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Saturday, September 30, 2006

2nd place or 3rd place in the A.L. East. At this point who cares?

There is a story on ESPN about how The Red Sox would like to try and finish in 2nd place in the A.L. East, preserving the 8 year 'streak' of second place finishes in the division behind the MFY.

I don't know, but if you ask me, finishing in 2nd place for the previous 8 years is a dubious distinction at best, kind of like how the Boston Bruins made the playoffs for 30 years in a row but never won a Cup during all that time.

At least the Red Sox can say they won a Championship during that 8 year span (thank God).

As far as this season goes though, 2nd place or 3rd place, eh, at this point, who cares? We're not in the post-season so what's the diff? To me it's kind of like finishing second at the Daytona 500. Second is just the first loser.

Now that the teams that are in this year's MLB Playoffs are nearly decided, we're just waiting to see if it will be the Astros or Cardinals in the NL Central, it's time to pick your backup teams.

Of course, my main backup team at any point during the post-season is whoever winds up playing the Yankees, but I will say that in the National League, I'll be rooting for San Diego and in the American League, I'll be rooting for Minnesota.

What are your backup teams? Got any? Or are you completely checked out of baseball at this point?

Wake goes for the Sox tonight. A win for would be nice, for Tim and for me too.

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My quick visit to Chelsea, MA...

I took the kids to the Museum of Science in Boston today. We had a lot of fun.

On the way there, I was heading down Storrow Drive and took a left where I should have taken a right. Next thing I knew, I was on I-93. Grrr.

Frustrated, I got off the first exit that came up. I went around some ramps and somehow found myself on the double decker bridge that crosses over The Mystic River. Grrr.

I got off the first exit I could, again, and found myself in Chelsea. I had never been to Chelsea before. Neither had my kids. 'Welcome to Chelsea kids,' I said.

Actually, I had been to Chelsea a few times before, but each visit was always an occasion like this one, where I was wondering how in the hell I had wound up here, and how in the hell was I going to get where I really want to go.

'What's in Chelsea?' the kids asked, 'I thought we were going to the Science Museum.'


I found my way back to the highway without too much difficulty and headed back across the double-decker bridge towards Boston, stopping only to pay the 3 dollar Tobin Bridge fee. Grrr.

I went around some more ramps and found my way back to Storrow Drive, except that now I was heading back West, in the opposite direction of where I was trying to go, instead of going East towards the Museum of Science.

I should also note that during this whole little tour of Boston / Cambridge / Chelsea, I could see The Museum of Science off in the distance, I just could not figure out how to get over there. That's how it is driving in Boston. One slip and you're fucked.

As I headed down Storrow Drive in the wrong direction, I, once again, got off the first exit that I could, which deposited me at the bridge that goes across The Charles River, taking me over to Memorial Drive. As I crossed The Charles, I could see the Museum, off to the right.

'There it is Dad, right over there! Just go that way!'

My kids are so helpful.

I got onto Memorial and headed back towards the Museum. The thing about theses two roads, Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive, for those who are not familiar with the paved cow-paths that make up the Boston road system, is that they are on opposite sides of the Charles River and they both basically end at the same spot.

'Ha! Now we're getting somewhere!' I thought.

'We're here! We're here! I see the sign! Turn here Dad, don't miss it!!'

My kids are so helpful.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall Friday...

I got home from work with a cheese pizza for the kids and a chicken sandwich for me. My wife had to go out to attend to some family stuff over at her Mom's. She took the baby along with her so it was just me and the kids tonight.

We had our dinner and it was good. After dinner we went downstairs to the (almost) finished basement and listened to some records. I still have a lot of my old records from when I was little, the ones that have stories on them like Peter Pan, Horton Hears a Who and stuff like that. The kids really like listening to them and that's cool. It's neat that I was able to keep those records in good shape and they are still around. Now my kids are listening to, and enjoying the same records that I used to listen to when I was young. That's just cool.

It was fun listening to the stories with the kids.

After that we came back upstairs and my daughter noticed the sun was going down, so we got our jackets on and grabbed some blankets and went and sat outside on the porch and watched the sunset.

It was a half-moon and there were a lot of wispy clouds moving across the sky, all lit up by the fading sun in pink and purple colors. We talked about what we could see in the clouds. It was nice. My daughter and I saw horses running across the sky. My son saw space-ships taking off.

When it was nearly dark, we came back in and they got ready for bed. I let them watch a video tape, Bob the Builder, and have a little milk before bed.

It was a very nice evening.

Now the house is quiet, so I think maybe I'll have a beer and watch some of the Red Sox / Orioles game. Maybe I'll play some tunes on my guitar while I watch.

It's the last series of the season for the Sox. No post-season for The Red Sox this year. I have to admit, it makes me feel a little sad. Like, I'm not gonna go break down and cry or anything, but, with the whole baseball season coming to a close, the chilly fall weather and the sun going down earlier and earlier, I can't help but think about how the nice days are slipping away and soon it's going to just be cold and gray around here. I hate Winter, so hopefully we'll have a bunch of nice Fall days this upcoming October to get outside and enjoy before the bitter days of Winter arrive.

In the meantime, it's one last series for our Boys of Summer so I'll be trying to soak some of it in. I made sure to watch Curt Shilling's last game the other night. I think that guy is great. It was good to see him get the win.

And on that note here is a list of the Red Sox players that I thought were 'The Balls' this year for The Sox:

Jon Papelbon
David Ortiz
Curt Shilling
Mike Lowell
Willy Mo Pena
Kevin Youkilis

These were the players that stood out for me this season. I know some of the names, you may look at them and scratch your head, wondering why, but these were the guys that, to me, were not about flash, they were about showing up every day and playing the game right. These were the players that really made the games enjoyable for me to watch. Thanks guys. Now, how about going out on a high note eh?

