Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I wanted to be with you alone...

Take a gander at this pic, taken in New York City last week and uploaded to a geeky web site.

These are called mammatus clouds, and weather-types say they sometimes form after a thunderstorm. That's the nerdy science explanation. I suspect this is another meteorological sign that end times are near.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

I will add my voice to the multimedia zeitgeist that awkwardly memorializes singer/pedophile Michael Jackson. What can I say that hasn't been said?

He was Bad. He liked Pretty Young Things. He was a Smooth Criminal. I guess that about covers it.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

These are tears of laughter, Governor

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford did his best to make this blog the fool, after my post yesterday touting the oft-reported story he disappeared for a five-day hike to clear his head. Turns out he was in Argentina, tending to an extramarital affair.

He apologized yesterday to South Carolinians of faith, as well as regular-old heathen South Carolinians, too. "I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina," he said, obviously forgetting the wise words of Eva Peron.

And now, on to the highlight of e-mails he exchanged with his mystery lady, as detailed by the Columbia newspaper, The State.

I'll present it without comment, letting the governor's prose speak for itself.
I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light — but hey, that would be going into the sexual details.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I could use a couple days off, too

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is due back in his office today, about a week after disappearing.

Following the bruising legislative session, Sanford (seen measuring something at right) apparently drove his SUV to a trailhead and went for a hike on the Appalachain Trail. He didn't tell his staff where he was, nor his wife, and he wasn't home for Father's Day.

It remains unclear who was running the state in Sanford's absence, but as a former South Carolina resident, I can say that no government might be better than the one that exists there.

UPDATE: Sanford was apparently in Argentina, not hiking the AT. What is he, moonlighting as a Nazi hunter?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And ladies, please lower it

I spotted this a while back in the non-gender specific bathroom at a bar in Cambridge. I don't know why, but I find it very entertaining.

Bonus points if you can name the bar.


Monday, June 22, 2009

LaRussa, of course, is an Esquire

The Wall Street Journal's sports department crunched some numbers last week to answer the age old question: Which baseball team is the brightest?

Using a formula that gave points based on the number of players who attended college and the number who graduated, the Journal determined the A's are the smartest team, followed by a three-way tie among the Rays, D-Backs, and Red Sox.

Here's the full list.

The Journal also found that just 26 major league managers or players had graduated from college. That finding aside, I think the most surprising thing here is that the Wall Street Journal has a sports writer.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Business? Oh, I've mastered it

Businesses sometimes use flow charts to help workers find answers to problems. Here's one I've been working on.

There you go. Now you have the equivalent of an MBA.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

I know the feeling

Here's a pic I snapped in the factory where I work. Please forgive the low lighting. Hopefully you can make out the Diet Pepsi and prescription pills that were left in a hallway.

I've had a tough week, but these are not mine.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is not a joke

At the risk of turning this into tattoo week on the NaturalBlog, I want to pass along this item sent to me by one of my original readers, 8greensneakers.

Take a look at this poor English girl on the right. She says she asked for just three star tattoos on her face, but ended up with 56 of them after she fell asleep in the tattoo artist's chair. "I look like a bloody freak," she told the British tabloid The Sun.

But there are two sides to every sad tattoo story. The artist who inked her up, Romanian Toumaniantz, says she was awake the whole time and only complained after her boyfriend and father made a fuss. I tend to believe ol' Romanian. I mean, would this face lie?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Another reason that I'm looking forward to football season: The antics of wide receiver Ocho Cinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson.

This combustible Bengal is not the kind of guy I should like, but for some reason I do. The latest reason being these face tattoos, which may or may not be from a Cracker Jack box.

The one one the right is supposed to be the state of Florida, but I thought it was a firearm at first. I guess it's better to keep your gun on your face than in your sweatpants.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Don't act like you're not impressed

This is a picture from a street near Raleigh, N.C.

Unfortunately for artists everywhere, doing this to construction barrels is a crime, and the NC State student behind it has been charged with a misdemeanor.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sure seems like a sport to me

A long time ago, New York City's Times Square used to allow cars. And back in that ancient time, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and the pit crew for his No. 83 car put on this show:

Two notes here. First, that car had headlights, meaning it wasn't the actual one that they race. And second, a 20-second pit stop would easily lose Vickers 10 spots in a race.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So good, so good, so good

There was a recent time that it would not be noteworthy for David Ortiz to hit a home run. But given his slowing batspeed and paltry production, an Ortiz homer is now something to celebrate.

That it came against the Yankees at Fenway last night is just gravy.

