Friday, December 19, 2008

Charter Cable: Fool me twice, shame on me

So the memory of the last run in with Charter Cable faded enough for me to try again to set up broadband access at a secondary residence.

Note to the world: Never, ever, involve yourself with Charter Cable if there is any alternative. And I mean any. Starbucks usurious broadband fees look positively welcoming in comparison..

This time the issue was much the same as last. Call into customer service—a term Charter takes very lightly. Set up another appointment to install broadband internet access. Withstand a barrage of upselling/cross selling attempts. Do we want 256 digital stereo music channels? Sorry no. Just broadband. I set myself up as an authorized user on the account, complete with pin number and all sorts of legalities involving verbal agreement with the account holder who was on the horn with me and Charter lady. Check, check, check

Set up the appointment for the holidays.

Last night, sensing a need to reconfirm, Call into "customer service" to check the work order and the charges we had discussed. Once again, after long waits, the rep has no record of my account holder status. No record of what the charges would be. Nothing. In what I suspected would be a futile attempt to fix the situation, I ask for the supervisor. She was surly right off the bat. I try to cancel the installation. No can do! Have to talk to someone else for that.

Take the night off to cool down. Call into Charter this morning. Navigate moronic voice mail system. Get into automated appointment queue. Turns out there is a way to confirm an appointment automatically but to cancel, you have to talk to a CSR—you got it—the dread "Customer service rep. More hold time.

This person tells me I need to talk to yet another person. I do so. Appointment is allegedly canceled.

Here's betting that the install guy shows up anyway.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trains, planes & (hybrid) automobiles

The spectacle of Detroit's Big Three auto execs road-tripping from Detroit to D.C. in their respective hybrids is too rich.

Ford's Alan Mulally, choking on his quote about his own $21-million-plus salary being "okay" where it is, was the first to try to wring lemonade out of lemons. He would make the supreme sacrifice of driving the return trek to D.C. in a Ford Escape hybrid. Quite a come down from the (separate) private jets he and his GM and Chrysler comrades used last time out.

Then Chrysler and GM CEOs were shamed into following suit. Good God men! If you're going to abase yourselves--and well you should after the stunt you pulled you've done--why not go all out? Carpooling is the only way to go. Oh, i know the negotiations over who's crappy hybrid to take would be endless. My suggestion? Prius. That would be some penance.

A friend and I were jawing over who could star in this high-concept comedy: Little Petey suggested Clint Eastwood for one of the CEOs. Hmmm. Must think on that. Frank Langella? Check. We were unanimous on Fred Willard as the third. Rule of thumb: Cast Fred Willard in anything. And everything.

Backup to Clint, if he's too stern: Martin Mull. See above rule. It applies to Mull too.

Related question: When can we officially stop referring to Ford, Chrysler, and GM as the Big Three?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Itty bitty GOP

David Frum's article in the NYT maggie foretold a lot of what happened Tuesday. And hopefully the trend will continue.

The fact that the McCain operatives (or perhaps even other Republicans) have the long knives out for Sarah Palin may mean that the party will broaden beyond the right wingers that hold it hostage. Or, more likely, the party will blame McCain for being not conservative enough, and continue their nutty rush to the bottom.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Repub for Obama

Heard Bill Weld, former Republican governor of our fair state, on the radio today endorsing Obama. It was a great Weldian quote, reminiscent of how truly likable he was before he got all weird: Running for another term, winning it, only to apply immediately for another gig, divorcing his world-class wife for what appeared to be a twinkie. You know. The usual.

Today's money quote: "I've had about as much fun with Republican orthodoxy as I can stand."

This was the same Weld who jumped into the not-very-clean-yet Charles to prove how clean it was. Forcing other, less charismatic and fun pols to follow suit, much to their chagrin. The one who used to declare his unambiguous affection for strong, amber liquids.

What a guy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It makes you long for FOX

So TBS has managed to not air the first half hour of the Red Sox-Devil Rays game. Geez, good thing it's not important.

This is why post-season baseball should be on a real network. Maybe even (yipes!) FOX!

The reason: The hamsters on the wheel in Atlanta were on strike.

Good thing WRKO was online.

And yes, they're still the Devil Rays to some.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs

Levi Stubbs has passed away at 72.

The Four Tops were the best of Motown. That group even made the words "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" sound really good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A triple threat (to the ladies)

One fact stuck out from this labored report about South African leadership.
Jacob Zuma, the head of the African National Congress, is "a polygamist, widower and divorcee."