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Moving right along...

Now that I've had a full day to sulk about The Patriots loss to the Broncos this past weekend, I'm back on track and ready for the next game.

That last game was not enjoyable, to put it nicely. The Broncos defense did to The Pats what the Pats like to do to other teams: take away what you're good at and make you have to do something you don't want to do. In The Pats case, that 'something' is obviously throwing the ball instead of running it, which is kind of an odd thing to say with Tom Brady as your QB, but if Brady's got nobody that can get open for him to deliver the ball to, what is he supposed to do?

If there was one thing that really bothered me about last week's game, it was seeing Brady so emotional and frustrated throughout the game. Brady is the guy you expect to remain cool, calm and collected. Seeing him angrily ripping off his chin-straps and screaming at the refs was an unsettling thing to watch.

The passing game is going to be a work in progress until Brady and his new receiving corps can get on the same page. I can only hope that this situation will continue to improve throughout the season as Brady gets used to his new targets.

The Pats have a tough game coming up this week vs. The Bengals. (When was the last time you heard someone say something like that about The Bengals?) I am glad to see that the Bengals are respectable again, though I hope they will suck this weekend.

Defensively, I think The Patriots are in good shape. I am not expecting them to shut down Cincy's offense, but The Pats D should be able to keep the game within reach. That means The Pats are going to have to be able to match up with Cincy on offense and get some points on the board... It would be nice to see passing attempts end up in completions this week as well as field-goal attempts actually making it through the uprights.

I know as a fan, I have become a little bit spoiled by the last few years of The Patriots success. I expect to see The Pats come out and steam-roll teams, but the fact is, they have never done that, even when they were going 14-2. They are just not that kind of a team.

The Pats are 2-1 right now and honestly, that is nothing complain about. The hand-wringing that is going on over the state of the team, something I am guilty of myself, is a little bit overboard at this point in the year. 2-1 is not a bad record at this point in the season, so lets keep things in perspective.

Things will get straightened out in Foxboro. Like I wrote in my NFL column on Faster Than the World last Sunday, it's not even October yet, so remain calm.


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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pats / Donkeys 4th Q: Oh my god

Dude. I can't believe what I am watching in this game.

The Pats are just falling apart here. What is it about Denver? It's like they have kryptonite in their uniforms or something. I don't get it. The Pats don't play like this against anybody else in the league.

I would like to twist my own head off right now because this game is making lose my mind.

My wife asked me why I am torturing myself. Why don't I just go to bed?

Because I can't.

It's not like I'm going to sleep anyway. I'm just going to lie there in bed and wonder what's going on in the game, so I may as well watch it.

By the way, my hatred of the Broncos continues to grow as they jaunt around Gillette stadium, obviously making remarks at the fans around the field and trash talking with The Pats players.

I fucking hate them.

Maybe we won't win this game. I hope we see them again in the playoffs. One of these days we'll turn things around against this Denver team. Miami used to own us at one time too... Not anymore.

Can we at least score a TD here?

The Pats go to the 2 min drill and, thank-you Football Gods, my request is granted.

Ok. Now, I don't want to sound greedy but how about a little Broncos turnover. Maybe with a recovery by The Pats D? Please?

Well, there's 2 min left and the score is 17-7, Broncos. Somehow I kind of doubt The Pats are going to come back in this game. Of course, miracles can happen, but... it doesn't look good. Fuck.

This has been a rough game. Offensively, the running game was looking ok early, but then Dillon got hurt. I'm not sure what happened to him but he did not return after leaving the game. He suffered some kind of arm injury... Rookie Laurence Maroney has not done much since and the passing game is not clicking. I hate all the harping that goes on about the Deion Branch situation, but it's starting to become painful what the lack of quality receivers is doing to The Pats offense. As much as I love him, you can't rely on Troy Brown as your number one receiver. There were a lot of disappointing drops in this game as well. In some cases, receivers were getting hit on the numbers and could not hang on to the ball.

Defensively, I thought The Pats did a good job. The D is the only reason the Pats were able to stay in this game at all. The D kept things close, but after a continual stream of 3 and outs on offense, sooner or later, the other team is going to score, and they did. It sucks but that is the way it is.

Even though they are a 2-1 team, The Patriots are dealing with a little bit of adversity right now.

How will this season's team handle it? We'll find out. Next up, The Bengals.


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3rd Quarter: Are you kidding me??

The Patriots just cannot get a break in this game. It's fucking ridiculous. It feels like everything is going against them.

I thought for sure the Pats had a safety on a punt to Denver, but no. It was ruled that the Denver player was stopped at the 1 fucking yard line. Jeez... Then you have a pass to Troy Brown going incomplete with a Bronco defender practically surfing on his back... No call. Un Believeable.

A Patriots defensive back defends a pass and it's pass interference. Are you not allowed to play defense in this game anymore??? WHAT THE HELL? This game is fucking insane.

A pass to a Bronco receiver is jarred loose. Tedy Bruschi picks it up, but, it's not a fumble. Nope. It's an incomplete pass... WHAT!?

I'm starting to lose it. I'm stopping here because I need to get a beer. I have not had one yet. Maybe that's the problem. The lucky Patriots beer mug is not present.

Well I'll fix that promptly...

The Patriots are being too stubborn with the running game. They are not getting shit with Maroney in there. He has not been able to break free. The Pats should go to the air and get the tight ends more involved in the passing game. The Pats receivers really need to step up here too. I feel for Tom Brady right now. He's got nobody out there that he can count on except for Troy Brown. He seems to be the only receiver out there that is consistently making catches for The Pats.

The penalties in this game have been ridiculous. Kevin Faulk pulls off a fine punt return, getting the ball inside The Broncos side of the field, but with 3 penalties on the play, two of which are against the Broncos, somehow it's all offsetting. Do over.

