Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enough with the rain, jeeeez!

Damn I am SICK of this rainy weather. My sump pump has been running and last night I actually had nightmares about the power somehow going out and the pump not being able to work and the water rising higher and higher, flooding my basement.

I dreamt about going to Home Depot and Lowe's and every other hardware store in search of a generator and finding the stores closed or having no generators in stock. I dreamt that I called my Dad to borrow his generator and him not being able to let me use it for some kooky reason that I can't remember.

These crazy dreams had me tossing and turning all night. I'm gonna need some extra coffee today.

Here are all the songs about rain in my iPod. I think the last song in the list is appropriate...

A Better Rain - George Strait
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
Dorraine of Ponchartrain - Johnny Cash
Every Time The It Rains - Garth Brooks
Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin
Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence
Here Comes The Rain Again - Eurythmics
It Can't Rain All the Time - Jane Siberry
Kentucky Rain - Elvis
Kisses in the Rain - Rick Braun
Louisiana Rain - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Rain Came Down - Steve Earle
Rain King - Sonic Youth
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
Rainbow Stew - Merle Haggard
Raining Blood - Slayer
Rainy Day, Dream Away - Jimi Hendrix
Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Jimi Hendrix
Who'll Stop The Rain - Creedence

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Diceman runs into good pitching again, takes loss

The Diceman ran into another good pitching performance by the opposition again tonight. The Blue Jay's starting pitcher, Gustavo Chacin, had the Red Sox hitters completely mesmerized by his certainly not-so-cheap sunglasses. With the glass so dark they don't even know your name... for sure.

Overall Dice was good with the exception of the 4th inning where he had a slight melt-down. He allowed one run to tie the game 1-1, then loaded the bases and walked in the eventual winning run, to put the Jay's up permanently 2-1.

There's not much else to say about this one. Aside from that bad 4th inning, Dice was very good. He struck out 10 batters, but like his last outing in which he faced Seattle's Felix Hernandez, who tossed a one hitter against The Sox, Dice came up short against very good pitching by the bad guys.

Wakefield goes tomorrow. Wake has pitched well so far this season but The Sox bats have mostly left him out to dry. Hopefully the Sox get their bats going for our man Tim tomorrow.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Game on...

It appears that Mother Nature was just as displeased with the idea of a 10 AM start for a baseball game as the rest of us.

I mean come on, think about it. If the game starts at 10 AM, that means you've got to get started on your obligatory pre-game sausages and beers at like 8 AM. That's kind of early for sausages and beers don't you think? Not that it would have stopped me if I was actually there at the game of course... Breakfast of Champions baby!

Thankfully Mother Nature's will has been to simply postpone the game to a more reasonable time, as opposed to washing things out completely. Obviously she wants to have her hot-dogs, beers and peanuts at the proper time of day, 12:15. Makes sense to me. Besides you never want to mess with Mother Nature. She can tell the difference between margarine and butter. Or butter and Parkay. Or something like that.

MLB Gameday informs me that it's the bottom of the 2nd and the score is already 6-1 Red Sox. I like it. I like it a lot. I'm sure that Red Sox starter Josh Beckett likes it too.



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Rain, rain, go away...

It's been steadily raining (or snowing) around here for about 24 hours straight. When I got up this morning I went down to the basement to see how high the water is in the sump pump. It's getting up there. About another inch 1/2 and the pump will be clicking on.

I went outside and uncoiled the hose then I went back downstairs and clicked on the pump, just to make sure everything is going to work ok once the water gets high enough. Thankfully everything checks out and I can now go to work and not have to spend the day worrying about whether or not the sump pump is going to come on when it's supposed to, which my obsessive mind would have surely had done had I not made sure everything was ok prior to leaving.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow too. Rain, rain, go away. I want to get to work on my yard. I've got a bunch of outdoor projects to do this year and I'd like to get them done prior to the nice Summer weather, so I can relax and enjoy the season. Mother Nature is not being very cooperative so far this Spring.. but I guess all this rain is better than snow.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some thoughts on The Pats 2007 schedule...

Friday, Aug. 10 -- Patriots at Buccaneers (Ch. 5, 7:30 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 17 -- Titans at Patriots (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 24 -- Patriots at Panthers (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Thursday, Aug. 30 -- Giants at Patriots (Ch. 5, 7:30 p.m.)