Oh, and he's been charged with rape.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Like a match to kerosene

How is it that our president (even the phrase "our president" brings shudders) manages to make matters worse when he reassures us? Everything this guy does is like a match to kerosene. So maybe he should just stop. Everything. Now.

Friday, October 3, 2008

He must be grading on a curve

CNN helpfully posted a report card after the vice presidential debates. Five pundits, some recognizable, did the grading. Some were partisan--is it really fair to have Paul Begala weighing in? That is SOOOO neutral. Of the five graders, only one, David Gergen, gave both Biden and Palin an A.

Way to keep your future career options open, Dave.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cubs b-ball

Love to watch NL ball, which I don't do often.

Man, this Zambrano guy's gonna blow. It's like you can hear the tick,tick,tick as this rocky 2nd inning continues.

And guess who's on deck? Manny Ramirez, who appears to have remembered how to run out hits since moving to LA.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

For the love of all things holy, please SHUT UP

Man, is it possible that the TBS baseball commentators are worse than the FOX doofuses? It can't be, but this guy Buck Martinez is setting verbal spew records.

Just because it can be said, doesn't mean it should be said. Ah, right, the mute button!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who's on first? Or why we love Jerry Remy.

A snippet from the on-air commentary from tonight's Red Sox game.

Don Orsillo: I think the Bruins are playing the Redwings tonight.

Jerry Remy: Oh. Are they on NESN?

Don Orsillo: No. We're on NESN.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The last game

The whole last-game-at-Yankee-Stadium thing got me. The ESPN lovefest continues apace. How can anyone not enjoy seeing Whitey Ford (who looks fantastic) and Yogi Berra (who just is fantastic) on the telly and watch them chewing the fat w/ Joe Morgan and Jon Miller? (Admittedly, most of this was pantomime –the hotel bar turned up the sound for the Green Bay-Cowboys game but not for the end of a baseball era. So be it.)

Still, as a Red Sox fan who can't quite hate Johnny Damon even after his move south, it was a thrill to see him hit what might have been the last home run in the old yard. (Very short term: It lasted till Molina's next at bat.)

Back to the room and a TV with audible audio. Wait, maybe it's better without sound. Jon Miller, normally the best on air baseball guy-- mentioned how some people refer to Jason Giambi as "the Giambino." Ack. He CANNOT be SERIOUS!

OTOH, it was a pleasure to hear Reggie Jackson in the booth. The guy may rub many the wrong way, but he's no dope. He got in a gentle tussle with Joe Morgan who said Reggie deserved his own penthouse in the Yankee hall of fame. Reggie maintained that a special space should also be reserved for Paul O'Neill, scott Brosius, and several other former Yanks

Said Reggie: "I'll be the first one to say how great I was but for me to succeed in the post season" it was because of the Dick Greens, Catfish Hunters, Bert Campanerises, Craig Nettles and Bucky Dents of the world.

He again cited Brosius and Paul O'Neill as great teammates who had great character—things that don't always show up in stats.

And, in his opinion, Mariano Rivera ranks as one of the top five Yankees ever. He also mentioned Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Dimaggio. Did he leave himself off the list? Got a phone call so don't know.

Some of the footage was precious. Don Larson (Don LARSON!) scooping up dirt from the mound while Whitey looked on. Players acting like kids at the end, jumping to get into group shots.

The place was lousy with celebs. What would a Yankees game be without yet another superfluous view of Rudy G's white-and-sour mug? Richard Gere and Spike Lee. Matthew Modine??? Oh, and Bernie Williams.

Conspicuous by his absence was the disgraced Roger Clemens. Was he ever mentioned on air? Guessing not.

I grew up going to both New York parks with my dad. The Press Only sign posted off one ramp at Yankee Stadium piqued a life-long ambitioun to see what went on in such places. And now both buildings will be gone. It really is much sadder than expected

Monday, August 18, 2008

Someone had to say it...

And someone finally did.

The Tim Russert post mortems were way, way, WAY over the top. Thank God for old crabs like Lewis Latham

Any reporter who gets a state funeral was most assuredly not doing everything right. And nice to see, in an era of mass layoffs among professional journalists that Russert's kid get a plum job .... based on what exactly??

Best comment on Gawker:

"Lapham's right. The two people who must show up at a reporter's funeral are his bartender and the guy he pissed off the least at work. More than that and you wonder if he was doing his job. Can you imagine the state funeral that Larry King will get?"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Manny season

Is Manny an idiot savant or the anti-christ?