This game is slipping away. Here comes the 4th Quarter... The Patriots need a turnover in this game. Badly.

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2nd quarter: Running in cement...

If the 1st quarter was irritating, the 2nd quarter was infuriating. The score at the half, 10-0, Denver.

The Pats just can't seem to get in a rhythm on offense. It looked like they might get at least a field goal, only to have it blocked.

The Patriots defense seems to be coming within inches of getting to Broncos QB Jake Plummer, but you know, there's no tackling of QB's allowed in the NFL anymore, so any kind of contact at all is being called as a penalty.

The Pats need to come out in the 2nd half and get something going or this thing will be out of reach.

The offense is looking stagnant against the Broncos right now. We need to put together a drive and sustain it for 6.

Damn I hate Denver. (understatement)

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Pats / Donkeys: 1'st Quarter..

Well let me say, right off the bat, that the radio is still out of sync with the television. I've tried three different stations and the closest one to the game is 102.1 out of Springfield.

This game has been a slug-fest in the 1st quarter. Both offenses have shown flashes but neither one has been able to finish off a drive.

NBC is going nuts with the Deion Branch angle. Jeez guys give it up will ya? It's starting to get on my nerves. In fact, NBC's coverage in general is annoying. I am so tired of the gimmicks and exploding graphics, and sideline reporters and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Just show me the fucking game ya bunch o' knobs.

Ok. time for the 2nd quarter. Time for a Patriots score or 5.

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Pats / Donkeys: Revenge time

The Patriots will face off against the Denver Broncos tonight at The Razor in Foxboro. This is the 'vengance' game for last years playoff defeat in Denver. Of course, the outcome of tonight's game will not change the past, but if The Pats can win, it will certainly help to erase the painful memory of that playoff loss.

On offense, The Patriots running game has looked great in the first two games. The passing game, on the other hand, has been a work in progress, though I expect that is an area that will continue to get better and better as Tom Brady gets more work in with his new receivers Chad Jackson and Doug Gabriel.

Defensively, The Pats have been ferocious at times, but inconsistent play, particularly in the tackling department, has allowed opponents to keep the stress-o-meter for us fans up near the top of the red-line.

I'm sure there was a lot of work done in that area over the past week down in Foxboro. If the problem the team has had with finishing off tackles in the last two games has still not been cleaned up this week, I will be very surprised.

The Broncos come into Foxboro at 1-1, with a loss to St. Louis in Week 1 and a win over Kansas City in Week 2. It's hard to judge this Broncos team right now. They are certainly not as scary as some of the Broncos teams The Pats have faced in the past, but they are still going to be a handful. This is going to be a tough game, no doubt.

Hopefully The Pat defense can get to The Broncos QB, Jake Plummer, and rattle him into making some mistakes. On the offense, let's keep the running game going and get some more consistency in the passing game. There's my forte folks, statements of the obvious.

Personally, I always hate to play The Broncos. It is unavoidable fact, as much as I hate to say it, that The Broncos have pretty much owned The Pats over the years. At one point in time, after The Pats had not beaten Denver in over a decade, it got to the point where it was almost embarrassing.

I will always remember the scene that The Broncos former tight-end, Shannon Sharpe, made during one particular beating The Pats took at the hands of The Broncos. As the Pats were getting demolished on the field, Sharpe was on the sidelines shouting at the cameras, 'Call in the National Guard, because we are killing The Patriots'


Things have kind of evened out somewhat over the last few seasons between these two teams, but The Broncos still seem to take away more wins than losses when playing against The Patriots. Actually our fantastic TV announcers, who I am about to turn down in favor of Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti on the radio, just reminded me that The Broncos have won 4 out of the last 5 against The Pats.

And I hate that.

The Patriots are now over .500 as a team over the course of their entire history. Lets keep it going tonight.

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NFL Gameday picks over at FTTW...

Hey what's up everybody? Hope your weekend is going good. I just wanted to post a reminder to check out my NFL column, 'The End Zone', over at Faster Than the World.

Today I went out on a limb and did something I hardly ever do, I made a bunch of game-day picks. So head over there and check them out, then tell me how wrong I was about such-and-such a game in the comments!

More on the Pats / Donkeys game later. Gotta sand some drywall this afternoon. (Wicked fun.)

Oh, and have you noticed I've started the last three posts with the phrase, 'what's up?'

What's up with that?

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rainy Saturday...

Hey what's up everybody? Not much going on around here today. It is a chilly and rainy day outside today.

I have not been writing with the same frequency of late. I've been trying to do some other things, like read and play my guitar during my free time, so the site writing has taken a bit of a back seat to that, but I'm still going to try and write something at least every other day.

Today I did some more Mr. Fixit around the house. I replaced a kitchen light fixture that has been broken for a very long time. It was good to get that done. And I've been helping my Wife hang some pictures around the house.

"If you can't be handsome, at least be handy."

It's looking like it's going to be another rainy day again tomorrow, a good day to kick back and watch some football games.

I'm looking forward to the Pats / Broncos game on Sunday night. That should be a good game. The revenge factor for The Patriots is high, so I'm hoping to see the Pats come out flying.

Well, my Wife just arrived home with some pizza for our lunch. I'll probably write some more about The Pats game tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rollins Dispatches: Letters from a soldier...

Hey what's up. No fun and games tonight. I am going to give you a link to one of Henry Rollins' dispatches. In this dispatch, Henry passes on several letters from a soldier who is currently putting his ass on the line for us over in Iraq.

I hope you will read this story and think about what it says.

When I read these kinds of stories I always feel so helpless and weak and impotent. I wish there was something I could do for those guys over there. It makes me feel ashamed for the problems that I complain about, sitting here comfortable in my cushy life.