Regular Season:
Sunday, Sept. 9 -- at Jets (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 16 -- vs. Chargers (NBC, 8:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 23 -- vs. Bills (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Monday, Oct. 1 -- at Bengals (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 7 -- vs. Browns (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 14 -- at Cowboys (CBS, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 21 -- at Dolphins (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 28 -- vs. Redskins (FOX, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 4 -- at Colts (CBS, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 11 -- BYE
Sunday, Nov. 18 -- at Bills (CBS, 1 p.m.)*
Sunday, Nov. 25 -- vs. Eagles (NBC, 8:15 p.m.)*
Monday, Dec. 3 -- at Baltimore (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 9 -- vs. Steelers (CBS, 1 p.m.)*
Sunday, Dec. 16 -- vs. Jets (CBS, 1 p.m.)*
Sunday, Dec. 23 -- vs. Dolphins (CBS, 1 p.m.)*
Saturday, Dec. 29 -- at Giants (NFL Network, 8:30 p.m.)

*Subject to flexible scheduling

Hmmmm, well I'd rate that schedule fairly high on the difficulty schedule. I'll just say that all the divisional games are always tough, no matter what the record is. That's my 'broken record' statement that I pull out every year. So, moving on to the other non-division games...

Chargers: On the surface, a tough game, until I remember that Norv Turner will be their coach. And it's the second game of the season. And The Pats are playing them at home while The Chargers have to fly across the country. And it's a national TV re-match of last years' playoff game. Should be interesting, that's for sure.

Bengals: This will be a tough one. An away game on national TV.

Browns: The Browns have not been a very good team the last few years. This one will be interesting because it will be Belichick returning to Cleveland to face his former Defensive Coordinator and personal friend, Romeo Crennel.

Cowboys: Hmmm. Could go either way. The Cowboy's will be breaking in a new coach and it will be interesting to see how Romo plays in year two. Impossible to really make a good call on this one at this point.

Redskins: Another one that is hard to determine at this point. They were not that good last year, but that does not mean things will be that way this year.

Colts: An away game vs. The Colts. Circle this one in red. The Colts are always a challenge. It feels like they never left the division, seeing as how we still play them every year...

The BYE week comes at a very good time in the season, right at the mid-way point. A perfect time to get a break and heal up.

Eagles: On the surface, looks to be a tough game. Depends how McNabb is playing. The Eagles always seem to come on strong at the end of the season.

Baltimore: This will be a battle. A tough away game.

Steelers: New coach for Pittsburgh and looking to put a bad season behind them. Could be a re-build year for this team.

Giants: Kind of similar to the Eagles game. Tom Coughlin knows the Pats pretty well from his days coaching The Jags. The Pats will play them in pre-season but by this time in the season, that will mean pretty much nothing.

The Pats have 4 out of the last 7 games at home, including 3 straight home games in a row prior to closing things out in NY. That's pretty nice. Three of those 7 games also happen to be national games.

So, not a cakewalk by any means, but the match-ups are not outrageous. Add in a bye week at a very opportune time and a lot of home games to close out the 2nd half.

Now we have to wait. Though I have to say, as much as I love football, I'm not in a rush at this point. I'm looking forward to summertime.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tweet! Tweet!

You might have noticed a new addition to my side bar, a little internet gizmo called 'Twitter'. It's a cool thingamabobber that lets me send an update to this site, and you, and anybody else that's interested (all zero of you), telling you all about whatever incredibly mundane thing I happen to be doing at the time.

I have to say it's pretty cool and serves absolutely no useful purpose what-so-ever, except for being fun and kind of addictive. Plus I could use it to totally lie to you guys about what I'm doing and that would be fun. I could fully send some kind of bogus update to totally trick you.

Like I could send an update telling you that I'm in bed with with 10 Victoria Secret models at the same time, (not doing anything of course, just in bed with them having a pillow fight. I AM married you know..) or that I'm hanging out with Bill Belichick, having some pizza and Coca-Colas and helping him break down some game video (Coach, check this out, see the way Manning holds the ball before he throws? That's right when Tedy Bruschi should come flying in, swat the ball away from Manning, recover the fumble and run in for a touchdown.)

I could tell you guys that I'm getting a back-rub, (that NEVER happens, so you would know I was tricking you then,) or that I'm picking up my new 2008 Dodge Challenger, the first one off the assembly line... Yeah. The possibilities are endlessly stupid!

Last night I was using Twitter during the Sox game to spontaneously 'live blog' / vent during the game. That was kind of fun. (God what a nerd...)