Say what you will about Manny Ramirez--and it's all been said--the man can sum it up. Commenting on the latest scuffle with Red Sox management, Ramirez said: "They're tired of me, I'm tired of them."

Everyone was screaming for Manny's dreadlocked head until he went three-for-five, bashing a couple of doubles against the Yanks (oh, and ran through a stop sign to score). Then the crowd was in his pocket again.

Face it, this happens like clockwork every year. The sun rises, the sun sets, and Manny decides he wants to leave Boston. Then he goes on a tear.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unbifurcated male garments

This mailman wants to wear a kilt, er, make that an unbifurcated male garment(aka MUG). So what's the problem?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A-rod vs. Mantle

Alex Rodriguez passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time homerun list today.

ESPN guy summed it up Saturday night: A-rod has now surpassed MM in many categories--home runs, batting average, something like six offensive categories in all. And he's done this in 400 less games than Mantle. But then again, as EPSN guy pointed out, The Mick owned seven World Series rings.

"Thank you and good night," he said.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why Long Island rocks

Two bankrobbers evaded capture--for awhile--by strewing cash out of their getaway car. On the Hempstead Turnpike no less.

For-real money quote:

"Ceaser, 44, of Westbury, said he saw money flying out of the car, believed to be a Nissan Altima.

He and colleague Pete Hadjispyrou, 60, stopped working, ran into the middle of Hempstead Turnpike and started grabbing money while the car pulled into the hospital's emergency entrance.

"Fives, tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds," Ceaser said. "I had at least three grand in my hands. That was the most shocking thing I've seen in a while.""

Full Newsday story here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Odd courtesies

The other day a car coming in the opposite direction flashed its lights. It was daytime, my lights weren't on, there was some puzzlement. And then about 10 seconds later, there he was: The speed trap cop. Just waiting. On a lovely summer day in a relatively tony section of Newton.

In this increasingly hostile world--the other driver would probably flip me off as soon as look at me in slightly different circumstances--total strangers will still band together against The Man.

There's something oddly comforting in that.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celts resurgent

That the Celtics are back in the finals (and are now up by six against the Lakers in game two) is nearly inconceivable to a lapsed fan.

The Bill Russell and Kevin Garnett one-on-one on ESPN. If this doesn't move you, not sure what will.

After moving to Boston in the early 80s, I became a Celtics fan. There was really no choice. This was the Bird-McHale-Parrish-DJ-Maxwell era.

Some personal snapshots from the memory bank.

*Playing Pacman, drinking at Satch's on Stanhope Street with Satch Sanders himself holding court. Sometimes KC Jones played piano. Well.

*Cedric Maxwell (resplendent in his Celtics green satin jacket) at Strawberry's in the Back Bay, rifling through the album racks. I seem to remember him wearing Walkman headphones but was that pre-Walkman?

*Larry Bird reacting to a fan's sign, agreeing that, in fact "Moses does eat shit."

*The whole office following the 1986 victory parade to City Hall, where a love-struck editorial assistant snuck into the no-access area and was touched by Bird on his way on stage. She said he took her by the shoulders and removed her out of his path. Nicely, but forcefully. She didn't shower for weeks.

*Boston fans demanding that the hated 76ers "Beat LA" when it became clear that Philadelphia would win the east. (The "Beat LA" chant seems to have displaced "Yankees Suck" mantra at Fenway at least lately. Give it time.)

It's now 96-75 Celtics. Lots of close-ups of Kobe who looks bemused. Leon Powe, formerly a homeless person (as ABC keeps reminding us) is having the night of his life for the Cs.

Other memories: Riding the Westin's up escalator on Election night in (what was it? 1984?) wearing a Mondale button. K.C. Jones is coming down the other side. He sees the button, shakes his head sadly and says: "Keep the faith."

*Another escalator encounter, this time at SFO several years later. Bill Russell is coming up as I go down. He assumes the 1000-mile-stare. He doesn't want to be acknowledged. So be it.

*Fast forward to a few years ago: Bill Russell returns to the Garden to see his number retired and be properly feted at long last. There was some bad blood but all was forgiven. Bird was there. Dr. J. Wilt Chamberlain! Walton. Less impressively, Bryant Gumbel and Bill Cosby. But still. Breathtaking. A friend--a Boston lifer--took me and it was clear that he, like the bulk of those there were awestruck.