I can't believe the shit our guys go through over there in Iraq.

This is the real deal, not the BS you get on the news.

Here it is: DISPATCHES: Letters From a Soldier

I would like to suggest that you check out the 'Worthy Causes' links down there to the right. There are several good links there that will help you support our Men and Women in the Service. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Over .500 all-time. Sounds nice...

With the Patriots win over the Jets this past weekend, The Pats now have an all-time winning percentage as a team over the course of their entire history (357-356-9).

That is pretty damn cool.

Lets' keep it going this Sunday against Denver.

Other than The Pats, things have been kind of slow around here lately... Not a whole lot going on that's really worth writing about, unless you want to hear about me mowing the lawn or working on my never-ending basement project. Yes, that's right, it's still not finished. Oy, don't get me started...

It was good to see the Red Sox take 3 out of 4 this weekend in New York. The MFY may clinch the AL East, again, but at least it won't be against The Sox.

Gotta take the small victories where we can get them.

The Sox start a series with the Twins tonight that I was hoping would have a little more meaning to it a few weeks ago. Hard to believe there is only a little more than a week and a half left till the end of the regular baseball season.

Of course, there is the playoffs. Just because the Sox are out of it, that does not mean I won't still follow baseball in the post-season.

My backup team to the Red Sox is the Twins this year, so I hope they can get in as the Wildcard. In the West I'll be rooting for San Diego, so I hope they can get in too.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Pats hang on for win against Jets...

Wow. What a fucked up game that was. The Patriots / Jets game went from cruise mode to total stress mode in the span of a few minutes.

The Pats had a 17 point lead as they walked off the field at the half. They scored another 7 in the 3rd quarter to make the score 24-0, Pats.

Suddenly, the next thing you know, the Jets score 14 in the 3rd and then tack on another 3 in the 4th to make the score 24-17.

Either The Patriots defense forgot how to tackle or The Jets slathered up in vaseline in the locker room during the half, because some of those plays, with the way the Jets offenders were able to elude The Patriots defenders, were just plain nuts. Guys were missing tackles all over the field.

How it happened does not matter, only the outcome does, and I had to sweat out the end of the game hoping that The Pats would hang on for the win.

Did I mention the little bet that I had going with Michele over at Faster Than The World? The loser had to write a 4 stanza poem about how much they loved the opposite team. When the Jets cut the lead to 7 points, I started trying to think about what kind of nice things I could say about The Jets and I was not having much success at it.

The Pats offense went into grind mode with running backs Dillon, Maroney and Faulk in the 4th quarter to close out the game and I gotta say, the Pats running game was very impressive again. When the Patriots want to work the clock, they work the clock, and there's not a lot the other team can do about it.

The Pats drove to inside the Jets 20 and tried to seal the deal with field goal, which would have given the Pats a 10 point lead with under two min left on the clock, only to have rookie Stephen Gostowski's kick blocked. Welcome to what we like to refer to as, a high-pressure situation, rookie. Thankfully this kick was to maintain the lead, not to tie or take a lead.

The Jets got one last shot to tie the game but Tedy Bruschi was on the field for The Patriots and it was his interception of a Chad Pennington pass that finally put an end to the stress.

End result: 24-17, Pats.


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Sunday, September 17, 2006

You want poems?

I got fuckin' poems...

Well thankfully, The Patriots won the game today against The Jets, 24-17, meaning I did not have to write a poem about how much I love the NY Jets, which clearly, I do not.

Michele on the other hand, who is a Jets fan, was not so lucky, so in keeping up her end of the bet, here is her poem. Enjoy.

Ode to the New England Patriots

I’m supposed to be nice in this poem
but that’s kinda hard, you know
when I have to write about a team
whose past includes blesdoe

and not to mention also
the various forms of hells
that I would have to think about
in order to mention parcells

plus the fact that its’s new england
which includes boston in its place
which makes me think of the red sox
which makes me want to stab your face

so I’m trying hard to be nice here
and use language like a lady
but the only thing I can come up with
is “do you have naked pics oftom brady?”

Ok, maybe that was not the over-flowing fountain of love for The Patriots that I was hoping for, but I have to give Michele credit because that's a lot better than I would have done if the tables were turned.

When the Jets cut the Pats former 24-0 lead to a measly 7 points at 24-17, I started trying to think of nice things that I could say about The Jets if I had to write a poem about them and the only thing I could think of is that their uniform is green. Losing that game would have been bad enough, but then having to follow it up by writing a poem about The Jets? Oy. That would have been rough.

Maybe we'll have a rematch when The Pats play The Jets again in November...

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Pats / Jets at 4 o'clock, so let's rock...

Hey what's up interwebs? I just wanted to get in something quick here before the Pats / Jets game at 4 PM today.

I've been very busy doing chores and getting stuff done around the house so that I can kick back and watch the Pats game without interruption this afternoon.

4:00 games totally rock.

This Pats / Jets game is going to be very interesting. First off, you've got the whole AFC East divisional rival thing going on, plus it will be former Pats defensive coordinator, now Jets head coach, Eric Mangini's first game vs his former mentor, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. On top of that, it's Pats / Jets and that right there is enough to get the blood pumping.

Ok, that's all I've got right now. I've got to get prepped for the game. Be sure and swing over to Faster Than The World and check out my post in The End Zone. It's all about the great, wise and magnificent Football Gods. Hope you like it.

While you're over there, Michele and I are trying to come up with a fun little wager between ourselves. Michele is one of the co-founders of FTTW and she happens to be a Jets fan, so if you've got some ideas on how we can torture each other, based on the outcome of Pats / Jets game, let us know in the comments over there. Let's keep things within reason though. Like I'm not going to root for the Jets all season if I lose, so think 'fun', not 'ridiculous'...

To close things out, thank you Football Gods, as always.