Supposedly you can get the thing to work using Google Chat but obviously I am an idiot because I can't seem to figure out how to do it. I have gotten it working at home with Adium (Mac based IM client), but so far, no go with G-Chat. If any of you super-smart folks out there know the secret to making Twitter work with G-Chat, I'd like to know what it is!

So there you go. Twitter is fun. Feel free to stalk me on my twitter profile, until I get bored with it and move on to something else. Ok, the Victoria's Secret models have asked me if I want to play Twister with them, so I'll send you a Twitter update a little later.

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Bledsoe to retire...

I just heard the news that former Patriots QB, Drew Bledsoe, is retiring from football. The news is not unexpected after he was replaced by Tony Romo as the starter in Dallas.

Although it has become somewhat in vogue to be a Bledsoe basher these days, especially as his career has wound to it's close, I have always liked Drew.

I will always remember and appreciate the fact that Drew Bledsoe helped to resurrect The New England Patriots franchise. Say what you want about him, but you have to admit that he was a big part of the transformation of The Patriots from the laughing stock of the NFL into a perennial playoff contender.

I will always remember Bledsoe's 'coming out' game against Minny, bringing the team back from a 20 point deficit to win the game. I will always remember the year that he broke his index finger on his throwing hand, and then continued to play in the games that followed with a pin sticking out the end of it, literally willing The Pats into the playoffs that season. I will always remember his part as a member of the 1996 Superbowl team and I will always remember Drew coming off the bench to replace an injured Tom Brady in the 2001 AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh. I remember when that game was over, Bledsoe being mobbed by Tedy Bruschi and the rest of his team-mates and the pure and obvious joy that Bledsoe showed in celebrating that victory.

I'll remember the many near heart-attacks he gave me just as much as I'll always remember that 'Bledsoe to Coates' will go down as one of the greatest and most exciting combos The Patriots have ever seen. And of course, I'll remember the way Bledsoe went out of New England after being traded to Buffalo, taking out a full page in the Boston Globe to thank the fans.

Am I one of those people that would have chosen Bledsoe to start over Brady? No. (Believe it or not, that was a job interview question someone asked me once, 'Bledsoe or Brady?' Crazy.) Did I think that Drew was the perfect quarterback? No. I'm not going to get into his deficiencies as a QB here. We all know the guy was about as agile as a giraffe, but when he was in his prime, damn, he could really sling the football down-field.

For me, Drew Bledsoe will be remembered as one of the great Patriots players, a player who helped to turn the The Patriots around in the dark times of the early 90's. No matter what the circumstances were, he always handled himself with class.

Enjoy retirement Drew.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Opening Day at Fenway...

The big day has finally arrived and The Red Sox will play their first home game of the season at Fenway Park this afternoon against The Seattle Mariners. It should be a lot of fun. The Mariners are one of my favorite MLB backup teams and they also happen to feature my favorite baseball player who is not a Red Sox, center fielder Ichiro Suzuki.

I think I first started liking Ichiro because of the unique way he extends his arm, stretching his shoulder and holding the bat in his hand like a sword, before each pitch. There's something about the way he does that that I've always thought was super cool. On top of that, I have an appreciation for Ichiro's attitude, his work-ethic and his whole approach to the game. Simply put, he is a great baseball player. Too bad he's wearing the wrong uniform.

Ok, I think that's enough talk about the opposition's best player. Hopefully he strikes out at every at bat today.

I wish I could be there at the ballpark this afternoon, though there have been a few people let go around here at the office in the last few days, making me feel extremely thankful that I am here at work, with a job, still able to pay my mortgage. I will be monitoring the game on MLB Gameday here at my desk, where I am glad to be gainfully employed, and hoping for a quality start from Red Sox pitcher, Josh Beckett.

Other than that I don't have a whole lot more to say about Opening Day at Fenway except that I am glad it has finally arrived. I wish the weather around here would cooperate and act a little more Spring-like. It's about 35 degrees outside where I am, about 30 miles North-West of Fenway. That is not exactly baseball weather. That is too damn cold. This Winter Weather business is for the birds. Somebody needs to let Old Man Winter know that Winter is over an it's time for Spring to spring.

On a side note, the other day there was a person here at the office who was trying to sell some tickets to Thursday's Sox game. As soon as I saw the message I was all, 'Oooh! Sox tickets!' I was about to respond but then I remembered to check the weather. (I've learned this game the hard way.) Sure enough, the forecast for Thursday is calling for rain, snow and wind. Yah, sounds like a fun time to be at the ballpark. I hate it when people try to sell you a ticket for a game that they know is probably going to get washed away and then they act like they are doing you a favor or something by offering it to you.