It's a great time to be a Boston fan. There's an embarassment of riches and the yahoos are already unbearably obnoxious. One of the great things is that the various athletes from different sports support each other. It's a richer version of high school. Tonight, Curt Schilling, Big Papi, Richard Seymour, are all at the new Garden in appropriate attire.

Whoa, it's now a four point game. How did that happen? Lesson: never underestimate Kobewankenobe.

The Celts manage to hold on. Huge relief.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Watertown blogger MIA

Where is H20town?

One of the first local blogs was dedicated to Watertown. (Watertown, Mass. as opposed to Watertown, New York or one of the dozens of other Watertowns nationwide.) It was created by Lisa Williams, a former Yankee Group analyst, and became a public water cooler for politicians and just plain ol' citizens to sound off, ask questions, convene.

If Mt. Auburn Street was blocked off last night and you didn't have time to check out why, you'd ask on H20town and nine times out of ten, you'd get an informed response. There was stuff up there that was never in the local Watertown Tab and completely out of bounds for the Globe. It didn't hurt that the Watertown political scene has more than its share of kooks and Ms. Williams sat in on most of the town council meetings. At least she watched the cable access version, which very few others had the intestinal fortitude to do.

Luckily the Tab started picking up tips and stories from H20town.

Sadly, Williams has been gone for awhile and she is missed. She's doing Placeblogger now. But the H20town faithful wanna know "What about US???"Here's an interview with Ms. Williams from last year.

Money quote:
"The thing about local life is that, at least here in the US, most places are basically comic operas with real estate taxes."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eternal q

Why do people insist on crossing railroad tracks when the gates are down?

It seems to happen a lot.

I don't get it.

Memorial Day

Took a long walk today, down to the Square to do some errands, grab some coffee and check out the annual Memorial Day parade.

It's a cool little parade. ALl the regulars were there: Hibernians? Check. Amvets? Check. VFW? Check. WWII POW? Check. Crazy city counselor? (townies know the one I mean.) Check. Bagpipers? Check.

One question: What's the Memorial Day significance of the fat kids on mini motorcycles and itty-bitty cars?

Some photos from Teddy's blog here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Celtics' golden oldie

One of the best things (aside from the obvious) about the Celtics making it back to the eastern championship finals vs. the Pistons is the continual reruns of Robert Parish pile-driving Bill Laimbeer to the floor in 1987.

Not to be a goon, but that truly was a great moment.

Video is embedded here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jason's golden thong

In New York this Subway Series weekend, this story was the talk of the town.

The New York Daily News headline: You're wearing WHAT??

Giambi was two for four with a homer Saturday against the Mets so the thong might be at work. But the Yanks lost 7-4.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No love for Babwa Wawa

If The Wall Street Journal is any indication, Barbara Walter's autobiography (Audition) is not getting the love.

Money quote:

"Ms. Walters has interviewed many frightening individuals (Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi, Tom Cruise) and every U.S. president from Nixon on. She is an eyewitness to history, but then so was Forrest Gump."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Best Boston view in town

If you want the best view of Boston from around Boston, check out the Tavern at the Quarry Hill Golf Course in Quincy.

There's a patio near the bar so you can stare at the city at sunset. Only negative is the broadcast tower.

The old quarries played a pivotal role in The Departed, but you wouldn't recognize them from this place. A betting person would wager that some of Whitey Bulger's old buddies ended up in those holes.

The developers apparently cut a sweet deal to haul off Big Dig rubble to fill in some of the 26 granite quarries, leaving others intact. Rumor has it not only did they get the actual landfill free, they may have been paid to haul it away. Doubly sweet. The Tavern stands at the lip of one of the pits so you can stare out past that at the skyline.

My buddy spent his child hood sneaking into the old quarries and diving from ungodly heights. He said other kids did the same but didn't survive. His dad, the fire chief, had to fish people out all the time and promised hellfire if his kids were caught up there.

Funny thing, my buddy said, was all the kids he used to see there were sons of firemen and cops. "We all should've known better."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lead Sox No More

Here's a factoid to raise eyebrows: The Red Sox had 21 straight successful stolen bases going into tonight's game.

21. Bases. Stolen.

In a row.

The phrase "Running Red Sox" no longer drips with sarcasm.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Clemens opts for Giambi defense


Roger Clemens is sorry.