The bet is set: The loser is going to have to make a post with a haiku praising the other team.


Update 2:
It was decided that bet was too wussy. So the loser must now write a four stanza poem about your love of the others team and post it on both sites.


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wrong name, wrong time...

Since I don't really have much interesting to write about today, I thought I'd roll out a short story from the past that you might find entertaining. I've been thinking about doing these kind of 'back in the day' stories for a while now and since I've got nothing else today, here you go.

These are all going to be old stories, recounted as best as I remember them. Memory might have blurred a few details, but the stories are true. I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed on these occurrences, so I'm going to guess that they are safe to tell you about.

This is a true story. It's a quick one. Hope you like it.

I used to work in software technical support. What a fucked up job that is. You learn a lot about troubleshooting computer problems, but man do you get some screwed up calls. Here's a jem:

Me: Thanks for calling [company name] technical support, this is Ernie, can I help you?

Caller: (angrily) WHAT??

Me: Ah, hi thanks for calling [company name] technical support. My name is Ernie. Is there something I can help you with?

Caller: (angrier) What the FUCK did you just say to me?

Me: This is [company] technical support can I help you?

Caller: What the FUCK is your name?

Me: My name is Ernie. I'm not really sure what the problem is. Is there something I can help you with?

Caller: Is this some kind of FUCKING joke??

Me: Um, no, it's not. Are you having some problems with your system?

Caller: Let me talk to your FUCKING boss...

Me: (incredulous) Ok sir...

I put this whack-job on hold and called my boss. I explained to him that there was a customer on the phone who was pissed off and swearing at me.

Sounding tired, my boss asked me, 'What did you do this time?'


I was known for being a bit too 'blunt' with customers at times, but in this case I had no idea what I had done wrong.

The boss let out a sigh and in a beaten down voice said, 'ok. transfer him over...'

I transfered whack-job and moved on to the next call. When I finished I went over to the boss' cube and asked what the hell was up with that guy I had sent him.

My boss explained, 'Apparently his name was Ernie and he thought you were making fun of him or something when you answered the phone and told him your name was Ernie.'

What the fuck. Welcome to technical support.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Next year...

I don't usually quote other sites, but Beth wrote this last night as the Sox were laying the smack down on the Birds, and I have to say, I was touched.

"This is, in a way, another dimension of appreciating 2004. This is another opportunity to savor it. This is exactly the kind of listless, hopeless, go-nowhere September night we knew it'd see us through. A listless, hopeless, go-nowhere September night on which no one can bring up Babe Ruth or 1918 or even Grady Little. I'm keeping that in mind."

I have not written about this yet, but last Friday, I was there and in person at Fenway, and last Friday, I watched and I cheered 'till my throat hurt and I clapped my hands 'till my palms hurt and I put my hat on backwards and inside-out and I rubbed my lucky Patriots socks as the Red Sox came back from a five run deficit, to take the lead in the game... only to have Mike Timlin come out and give up the go-ahead runs in the 9th as the Sox were eventually beaten by the K.C. Royals, 10-9.

That was the moment that I threw in the towel on this baseball season.

It's over, and for me, that is hard to say, but it's time to face the cold reality of it. It's over.

I bought a new Red Sox ball-cap that night after the game was over and I've got a feeling this one's got some luck in it. I have not taken it off, even though it's Patriots season. I'm getting it infused with some Patriots magic dust, see?

We'll get them next year.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When Carbs Attack...

I've been doing pretty good with my workout and eating regiment. I've been working out almost every day, some days twice a day, walking in the morning and lifting weights in the gym at work during lunch. Of course, the needle on the scale has not budged off of the 160 line, but it feels good to know that I am at least doing something about it.

Yesterday after the gym I ate lunch but I was still pretty hungry afterward. I was craving some kind of chips or candy or something. I thought about heading to Dunks for a coffee as that usually helps curve my cravings, but I did not. I was pretty busy at work and taking off to grab a coffee would not have been a good idea.

I should have just had some of the office coffee which is not that bad, but instead I caved in and had a soda and some pretzels. Lots of sugar, lots of carbs. Then to top that off, my Wife wanted spaghetti for dinner, so stack some spaghetti and a piece of bread on there too, cuz you've got to do something to sop up the tomato sauce. I did have a salad with dinner so it was not a complete disaster.

I guess it could have been worse. I could have had a beer too, ha.

Before I got married, I used to have a chew after working out to help cut down on the hunger, but I quit that stuff the day I got engaged over 12 years ago and I'm not going back to doing that again, even though every now and then I still do get the craving for a good chaw...

Overall I've been doing good with the regiment. It was a minor setback yesterday but not killer. I'm sure my friend the scale will remain stuck at 160 either way.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Patriots trade Branch to Seattle in exchange for 1st round pick...

Well The Patriots have finally come to a resolution in dealing with holdout wide receiver Deion Branch. They have traded him to Seattle in return for The Seahawks 2007 first round draft pick.

It is good to have this situation finished and done with, but I have to say, I was hoping that The Pats were going to eventually work out a deal with Branch that would have kept him in a Patriots uniform. I think the team has a good chance to go all the way this year and Branch could have provided the Pats with a great offensive weapon at wide receiver.

At least the Patriots will get something for him, though with a lot of people picking The Seahawks to go far into the playoffs this year, possibly even the Superbowl, I'm not sure how much value that additional pick is going to get them. Only time will tell on that.

In the meantime, even without Branch, I'm hoping to see The Patriots passing game improve as the team gets receivers such as Chad Jackson back from injury and Doug Gabriel comes up to speed with The Patriots system.

In Belichick We Trust

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Sports talk radio can bite me...

Only on sports talk radio do you have to feel bad about 'not winning good enough'.