Really I am just jealous that I don't have tickets to any games this year.


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Sunday, April 08, 2007

To catch a rabbit...

It was about the crack of dawn on the morning of Easter. As I slept, I began to feel a presence in my room. Keeping my eyes shut, I slowly awakened. I could hear a sniffling and a rustling around near my bed. There was some kind of presence in the room with me.

Keeping my eyes closed, I could hear the presence, whatever it was, moving closer to my side of the bed. 'This is it,' I thought. 'This year, I'm going to get him.'

I could hear the unknown presence ruffling around and breathing softy, creeping up right next to me where I lay pretending to be asleep in bed.

Suddenly, I reached out and grabbed it!


The creature was soft and fuzzy and it felt like it was about 4 feet tall. It was squirming madly, trying frantically to escape from my iron grip.

As the thing squirmed and struggled to get away I shouted, 'I got him Mom, I got him! I GOT THE EASTER BUNNY!!'

The tussle was brief and I wrestled the writhing creature into the bed to pin it down. All at once, it began to speak in a squeaky high pitched voice, 'No Dad, no! It's not the Easter Bunny, it's your SON!!'

'What!? Don't you try to trick me Mr. Easter Rabbit! This time I've got you and I'm not letting you go! Ha-HA!'

'NOOOOO! It's your son Dad, it's you SOONNN!'

Without letting go of my grip, I stopped wresting the creature and opened my eyes. Lo and behold, the 'creature' was a young boy, and not The Easter Bunny after all.

'Darn Mom,' I said disappointedly, 'I thought for SURE it was the Easter Bunny. I thought this was the year I had finally captured him.'

'Nope. Sorry Dad, it's me. Now let's go see what the Easter Bunny brought for us.'

'Well, maybe I'll get him next year,' I said.

'Maaayy-be, Dad, maybe, but not this year. Now let's go see what we got.'

Happy Easter.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hoppy Easter...

Me: Well good mornin' everybody! What's goin' on this weekend, anything good? [yawns]. Sox / Rangers is the only thing I can think of....

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

Kids: EASTER!!!!!

Me: Easter? Already? I thought that was in July?


Me: Oh! Well. I better get my trap ready if I'm going to catch the Easter Bunny this year...

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something...

Son: [interjecting] Dad, you CAN'T catch the Easter Bunny. We saw him at the mall and he's HUUUUGGGEE! He won't fit in your trap!

Me: Well, I'm just gonna try anyway, because I wanna have some rabbit stew with carrots and potatoes on Easter Tomorrow.

Kids: Rabbit stew? NO!

Me: Yeah. Besides, that Easter Rabbit just leaves a big mess around the house, leaving baked beans and green beans and carrots all over the place. Then I'M the one that's gotta clean it all up!

Kids: Daaaadd, he doesn't leave baked beans, he leaves JELLY BEANS. JELLY BEANS DAD!!!

Me: Oh. Are you sure? I thought it was baked beans and cauliflower and stuff.

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something. He leaves jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. Humph!

Son: And eggs!

Me: Eggs! Fried or scrambled?

Kids: Colored eggs Dad...

Me: Oh. Well, I'll try and catch him.

Kids: But Dad, if you catch the Easter Bunny, there won't be any more Easter!

Me: Oh, sure there will. We'll just replace him with another animal. Like a chipmunk or a porcupine. Oh, I know! A skunk! How about the Easter Skunk!

Kids: No way Dad. Skunks are stinky!

Me: Only if you scare them. As long as you leave the Easter Skunk alone he won't bother you.

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something. You leave the Easter Bunny alone.

Me: Well, ok. If you say so.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Quick 'Rocky Balboa' DVD update (it still does not play)...

I recently got my 3rd copy of 'Rocky Balboa' in the mail from Netflix and as I had expected, it still does not play in my Kenwood DVD player. It does, however, play fine in my computer.

It seems there are a lot of people out there who are having problems playing several of the recent DVD releases from Sony Pictures, including 'Rocky Balboa', 'Casino Royale' and 'The Holiday', in some types of DVD players, such as players made by Toshiba, Pioneer and TIVO.