He's not saying for what, exactly. It isn't for sleeping with an underage girl, because he insists he didn't do that. Nor is he sorry for taking steroids or HGH. Because he didn't do that either.

Glad that's settled.

Roger Clemens is indeed sorry.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Can you say demagoguery?

Hillary Clinton and John McCain, with the proposed gas tax respite, have proved beyond any doubt that they will do anything to get elected. No matter how craven.

And Thomas Friedman, despite his really, really bad initial call on Iraq has it right this time .

Here's hoping Obama will resist the huge pressure to cave on this. So far, he's hanging tough.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There goes the judge

The recent 60 Minutes interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia was eye opening on many fronts.

First, when did Leslie Stahl morph from a pit bull into a gushing school girl reporter?

These weren't even softball questions: They were valentines lobbed his way. Stahl could easily sub in for one of the local sports "reporters" whose questions tend to be along the lines of "Gee, Jon Lester, how awesome were you in hurling your two hitter tonight?"

Such questions must be the price paid for what CBS billed as a "remarkably candid" interview. Did they mention that the Justice has a book to sell? ALso it's great to be remarkably candid when confronted with your perfect straight-A school days and other evidence of your flawless intellect.

More importantly, was the judge, who's noted for a fierce intellect who seemed much more a semanticist.

He challenged the notion that torture is "cruel and unusual punishment." His retort: "Has anyone referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so."

(The interview is here. Click on part 1 of the interview, about 13 minutes in.)


"Hurting him to get information is not punishing him."

Bet the guy getting waterboarded would beg to differ. Probably literally.

Scalia is the perfect judge for the Bush regime: Just keep saying something loud enough and long enough and it must be true.

But say Scalia, parsing his words, is technically correct. Further, allow that punishment is aimed at teaching transgressors a lesson and so is reserved for post conviction imprisonment: Then you have to be found guilty in order to be punished.

One small problem: None of these people seem to be getting a real trial. We're torturing non-convicted people who may never come to trial and so never get convicted. Given that, the prosecutors/investigators are getting their licks in now.

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart weighed in on this and on Scalia's comment that people should "get over" the Bush-Gore Supreme Court finding because it's so "old already."

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yeah,yeah, healthier. But how will it taste?

Sign of the times: Kelly's Roast Beef, home of the area's best greasy-but-delicious fried clams is eliminating trans fats.

If you want your artery-clogging hydrogenated cooking oils, you better start avoiding your major emtro areas. Boston is joining NY, Philly and Brookline, Boston's always self-satisfied neighbor, in banning their use starting in September.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

First Fenway pitch will bring chills

When Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner hinted that the mystery guest throwing out today's first pitch at Fenway would bring chills to spectators, there were two immediate guesses:

One: Ted Williams' head

Two: Bill Bucker.

Speaking as one of the millions scarred by the 1986 Series, I never held it against Buckner. He hit a a ton even though he could barely walk. He should never have been left in the game for the infamous grounder. There were lots of facets to that loss.

Contrary to myth, Buckner got a warm ovation from the gazillions at the Boston parade for the near-champions. (Only Boston throws parades for losers, but that's another topic.) An ovation compelled him to speak at the City Hall Plaza finale.

He stuck around long enough to open up a batting cage in Waltham, but
given the morons around here, things went downhill for Buckner in Beantown after. You can't blame him for decamping to Idaho.
Others have started Forgive Buckner groundswells in the past. He has nothing to be forgiven for but it'll still be nice to have him back at the fens.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Terrorists' Tang plot

So alleged terrorists were going to use Tang and hydrogen peroxide to bring down airliners. No kidding. It was on NPR tonite and online here.

A British reporter covering the UK trial said that scientists working from the terrorists' plans were able to set off a pretty scary explosion.

That plot involved the aforementioned fruity orange drink powder (possibly the most famous byproduct of the US space program), hydrogen peroxide, plastic soda bottles, hypodermic needles, glue and batteries.

Now we know why we can't carry large bottles of liquid onto planes anymore.

Makes you rethink all those Mentos and Diet Coke tricks don't it?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Da Mayah

Here's a politician to get behind:

London mayor wannabe Boris Johnson, known for a sort of tossed-off, rumpled je ne sais quoi, once decribed himself thusly:

“Beneath the carefully constructed veneer of a blithering buffoon, there lurks a blithering buffoon.”