I was listening to WEEI's Dennis and Calahan on the radio this morning while driving in to work as they interviewed / interrogated Tom Brady about his performance in yesterday's game, which happened to be a win over The Pats' divisional rival, The Buffalo Bills.

As I was listening to Brady's responses to the radio hosts' questions, I could not help but notice how sorry and apologetic Brady's voice sounded as the hosts of the show sat back and critiqued the mistakes he had made during game.

Let me say again, THE PATRIOTS WON THE FUCKING GAME, but from the tone of the interview and the sound of Brady's voice, you'd think The Pats had lost by 10 points.

Yeah, Brady was not exactly en-fuego Sunday. He was not his usual, sharp self and he was undoubtedly disappointed with the outcome of some of his plays, but Brady will work to evaluate and correct his mistakes on his own and with the help of his coaches. I'm pretty sure he does not need some idiot radio talk-show host to assist him in pointing out the problems with his game.

Oh wait, one of the show hosts is a football coach for 9 year old kids, so he's got the cred to pick apart 2 Time Superbowl MVP Tom Brady's performance yesterday... Phht. What a joke.

Brady made mistakes yesterday, but he also had some big plays too, and bottom line: The Pats won. Who cares by how many points it was or how it happened? It was a good comeback victory. End of discussion. Move on. I can't stand hearing people complain that a team did not win 'good enough'. An ugly win is still a win.

This is why I don't listen to sports radio. The hosts of these shows don't deserve to hold Tom Brady's clipboard on the sidelines during a game, yet here they are questioning him about the mistakes he made during a game that he helped his team to win.

Listening to a bunch of self-proclaimed 'experts' sit around with the benefit of hindsight and rip a team and the guys who were actually on the field and coaching the game... it's not for me. If it were not for the The Boomer Esiason / Tom Brady / Coach Belichick interviews on 'Patriots Mondays,' I would not listen to sports radio at all.

"Other than that I have no strong opinions no this subject"

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Today's the day! Get over to Faster Than the World and check it out!

Today's a big day over at Faster Than the World. This is the day that the brand new website kicks it into gear and it looks great!

It's been a lot of work for everybody involved, especially Turtle and Michele, the founders of the site. If you have not stopped by to check it out yet, head on over there today and join in because the whole point of this thing is to have fun.

FTTW is one of the few sites where there really is something there for everybody; music, movies, cars, sex, sports, adventure stories, and stuff that doesn't fit into categories.

I think the new site design came out really great and I'm glad to be involved over there. Turtle and Michele are always on the lookout for new contributors too, so if you want to get involved, just step up!

See you over there!

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pats / Bills 2nd Half: Comeback time...

This post was a bit delayed because as soon as the game ended, I had to get out and cut my lawn. Hey, that's life.

The Pats came out in the 2nd half and were still sputtering a little on offense but the defense continued to get better as the game continued. The play of the game was a huge defensive stop by the Patriots, when The Bills decided to go for it on a 4th and 1 at the Pats 7 yard line. That was the turning point of the game.

A score of any kind by The Bills at that point would have put a lot of pressure on the Pats passing game, which was obviously not at it's best today. A field goal would have made things difficult for The Pats. A TD probably would have put the game out of reach.

Thankfully, the Pats defense kept The Bills from putting up more points on the board. On the following drive, Tom Brady started to click with his receivers and The Pats were able to drive 93 yards for a TD. That cut the Bills lead to 17-14.

The Pats had gained the momentum and even though they were still a bit inconsistent at times, they got the job done. A field goal by their rookie kicker, Steve Gostkowski, tied it up 17-17, and on the next series, The Pats came up with a safety after sacking the Bills QB in the end-zone to make it 19-17, Pats.

As the 4th quarter ticked away The Pats were able to mount a long, clock killing drive. They moved into position to put more points on the board, but thankfully it was unnecessary. The Pats had been able to work the clock down to under two minutes and were able to kneel on the ball to take the 19-17 score into the locker-room as the final outcome of the game.

As for me, this game was stressful to watch. I got that familiar, tight chested feeling that often happens to me during games like this. Don't worry though, I'm not going to be keeling over any time soon.

My baby daughter got to take in her first ever Patriots game and I think she liked it. She seemed to particularly enjoy the part where I ran around the room a few times after Brady had tossed a TD pass to Pats running back Kevin Faulk, cutting the score at the time to 17-14, Bills.

Offensively, The Pats were inconsistent overall, but they made the plays when it counted. The lack of any kind of intimidating receiver that could keep the secondary honest seemed to really hurt The Patriots passing game. This is an area of concern but I have a feeling we will see an improvement next week.

Defensively, things started off slow, but continued to get better and better as the game wore on. The Pats D seemed to become more ferocious with each ensuing play.

Both the offense and the defense seemed to be out of rhythm at the start of the game, almost as if the team was remembering how the pace of a real NFL game worked. The good news is that the play on both sides of the ball improved throughout the game. I'll take that as a good sign and leave it at that.

One interesting thing to note was that the crowd noise at The Razor was able to cause Buffalo some problems on offense today. Incredibly, the new NFL commissioner talked in a pre-game interview about the fact that he is looking for ways to prevent the fans from having this kind of an impact on the game. He is effectively trying to take away a big part of the home-field advantage, which is the 12th Man, THE FANS WHO ARE PAYING TO SEE THE GAME. Insanely stupid. That is the only way I can think to describe what my feelings are about this plan the comish has hatched...

Game one is in the books. 15 to go. Damn I'm glad The Patriots are back.

(Oh, and the lawn looks great!)


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Pats / Bills - 1st Half thoughts...

Some quick thoughts on the Pats / Bills game at half-time:

17 - 7 Bills at the half. It's been frustrating to watch.

