blog a couple weeks back after googling "here comes the hotstepper jaap scheffer."

Sure enough, there was someone else out there who had thought that the former UN Secretary General's name sounded like the early '90s Ini Kamoze hit, a topic I covered in December 2007.

I know not who you are, great thinker, but I salute you nonetheless.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

I don't want what you're selling, pink dolphin

With all due respect to those who come before me, I need to write about the freaking pink dolphin that's been spotted in Lake Calcasieu in Louisiana.

First of all, I'll go on the record as saying I think this is a hoax. Second of all, if it's not a hoax, it's got to be part of a sinister dolphin plot that ends with domination of not just the sea but of land as well.

Move along, pink dolphin, or I'll do to you what Beat Ettlin did to that kangaroo in Garran, Australia.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We've been down this road

We're closing in on about 20,000 journalism jobs that have been eliminated since the start of 2008. Yes, it's dire. But I can't say it's all that new.

Take a look at what Dilbert said on the matter, all the way back in February 1995.

I suppose there are some who will see this and think wistfully, "Ah, the mid-90s, when companies would make frivolous part-time hires."


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Long Overdue Props

I noticed some time ago that maps of ski resorts all tend to look alike. It's not because the mountains are the same, but because the artist is.

James Niehues is a professional resort illustrator and he's done more than 300 illustrations for ski mountains, golf communities and tourist bureaus since the 1980s. That longevity, and the fact that I I get excited about skiing each time I see his work, are enough to earn these long overdue props.

Thanks, James, for letting me know how to get from North Peak to the Jordan Bowl.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Paul, what happened?

After I wrote that I always thought the actress who played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, Danica McKellar, would marry the kid who played Paul Pfeiffer, loyal reader Coach K sent this update on Paul, whose real name is Josh Saviano.



Friday, March 06, 2009

You Are Separated at Birth

Here are a some birth separations, courtesy of loyal readers.

First, crooner Neil Diamond and public television stalwart Charlie Rose. This suggestion comes from the K-Man, who loves Neil Diamond because of his connection to Fenway Park and loves Charlie Rose because it's required at the school where he studies.

Next, from Cha Cha Pitoulas of New Orleans, we have disgraced financier Robert Sanford and disgraced actor Dabney Coleman. They both used to work 9 to 5.

And from K-Don, we have Styx singer Tommy Shaw and Spaceballs' Prince Valium, as played by Jim J. Bullock. Look for Jim J. Bullock in an upcoming installment of the NaturalBlog's where-are-they-now series, "Dead or Alive."


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Alyssa Milano knows how to write

Alyssa Milano -- my first-ever TV crush (so long as you don't count Inspector Gadget's niece Penny) -- is out with a book about baseball.

Deadspin has some excerpts, including the part where she goes over the rumors that she's dated enough pitchers to form a formidable rotation and a catcher to boot:
Carl Pavano — Yes. Tom Galvine — No. Barry Zito — Yes. Josh Beckett — God, no (although I do think he is an amazing pitcher). Brad Penny — Yes. Russell Martin — No.
I wonder why Beckett got a "God, no." Three of those guys are on the Red Sox, for whatever that's worth.

I don't know that there's much more to say here except that when I was a kid I could never figure out if Tony was safe or out in the opening from Who's the Boss. Upon reflection he looks out.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How blonde is too blonde

My favorite of the almost-first daughters (though she might place second to the Gore girls), unemployed blogger Meghan McCain laments about her love life in her latest column for The Daily Beast.

"Of all the things people warned would happen post-election, no one ever said anything about how complicated dating would become," she writes. "Especially if your dad loses the election."

She also writes about finding pro-Obama stuff on the facebook pages of potential dates:
When I see this type of information I immediately start thinking: How liberal is this person? Do they know I am Republican spawn, against everything that this person believed in during the last election? How important is politics to this person? When I find my father’s face staring back at me on a potential date's Facebook page I am equally put off. I don’t want to see my father’s picture near any picture of a guy I am attracted to, especially if we haven’t even had dinner yet.
Suffice it to say, talking politics would be the last thing I'd want to do with Meghan McCain.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Jobs I Would Mind

The NaturalBlog has many gimmicks -- Separated at Birth, Long Overdue Props, Jobs I Wouldn't Mind. But never has there been a gimmick that generated its own spinoff. Until today. I'm pleased to present Jobs I Would Mind, which is to Jobs I Wouldn't Mind as charm is to strange.

Which job is distasteful enough to to warrant first place on this list: The dude who goes around to the grocery store and does all the shopping for people who use Peapod or other online grocery delivery services. There's probably a shorter name for this, but I don't know what it is.

I can't imagine anything worse than scouring dozens of cottage cheeses searching for the right combination of brand, size and fat content. I'm such a bad shopper even when I'm buying for myself. I can't imagine what a train wreck it would be if I were buying for someone else.


Monday, March 02, 2009

From Alaska to the not-so-Virgin Islands.

I heard a radio ad the other night for the Ashley Madison dating service. Every dating service needs something to make it stand out, and Ashley Madison's claim to fame is that it caters to people who are married and want to have an affair. Their slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." No joke.