Gagne takes show on the road, same result

Former Red Sox reliever (and I use the term loosely) Eric Gagne has debuted with the Brewers. Headline: Eric Gagne Update: Horrific, per usual

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Deval Patrick Foobar

Why is it that Massachusetts cannot find a governor who actually wants to be governor?

The problem goes way back. Michael Dukakis, at least, was a competent administrator when he ran for prez. William Weld apparently pined for a senate seat soon afte rhe won his second term as gov. Then, suffered the ignomy of being soundly beaten by John "Live Shot" Kerry.

Later Weld openly pined to become ambassador south of the border. Clinton nominated him, he quit his day gig, and conservative Republicans shot him down. And Mitt Romney, well, we all know Mitt never had his heart--let alone his over-gelled noggin-- in the state house.

Now Deval Patrick, who's already pissed away the first months of his term, goes AWOL during the biggest vote of his career. Even those who shed no tears for the lack of casinos in Massachusetts wondered what the guy was thinking. Worse yet, he was in New York flogging his memoirs for publishers when he could have been working to pass what he called as the solution to the state's fiscal woes.

So far, Patrick, who delivered one of the best inaugural speeches ever, has a legacy that includes Cadillacs,-as-official-vehicles; designer drapes, and a dead-as-a-doornail casino bill.

But wait a few years, and there will also be an autobiography which is supposed to hit the shelves the last year of his administration.

Nice work.

Rock snot

Rock snot?

Here's a problem I never knew we had. Or could have.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No class

Not to condone steroids-use or churlishness or overall unpleasantness, but it's nothing short of unseemly that the San Francisco Giants are trying to erase all signs of Barry Bonds from their ball park.

Did they return or burn any of gazillions they earned off of his home-run record chase?

Didn' t think so.

If anyone's a bigger ass than Bonds, it's Bud Selig's MLB.

Monday, March 24, 2008

So why is it

that it's impossible for me to remember a name or business affiliation or phone number, but when a vapid 70's pop song (Fill Me Up Buttercup) plays every word comes unsummoned?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tin ears

If you have any show biz friends or acquaintances, you know the scenario: They hijack the dinner/cocktail party/any occasion to perform. Whether or not anyone asks.

At a family funeral a few years back, a woman (a wannabe Broadway playah) got up and sang. Badly.

This NYT story on the insidiousness that is a capella nails this show-folks problem.

Money quote:

"Taken to an extreme, dislike and mistrust of a cappella has even led to violence: a 2007 fight outside a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco — instigated, allegedly, by an impromptu performance of the national anthem by the Baker’s Dozen, a men’s a cappella group from Yale — sent several members to the hospital."

Huzzah to the anti a capella vigilantes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dawnless Orlando?

Tony Orlando is gonna be playing at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

No word on Dawn.

No shame

When you think of shameless governors ( or ex-governors or soon-to-be-ex-governors) in the northeast, your mind probably leaps to Elliot Spitzer. But your mind might be wrong.

See here: Mitt Romney, never one to take a hint, is throwing his hat into the ring as John McCain's running mate. VP Nod would be 'honor', according to The Boston Herald.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Knew it all along!

See! Alcohol IS good for you! I knew there was a reason to keep up the nightly bourbons and here it is w/ medical backup.

Not only that, the aspirin for the morning-after may be doing triple duty—alleviating your headache, saving you from a heart attack and now perhaps even from the Big C.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oh! Mandy!

Beware the perils of channel surfing while bored.

Has anyone ever seen this show with Mandy Patinkin? It's on CBS, it's about some sort of profiler-genius-pain-in-the-ass. Played by guess who.

Mandy is the personification of "over the topness" to make up a new word.

(Ah, here it is: Criminal Minds. )


Seriously. Find this show and watch it. Once. With the volume carefully modulated.

The. Worst. Actor. Ever.


I kept hoping he'd break into a few bars of Ragtime Girl. You know, like Michigan J. Frog.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hammering Hank Steinbrenner

It's going to be a fun season.

Spring training arrives and the Steinbrenner windbag starts blowing. Maybe some wit will follow the noise, but no matter.

It's gonna be great.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


God, it seems like years since my last Las Vegas trip but it's surely less than one.

The change is seismic, as usual. Given the number of cranes and appearance of massive construction sites, this town is either unaffected by the real estate mess or is riding for one helluva fall.

Anyway, we were talking about which casinos have been demo'd and couldn't come up with a comprehensive list. That led to Googling, which led to this great site.