- Right off the bat, the radio broadcast on WBCN is totally out of sync with the TV broadcast. The play is over on the TV before the call even starts on the radio. I switched over to 102.1 (WAQY) out of Springfield and it is a lot better. It's still a little behind the play, but not horrible. I can at least watch the game with Gil and Gino calling it this way. You'd think the primary station, WBCN, would be right on and in sync with the plays, but, for some reason it's totally off. Whatever. 102.1 works and I can watch the game without having to listen to the boobs calling the game on the TV.

- The Pats offense is totally out of sync as well. The running game has shown some sparks here and there, but mostly seems to be inconsistent. The passing game looks awful right now. Brady is having balls batted down left and right and has narrowly avoided getting picked off on several occasions. Things were off to a bad start right out of the gates with Brady fumbling the ball on the opening drive. That resulted in a Bills TD less than 12 seconds into the game. Sheesh.

- Defense: After starting the game with some inconsistent play as well, they seemed to have shorn things up as the game has worn on. Early on, The Pats looked like they had the Bills stopped behind the line of scrimmage on several occasions but somehow The Bills have managed to make something out of it. The Pats seemed to have stopped that kind of stuff from happening as the 2nd Quarter got going.

- There's not much good to say right now. Thankfully, it's only half-time and there's time for The Pats to get back in this thing.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

God-Damm I love Rodney Harrison

This is from a story in the Boston Herald today that talked about how things work in the Patriots locker room.

One locker room scene yesterday had Willie Andrews kindly agreeing to an interview. The first-year defensive back was about five words into his first answer, when Rodney Harrison walked by.

“You don’t have anything to say,” Harrison said, without breaking stride. “You’re a rookie. You haven’t done anything yet. What could you have to talk about?”

Andrews gave a sheepish look back at the 13-year-veteran.

“I guess I have nothing to say,” Andrews said.

Dude. I fucking love this shit. Rodney Harrison is 'THE BALLS'. He makes me want to swoon. (In a very manly, masculine sort of way of course...)

And how about Tedy Bruschi, out there on the field practicing while wearing a cast on his broken wrist with the words, "Bear Down," written on it.

The Patriots are going to win the Superbowl this year.

Meanwhile the always bright and sunny Boston press is doing it's best convince Sox fans that the season is over and not to waste their energy hoping for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. Well I say, FUCK THAT. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no.

Ok, so maybe the Red Sox playoff chances are slim to none. I'm going to keep rooting for them and hoping they get in anyway. I'm just kinda crazy like that. 'Some people say that I'm nuts, I'm crazy, I'm a little wacked... Welcome to the show!'

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Kickoff...

Well the NFL kicks off the '06 season in a few minutes and I'm pretty happy to have football back. I'd be ecstatic if I was not so damn tired. I had a long day today. I was tired when I got home from work and I came through the door to find all of the kids were sick with upset stomachs. Not fun. After everybody was put to bed, I wound up eating a few super-heathly pretzels and a beer for dinner.

I am curious to see how NBC's coverage will be during this game. I gotta say I'm a little skeptical. I'm not a big fan of Al Michaels and John 'The Animatronic Muppet' Madden but, whatever. NBC has decent NASCAR and NHL coverage, so hopefully it will be alright.

Ok, NBC has mangled a perfectly good Joan Jett song and the big Pittsburgh Steelers love-fest is finally over. We are almost ready get on with the game.

The game has started and I am glad to see that NBC has finally caught on to the fact that people want to see the score during the game. I remember several years ago, when NBC was still covering the games, before they lost the NFL TV contract to CBS, they stubbornly refused to show the scoreboard during the games. Why? They didn't want people checking the score and then turning the channel. They wanted you to hang around till the commercials started, then they'd flash the score of the game. Bitches. I practically jumped for joy when CBS took over the AFC games from NBC.

Now that the game is underway, I've got to say this: I fucking can't stand the Steelers. They have to be the most obnoxious team in the league and I'm hoping for a Miami upset in this game. I'll be pretty surprised if Miami wins this one, but it would be nice to see.

Do any of the new shows NBC is pushing look interesting... at all? That would be an emphatic, no.

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Check out my first football post over at Faster Than The World..

Hey if the NFL can hype itself, why can't I?

Football season finally kicks off tonight and my first post in 'The End Zone' is now up over at Faster Than The World. Swing by and check it out! Hope you like it.

I'll have a regular slot every Sunday morning at FTTW so head over there before the games start to get a full dose of, well, whatever you want to call this stuff that I write.

And don't forget to look at all the other cool stuff that's over there too. There's a ton of stories, buttons, links and pictures for you to click on and explore, so dive in and have fun!

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2 out of 3 ain't bad...

Ok, so the Red Sox did not get the sweep against the Other Sox tonight, losing by a score of 8-1, but come on, taking two out of three from this team is nothing to complain about.

I kind of expected the Sox to get their ass kicked in this series to be honest. I mean, obviously, I hoped the Red Sox would do good against the Other Sox, but I can't really say that I expected it to happen, especially when I saw that Kason Gabbard was pitching yesterday, but it was an enjoyable surprise to see him pitch so effectively in last night's game and get the win.

The good news is that The Twinkies also lost tonight to the Tampa Bay Devil Dogs, so we did not lose any ground to them in the Wildcard. The Sox remain at 6 games behind Minnesota.

Speaking of Minnesota, lets take a look at their schedule. They're playing some tough teams over the next few weeks: Detroit, Oakland, Chicago and of course, The Red Sox.

Chip, chip, chip. That's what the Sox need to keep doing. Just keep chipping away and try to gain a little ground with every series.

I'll be going to the Sox / K.C. game this Friday where some guy named Jarvis will be pitching for the Sox. Who? I don't know but I don't care. Now that the Sox are not as trendy anymore I've got some tickets to a game and I am psyched to be going to Fenway this year (psyched: that's my new over-used word these days by the way.) If you're heading to the game, let me know! Maybe we can have a beer outside of Fenway.

