Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is it a sign of the season?

I snapped this picture earlier this week in Brookline, Mass. I was taken by its starkness -- the juxtaposition of the signs, the bleak fall sky, the tree that's already given up for the year.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

D-bags jump the shark

The New York Times ran a front-page story over the weekend about the latest "it" word -- douchebag. The Times asked the anti-free speech group Parents Television Council to count how many times you hear it in primetime. The answer: 76 times this year.

Missing from the story was any mention of what a douchebag is literally or figuratively, making the article a little dry for my taste

Suffice it to say, this little piece of journalism will certainly spell the end of the popularity of douche. Might I suggest a related replacement: Colostomy bag, c-bag for short.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Klassic Klempson

Though this typo is more the fault of the tattooist than the tattooee, I still do enjoy making fun of Clemson.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Long Overdue Props: 325i

These props are so long overdue, they're old enough to drink. Behold! The 1988 BMW 325i convertible in red.

I caution you -- Don't look directly at it. It's too beautiful. Look to the side. Appreciate it from the corner of your eye.

I'm not sure why this car titillates me so. Maybe its the unrepenting angles of the frame in such contrast to the signature round headlamps. Perhaps it's that beautiful color. Maybe it's just the BMW mystique. Whatever the reason, enjoy these props no matter how long overdue they are, 1988 BMW 325i.

P.S. I understand that one of my occasional readers owns this model of BMW. What a great holiday gift for your old pal N-B.

P.P.S. There are 17 other entries in the Long Overdue Props series. You should read some of them.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deepak Chopra tones it down

I caught mind-body medicine guru Deepak Chopra on CNN's American Morning the other day doing whatever it is that Deepak Chopra does when he's on TV.

I was going to write a little item imploring him to tone down his personal sytle, until I realized that he already has.

That's him in 2007 on the left, with a gaudier version of Kellie Martin's glasses from Life Goes On. The right-hand pic is from this year. Still gaudy, but quite understated in comparison.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apologies to Johnny Damon

Back in December 2005, when this blog was in its infancy and still quite funny, I made a bold prediction about Johnny Damon's four-year contract with the Yankees. Here's what I had to say at the time:
[H]e's a hobbled 32-year-old, unable to make a strong throw from center to the cut-off man.... [T]his signing will hurt for about 18 months, when Johnny will live up to his $13 million average annual take in New York. But after that, he'll just be another unmovable overpaid declining New York Yankee.
So now four years have passed, and I owe the man an apology. The Boston Globe ran the figures and found that there was no decline in skill in the last four years.

He had 299 RBIs in four years with the Sox, 296 with the Yanks. A .362 OBP with the Sox, .363 with the Yanks. Stole 98 bases for the Sox, 93 with the Yanks. He was caught stealing 21 times for both teams. Hit into 22 double plays for both teams.

Sorry, Johnny. But you still throw like a girl.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comcast can suck it

The Boston Globe was out last week with its list of the 100 best employers in the region, and it gave first place to Comcast for its generous compensation and friendly managers.

"The underlying principle is simple: Happy employees make happy customers," the paper happily intones.

Let me be the first to call bullshit. Every Comcast worker I've had the misfortune of dealing with was as surly as they were uninterested in helping me. I'm a patient guy, but even I lost it with a customer service rep on the phone.

If Comcast is the No. 1 employer in the region, I can only imagine how bad the bottom tier must be.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Sad Naturalblog

I was prepared to post a Sad Peyton (or Sad Tom) picture this morning, after the much-hyped matchup of the two great QBs last night in Indianapolis. But I'm calling an audible and going with a Sad Bill.

I don't think I'll ever understand why he would go for it on fourth and two from his own 28. Enjoy your undefeated season, Colts.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Calendar math

Have you noticed there are a ton of birthdays this time of year? Facebook lists them for me, and it's averaged two or three a day, all week.

I wondered why, and Mrs. N-B offered the most logical answer: Mid-November birthday minus nine months equals Valentine's Day baby.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm a conservationist, really

You may be familiar with the laws of conservation of matter and energy, which say the total amount of matter and energy in a closed system is constant.