Good job Roy Vegas whoever you are.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shocker: Newsweek uncovers gym risks

Here's breaking news: Going to the gym can be hazardous to your health.

So says Newsweek. Beware of those killer damp towels. Ditto the germ-infested shower floors.

To prevent raging infection, the nation's top news weekly trots out these surprising tips: Use clean towels. Keep wounds covered. Don't go barefoot.

Any one of those could be the top story on The Duh Daily, but Newsweek?

Here's a personalized (and short) list of tips for surviving my gym--all based on experience.

1: If there's a bank of 20 empty lockers, do NOT take up residence right next to me. I'm not kidding. Just don't.

2: If you think you have a tic on your upper arm, do NOT rush up, shove your bare breast-and-armpit in my mug and demand that I inspect it. Seriously.

3: If you're lifting weights and feel the need to vocalize operatically (especially if you're pressing 10 lbs). Stifle.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


What fresh hell is this?

Mitt Romney took to a Boston dais today to pledge his support and maybe even his delegates to John McCain.

It was supposed to be a kumbaya moment and yet the two pols stayed as far apart as was possible. McCain appeared to have gas. Or maybe he smelled something funky. And Mitt? Well Mitt looked Mitt-like. You know: waxen. Insincere.

Here's a man who would be vice president. Or maybe secretary of something.

God help us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Take that, choco-snobs

Vindication at last!

Milk chocolate does, in fact, rule. The New York Times sez so.

So there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Peeps around here are just barely starting to get over their post-Super-Bowl funk. Even hardcore Patriots fans now acknowledge (privately) that the Pats--in particular their grumpy, ethics-challenged fearless leader Bill Belichick--probably had it coming.

Also, Ellis Hobbs.

Wait till next year.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ruh, roh

First the Super Bowl debacle.

Now this.

Is this a return to the dark ages for Boston?

Go Celts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Who asked him?

Joe Lieberman rules out new vice presidential run.

This time with a Republican candidate. He says he won't be McCain's running mate.

This begs the question: Did anyone ask him?

He also said he has "no intention" of leaving the Democratic party.

Many would argue he did that long ago. And good riddance.

Clintstones overcome Kennedys to win Mass.

Who knew? Hillary won big in Massachusetts, despite the Kennedys' very public embrace of Barack Obama.

Well, most of them hearted Barack. Caroline and Uncle Ted spurned Billary (aka The Clintstones) for Obama. RFK Jr., on the other hand, starred in a TV ad blitz backing Hillary.

John Kerry threw in with Obama. No one cared. But the Kennedys? That was a big deal, although there was a theory that the endorsements were a double-sided sword.

Theory 1: The clan has lost its teeth in Mass. Given my personal demographics, I'd say this is the case. Many of us live in fear of Joe resurfacing to run for something again. Spare us. Please. Lots of poor people still need heat.

Folks are sick of the antics. Anyone who thinks Hillary and Bill have an "entitlement" problem should get a load of this set of grandkids. Ted, however, won big time street cred with his early and unwavering anti-war vote. (Yes, Hillary you TOO could have read the briefing and done the right thing or at least assigned a minion to do so.)

Once he gave up on personal ambitions for the presidency, he became a pretty good senator. Although a pretty embarrassing one at times.

Theory 2: For all of its self-proclaimed liberalism, Mass remains a tad racist. Hopefully not.

On the other side of the aisle, the icky Mitt Romney managed to win his home state. You know, the one he keeps making fun of. Still, it's really looking like even old-school Republicans would rather hold their noses and vote for McCain or embrace Huckabee than embrace this oil slick of a man.

What's great is that McCain and Huckabee (and before that Rudy) are in violent agreement that Mitt should not go to Washington. How great is that?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

No double dip for you!

So it's true: Double-dipping is bad for you.

Who knew?

Seinfeld for one. Still, it's great that someone actually got grant money to study this phenomenon. Double dipping that chip into the guac and/or salsa spreads germs.

More here.

Next up: a NASA-funded look into the trajectory of a double spitter and a USDA survey on the ethics of the Soup Nazi.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kiss of death

Everyone's still abuzz about Ted Kennedy's backing of Barack Obama.

The Clintons sure know how to screw things up. Obama had the good grace to seem truly thankful. Still, as a bright guy, he's gotta know this is one mixed bag of ... em ... support. Yeah, support's the word.