Oddly, 'Casino Royale' and 'The Holiday' both play fine in my Kenwood DVD player, but 'Rocky Balboa' will not play at all. Two out of three ain't bad I guess?

In any case, I have called Kenwood to let them know about the problem. Currently they don't have a solution. I also called Sony Pictures to see if they had a fix, but at this time they do not.

If you run into this problem, I suggest calling the DVD manufacturer's support line and also Sony Pictures' support line (800-860-2878) to let them know about it.

In the meantime, I'll be hooking my computer's video output up to my TV so I can watch 'Rocky Balboa' and hoping this does not become a frequent problem.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Red Sox radio changes, Diceman impresses in his first major league start...

I am working a light schedule at work this week while I get over this bout of pneumonia. I was told by the doctor not to work at all but that's not going to happen. My place does not have sick days and I'm not going to waste vacation days being sick, so I explained what is going on to my boss and he is cool with me just working half days this week.

Thankfully things are fairly light work-wise right now and there has not been a lot going on at the office. Yesterday I just had to go to a customer site to install a quick update for them and today and tomorrow I'm in a training class, meaning I would have been out of work early even if I wasn't sick, so that has worked out good and I can go home and rest without having to worry about job related issues.

Today the training class got out at around 2:30 which was nice, since I was starting to feel a little woozy about that time. Plus, that meant I would get home in time to see a good portion of Daisuke Matsuzaka's first outing in the majors.

I listened to the first part of the game on the radio as I drove home from work. I have to say, while new Sox announcer Dave O'Brien is not horrendous, I find myself missing Jerry Trupiano's call of the game. I thought he and Joe Castiglione made a great team. Sure I'd occasionally get annoyed when ever I'd get 'Trup'd, but that was all part of the charm of listening to the radio broadcast as far as I was concerned.

I'm sure O'Brien will work out ok as a Red Sox announcer and over time I'll come to accept him, but right now, I'm missing Trup's trademark, 'It's a long fly ball... WAY Back! WAAYYYY BACK!'

I'm also not too happy about this shake-up with the Red Sox radio network. I listen to a lot of Sox games on the radio. Whenever I'm working outside, or driving around, or pretty much any time I am somewhere where there is no TV available, if The Sox are playing, I'm listening to the game on the radio. I am pretty bummed out that the game is no longer available on WTAG out of Worcester MA. It's now on a different station out of Worcester. WTAG was great for listening to The Sox because it's a station that you can always get good, clear reception of, pretty much anywhere in Central MA. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get the same reception quality out of the new Worcester station. Hopefully I can.

Plus, I used to know all of the stations that The Sox games were on and depending on where I was, Boston, Worcester, Cape Cod or Springfield I could always find the game. Now I'm going to have to learn all the new stations for when I'm driving around. Oh well, I'll survive, somehow!

As far as The Diceman's start, I arrived home to find the power was out, likely due in some way to the heavy snow that had fallen last night. I'm sure a branch or a tree had fallen onto a power-line some where, so I was still not going to get to see Daisuke actually throw a pitch. I went down to the basement and brought up the battery powered radio that I have on my work-bench and kept up with the game that way.

Eventually the power came back on in time for me to catch Matsuzaka's last couple innings of work. Despite all the Matsuzaka Maina around here, I had yet to see the guy in action. I have to say, I was impressed by him. For reals. To be honest I have gone out of my way to avoid the Matsuzaka hype, but after watching him today I am now officially on board. Of course, it is only one game, but Matsuzaka looks pretty damn promising. It's easy to like a guy who puts on a pitching display like we saw in today's game.

And on that subject, I was looking forward to watching Jonathan Papelbon close out his first game of the season and he did not dissapoint. Paps came out in the ninth to whiff the side and fully take care of business. Papelbon is THE FUCKING BALLS dude. I still have a serious man crush on him.

It felt great to be able to relax and watch the Sox. There's something soothing about The Red Sox being back in action. Even though it was cold in K.C. and there was snow outside my window at home, there's real baseball being played, and that means the nice weather is not too far away. Baseball is tied to the summer and everything that comes with it and I have been missing the whole package.

Of course, it helped that that Sox got the win and took this first series of the year from a K.C. team that will probably turn out to be pretty decent, though there's no where to go but up for those guys. Yes, it's early, but I feel like the Red Sox are off to a good start.

Another afternoon game tomorrow for Wake against The Rangers in their home opener, and since my training class will probably be over before lunch, I expect I'll be home in plenty of time to catch that one as well. Nice.


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