I'd like to offer my own twist on the concept: The Law of Conservation of Crazy. In short, my new theorem states that the amount of craziness in a closed system (say, your life) at any given moment is always the same.

Replace a crazy landlady, get a crazy boss. Ditch the crazy boss, unearth a crazy neighbor. It happens without fail. I'd sum it up this way:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This woman can't hold her booze

If you watch cable news, then you've probably already seen this video of a woman cheating death -- drunkenly falling six-plus feet onto the tracks of a subway train in Boston. If you haven't seen it, click away:

She's identified as 26-year-old Sophia Hartdegen of Cambridge.

She said she had four 22-ounce beers before her fall around 10:30 p.m. last Friday. Not bad, I guess. Her LinkedIn page says her job is as a Neuroprotective Research Coordinator. I'm not sure what that means, but perhaps she studies the effect of alcohol on brain cells.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wait a minute -- that's Lois?

I caught part of Fox's Sunday night special "Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" the other night. I'll leave whether or not it was funny to the pros. Instead I'll focus my comments on something far more superficial -- how the people behind the voices of my favorite Family Guy characters actually look.

First, Alex Borstein. She is pretty much nothing like I expected Lois to look. Where's the red hair? The sensible outfit? The perfectly triangular nose?

And Seth MacFarlane. His face is so plastic and his makeup so thick, he looks like he belongs at Madame Tussaud's wax museum, not the wholesome confines of Quahog, R.I. Sidebar: I think his default voice is closest to Tom Tucker.
His costar


Monday, November 09, 2009

My house is divided against itself

I faced Mrs. N-B in the Ahmedinejad Flyers fantasy football league this week, and our battle for first (we were both 7-1 coming into the game) will come down to Monday Night Football.

Her squad, the Bradydaddys, is nursing a 6.62 point lead with no players left to go. My team, Bollinger's Bombers, needs a TD from Hines Ward to seal the win. If he doesn't get it on the first drive, it looks like I'll be staying up past my bedtime tonight.

This is as good a place as any to say that this matchup comes on the week of our third anniversary and the week of this blog's fourth birthday.

That's right -- in 2005 I conceived a blog out of wedlock.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Can't fail business plan

I think they should make barber's aprons in white instead of black. That when you looked down after a haircut, you'd say, "Look who much dark hair I have" instead of lamenting the grey.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Good seats still remain

What are you up to on Friday? Nothing? Then you should head out to Springfield, Mass., for what's being billed as a "much-anticipated boxing event."

In one corner, you've got Jose Canseco, ready to "silence one of his critics -— the hard way," according to the promotional e-mail Mrs. N-B received. He'll box Todd Poulton of Pittsfield, Mass.

And if that isn't enough, you've got Rodney King stepping into the squared circle to fight Marty Feldman, who's touted as a "Pennsylvania boxing legend." I guess King has given up on just trying to get along.

If these guys pass for the big draw, imagine the quality of celebrity on the undercard.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Separated at Birth

NaturalBlog returns to its roots today, with a very special Separated at Birth. New readers should check out this feature's spacious archives.

Here are Bill Nye the Science Guy and Matthew Lesko the question mark guy. Bill Nye is beloved by children and nerds alike for teaching science. Matthew Lesko is an author who will teach you how to get free government money. This pairing came to me when I was dressed as Lesko for Halloween and somebody said, "Who are you? Bill Nye?"

By popular request, here is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and BJ Novak, the fictional Ryan Howard of NBC's The Office. The similarities here are pretty clear. Both are/were bearded. Both are/were understudies. Neither has taken his team to the playoffs.

Here's my first-ever pairing of web sites. Here's the newly redesigned and the old grey lady of the web, Somehow, the NYT's corporate attorneys have yet to contact WBUR about its "homage." The resolution at right is a little small, so check out those links.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Facebook continues to evolve, but do I?

Facebook has undergone its biannual renovation, and my review is mixed. My already overwhelming feed of friends' updates now contains a note every time they make a new friend, join a group, or brush their teeth.

The thing I like the most is the revamped suggestion box on the right.

I can't remember the last time someone encouraged me to poke a tree. Thanks, facebook.