I wonder how much beers cost inside the park this year... When I went to the Pats pre-season game a few weeks ago, the beers were 7.50 inside the stadium. 7.50! Can you believe that?? 7.50 for a frikkin bottle of Bud! Phhht. Fuck. That.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No quitting allowed...

You know, as much as I would like to just shut it down, give 100% of my attention to The Pats and forget about any post-season hopes for The Red Sox this year, there's something in me that simply won't allow me to do it.

I just can't bring myself give up all hope for The Sox making the playoffs until that magic elimination number, which currently stands at 20, is down to zero.

The Sox are 6 back for the Wild Card spot. Climbing back from a six game deficit would be extremely difficult to overcome, but it's still not completely out of reach.

I know, roll your eyes and tell me I'm nuts. See, I talk myself into this stuff. I can't help it. I know it's irrational. When it comes to The Red Sox, I am insane. That's the only way to explain it.

Now that I've gone and convinced myself that there is still a reason to believe, I went and checked the Sox website and saw that Kason Gabbard and his 6.35 ERA is starting for the Red Sox tonight vs the Other Sox.

All I can say is, 'Ooog.' Talk about slapping me in the face and bringing me back to reality... but GO SOX anyway! I've still got some positive vibes for ya.

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We're on a Mission to Destroy... This is gonna be cool

Well my vacation is over and I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. I have not really been on the computer for the last few days, except to check an e-mail here and there and to look at a few selective websites.. My bloglines list has like 600 unread posts backed up in there so I'll have to catch up with that stuff later.

In the meantime, something pretty exciting has come up for me that has me all jacked and pumped. Michele and Turtle over at Faster Than the World are taking their site to a whole new level and they have asked me to be a part of it.

They are turning their site into an online magazine with contributing writers who will be posting about all kinds of cool, different and interesting topics, ranging from music, to muscle cars, to sex, to movies... sports, video games, guitars, and stuff that just does not fit into any category.

They have asked me to write a weekly story about the NFL for their new site and I am pretty fucking psyched about it because this thing is going to be really cool. I am psyched that I am going to be involved in this.

My stories will appear on Sunday mornings before the games get started. I hope you will take some time to check them out and participate in the comments, and while you're over there, definetely check out the rest of the stuff on Faster Than The World because it really kicks ass.

It will suck you right in.

Trust me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P. Steve Irwin...

I heard the news on the radio today that Steve Irwin, a.k.a. The Crocodile Hunter, has died in an accident while filming an underwater documentary. This is terrible news and I am truly, truly saddened to hear this news.

Steve Irwin was an inspirational person to me. I looked up to him and I thought he was great, not because of his tv shows and documentaries, which were cool, but because of his outlook on life and the way he lived it.

Steve Irwin lived every day doing what he loved to do and from watching his shows, it seemed like every day was the best day of his life. I always thought that to be so fucking cool. I spend most of my time in an office; a drone, a grunt, just trying to make ends meet and support my family. I can't say that I love my work, but it's a decent job, and it's a paycheck.

Watching Steve made me believe that it is possible to wake up every day and look forward to what's in store for you. He lived it to the fullest, 100 percent every day and he inspired me to try and live the same way.

Steve Irwin was 'the balls'. Rest In Peace, Steve.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dude, what day is it?

Hey whas up yo? What is this here computre thingy anywayz?

I got back last night from a trip to the White Mountains of N.H. with my family. It was a lot of fun, at times, agonizing and also, surreal. I never thought I'd be uttering the words, 'IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR RIGHT NOW...', but I did. I actually did.

Thankfully I've got another day to recover before returning to work, because I'm kind of exhausted. Today would have been a day of relaxation, but for some crazy reason, I thought my kids might like to take in their very first real, live baseball game.

We had tickets to see the Worcester Tornadoes this afternoon. The problem? Non-fucking-stop rain. In the hours leading up to the game, I was looking on the team site and calling the hot-line phone number, trying to see if the game would be called. It was friggin pouring out so it had to be called, I mean, it had to be, at least that's what I kept telling myself.

Time clicked by but no update on the team phone number or their website. Finally I said well, I guess we're going to the game. I don't know what had come over me, I really don't, but we all got our raincoats on and headed out into the rain to watch some baseball.

My wife dropped me and the kids off at the ball park. My daughter was wearing her ladybug raincoat, which is red with black spots, just like a ladybug, along with matching boots, with eyeballs and antennae popping out on the front toes, and my son was dressed up in his frog raincoat and boots; green with yellow spots also with matching green boots and eyeballs popping out of the front toes.

As I walked up to the gate I asked the guy taking the tickets, 'Are they gonna call this game?', still not quite believing that I was actually there.

'No way to know,' was his reply.

Well, I have to give credit to my kids because they were super-good; standing around in the rain, eating a pretzel and pop-corn and looking at the covered up infield of the ball park, asking when the game was going to start while I drank a beer, wondering what the hell was wrong with me to actually think we were going to see a baseball game today.

They were starting to look at me with one of those, 'Dad, what are you doing, are you nuts?' looks. I'm sure they'll be recounting this story to the amusement of others in a few years. I can hear it now, 'Remember when Dad took us to see our first baseball game.... in the RAIN?'

I bought them each a baseball to cheer them up and that seemed to make them both much happier.

Mercifully, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers that the game was going into rain-delay mode. My wife came and picked us up in the van and we all thankfully climbed in.

That was not exactly what I was hoping for when I was planning to take my kids to their first-ever, real-life baseball game. I was kinda hoping for blue skies and sunshine. I guess maybe we'll get another shot tomorrow when the Tornadoes try to make up the game in a day night double-header...


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