The even earlier news that John Kerry was throwing in with Barack was viewed by some in Boston as a kiss of death. Kinda like when Kerry wished the Red Sox luck. The Old Town Team overcame the bad mojo. Hopefully Barack will too.

One has to wonder who the Republicans are salivating more over--Obama backed by Kennedy/Kerry, kind of a Beelzebub/anti-Christ duo of northeast liberals OR the Clintons.

Maybe they'll drive themselves into early graves obsessing over it.

While the repubs work themselves into a frenzy, you have to feel for all those comedy writers for Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert who must just be dying a little bit inside with all this material just waiting to be picked over.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fraudster mastermind just an 'average Joe'

Jerome Kerviel can't catch a break.

He's the mid-level functionary allegedly responsible for a $7.2 billion (BILLION!) loss for Societe Generale, the not-as-big-as-it-used-to-be French bank.

In early reports he was painted as a financial mastermind. Now, according to The New York Times and others, he's "Mr. Average,"

He never got further than a green belt in Judo; attended an "average college" where he got "unremarkable grades."

Worse, it appears he didn't personally profit from his "rogue" trading.

If you're gonna get caught for perpetrating massive fraud, wouldn't you rather go out looking like James Bond rather than Homer Simpson?

Well at least he's a Facebook star.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Watertown wins the crapper museum

This is the biggest news to hit these parts since the mysterious closing of Kay's Fruits. The Toilet Museum is coming to a spot near the squa-ah. As in Watertown Square not those wannabes Harvard or Copley Squares.

More here. Suffice it to say, Worcester's loss is our gain.

Note: This is not a snark-post. It really is pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Clemens and Martarano: Best of Boston?

Was it just dumb luck that 60 Minutes last night focused on two of Boston’s most infamous?

Oddly, between alleged-steroid-user and bona fide creep Roger Clemens and professional hit man John Martarano, the latter seemed more credible. Yes, he killed something like 20 people (he didn’t count). No, he didn’t enjoy it but yes, he felt it was the right thing to do in those circumstances. And yes, he intimated he’d probably kill Whitey Bulger if given half a chance.

So for this guy to outshine Roger really says something.

Granted there are many in Boston who’ve never forgiven Clemens for his grace-less exit and subsequent thuggish behavior. When he threw the broken bat at Mike Piazza in the Subway Series, it was clear that something had gone horribly awry with Clemens. His claim that he “thought it was the ball” never made sense. Unless he suddenly thought himself engaged in dodge ball. That made me a Mets fan. Quite a move for someone still nursing the memory of the 1986 series like an open wound.

Anyway, at the risk of legal action, Roger looked to me like a lying sack of you-know-what. Now he’s sued his accuser--which might have been a lot more convincing a month ago. Had he, personally, gone to the media immediately after the Mitchell Report screaming foul (as David Justice did) he might have gotten more support. Instead it looked like he was checking his story, once, twice, thrice. Going over every syllable with his lawyers. Then letting them do his talking. Then a video...It just didn't compute.

Then, last night on national TV, he accused his accuser of trafficking in steroids. How exactly that claim helps Roger’s credibility is beyond mere mortals. So Brian McNamee bought and sold HGH and steroids but he injected Clemens only with B-12 and lidocaine??? Hmmm.

It also is incredible to me that he had no knowledge that he would be named in the report. That directly contradicts what George Mitchell said.

The whole 60 Minutes juxtaposition of Clemens and Martarano harkens back to Billy Martin’s famous quote about of George Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson: “One’s a born liar, the other’s convicted.”

For a good roundup of Clemens critiques see this USA Today blog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mitt's slip, slidin' away

Schadenfreude rules. The latest news out of N.H. is that McCain is surging, Mitt, our former-not-so-beloved gov is sliding, and the nutjob out of New York is stuck in neutral.

And in Iowa, Mike Huckabee may prove that Romney may have rented, not bought, Iowans' support. More here.

There are many surface reasons to dislike Mitt: The escapee-from-the-waxworks look is one. More substantive is the fact that he has been badmouthing the state that gave him his last executive position all over the country. How smart is a guy who doesn't "get" that what he says in South Carolina gets heard in Boston-Worcester-Springfield. Or worse, doesn't care.

He condescends to the wacky liberal-lefties of the northeast. Worse he mocks them to amuse his new most-wanted constituency: Christian Conservatives.

News flash: They're not gonna buy into him.

Poor Mitt: He's stuck between the rock of Northeast liberalism and the hard place of the preachers.

Couldn't happen to a better guy.