Don't look now, but Ortiz in the last week is batting .316 with 6 RBI and just 4 Ks. Must be the hot sauce.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Is this it for Clark?

The jury is out on Clark Rockefeller, the pathological liar who claimed to be from Boston's high society but is now accused of kidnapping his daughter Snooks last summer.

I don't mean that the jury is out figuratively. I mean literally, a jury in Suffolk Superior Court is weighing whether he'll go to jail for absconding with his daughter to Baltimore. The defense claims insanity, and they've sure got the data to back it up. Here's a short list of his aliases:
Charles "Chip" Smith, Christian Gerhart Reiter, Christopher Crowe, Chip McLaughlin, and Christopher Mountbatten Chinchester.
And here's a short list of claims he made, as reported either in court or in this exhaustive Vanity Fair article:
  • He speaks Klingon.
  • He has a $1b art collection.
  • He plays the didgeridoo.
  • He was mute after a childhood fall, until seeing a dog at age 10 and breaking his silence with, "Woofness."

In short, this guy is awesome. How could any jury in the world convict? The bad news, as reported in today's Boston Herald, is that even if he hoodwinks this collection of his peers, he's likely to be deported to his native Germany on a greencard violation.

And that's to say nothing of the potential murder charges he faces in California.


Monday, June 08, 2009

Automotive Gears

You know what really grinds my gears?

Crappy convertibles.

Why have a convertible if it people are going to laugh at your car? Mrs. N-B and I saw a '92 Cavalier convertible this weekend, and it really ground my gears.

I understand that there's a great draw to feeling the wind blow through your toupee while you sing along to Jon Secada's greatest hit(s?), but really -- shouldn't there be a limit to the ridicule you're willing to endure?


Friday, June 05, 2009

Keep 'em Separated (at Birth)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the latest installment of a NaturalBlog staple, Separated at Birth.

Leading off, let's go with Sacha Baron Cohen in his role as Ali G and Mike Maddux in his role as Texas Rangers pitching coach. My friend at SportsCracklePop flagged the Maddux picture, and I did the rest. This resemblance is downright creepy. Are we being punk'd by Maddux?

Next we pair Dom DeLuise (RIP) and chef Paul Prudhomme. I've always gotten these two confused, thanks to their larger-than-life personalities and similar taste in headwear. It's easier to tell them apart lately, though, since only one of them is alive.

That's football writer Peter King on the left. On the right is George Wendt as barfly Norm Peterson from Cheers. Now I know what you're going to say -- I think all fat people look alike. Not so. Just those two above, and these two here.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

D. Patrick on D. Patrick

I've been meaning to make fun of Indy Car driver Danica Patrick for a while now, mainly because of her ridiculous sponsorship deal with the web registration site GoDaddy.com. Who is advising Patrick that she should be doing these low-brow ads, even as she shills for Samsonite luggage? It just doesn't make any sense.

But now she's gone and done something I can admire, which is give an honest answer to a journalist. According to the enjoyable Gawker property Jalopnik, Danica Patrick was surprisingly candid when asked by Dan Patrick, "If you could take a performance-enhancing drug and not get caught, would you do it if it allowed you to win Indy?"

Her answer: "Well, then it's not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?"

Not bad, but she's still only my second-favorite Danica.

What sort of performancing-enhancing drug helps a driver, anyway? I usually rely on a Diet Coke and a Snickers when I'm on a long drive.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A solstice of sorts

This is a picture from Manhattan that I ripped off from The New York Times' very enjoyable City Room Blog. It's the sun setting through the canyon of the city.

Usually, the sun hits Manhattan at an angle, but twice a year it's just right. The next one is July 10-11.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Proving once again that no one looks good on a Segway

I felt a twinge of excitement this week when I saw some coverage of Tom Brady's return to practice with the New England Patriots, following last season's injury.

The LA Times reported that Brady's knee is healing better than expected. Brady's doctor reportedly said Brady "exceeded what I thought he was going to be able to do, and I was expecting big things from him." Though I don't know if he can duplicate the statistical domination of the 2007 season, I do look forward to him picking apart secondaries across the league later this year.

This post would be incomplete if I didn't make fun of Mr. Wonderful, so please enjoy these pictures, one old (left) and the other more recent (right).

It's good to see that he's started wearing a helmet.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Postcard from Ireland

I don't want to dwell on my vacation last month to Ireland, but I did want to share this video I shot with my camera in the Burren. This little flower wages a war against a stiff breeze. Note: This is in real time, not sped up.