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Entries from March 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

NFL Rules and Dream Cars...

Hey what's up? I am over at Faster Than the World today trying to find out which baseball team people are going to be rooting for this year and talking about my first dream car, the Datsun 240Z. Head over and check it out and leave me some comments! Yes I am a comment whore. So what?

There are a bunch of great stories to read over there while you're at it so, head over and enjoy!

Not much going on around these here parts other than the fact that I am still sick and coughing my goddam head off. My whole body aches from coughing and my head is killing me. This sucks!!

I saw the NFL owners decided to make replay permanent, until someone decides to try and make it un-permanent. I don't really have a problem with instant re-play. It does kind of stall the game at times but overall I think they do a pretty good job with it.

The only other rule change that jumped out at me was the new one about spiking the ball in the field of play. So does that mean the end-zone too or just on the main field of play, between the end zones? I'm not sure so I'll have to read up on that one.

This rule seems kind of lame to me. The NFL is kind of silly about player celebrations and that sort of thing. It's getting to the point where players can't do anything expressive on the field. I agree that sometimes it can get over the top, like when T.O. pulls out a pen from his sock and signs a ball, but I don't see what's so bad about spiking a ball. If you make a big play in a game, you are going to be excited and I don't see what's wrong with a player showing that excitement. That is the kind of thing that gets fans fired up, like when a player makes a first down and throws his arm forward, giving the first down sign, or if a running back runs for a huge gain and spins the ball on the ground. I love that stuff! That is part of what makes the game fun.

Players need to have some way to express themselves after a big play. Like I said I have not fully read up on this new rule but on the surface it seems pretty ridiculous to me. Typical NFL, No Fun League.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Finally some news on Troy Brown...

Hey what's up you-all? Posting has been light around here this week. I have come down with a bad cold and that has kept me on the DL in general. Besides feeling generally under the weather, there has not been a whole lot of stuff going on to post about.

We finally got some news about Troy Brown and it's sounding like he should be back with the Patriots for 2007. Brown has expressed his desire to continue to play football and Bill Belichick has stated that Troy is in The Patriots plans for the upcoming season. Of course the two sides still have to agree on a contract, but it's sounding positive so far.

Hopefully all this is on the up and up and we'll soon get some news of Troy and The Pats working out a contract for this season.

Other than that, there's not a heck of a lot to talk about around here right now. Just trying to feel better and looking forward to opening day.

This damn cold is a pain in the ass. I was doing good getting back on the exercise track too and now I'm right back on the DL. Dang it. Hope this cold goes away soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

People at my house need to stop hurting themselves..

My wife called me earlier today to inform me that she had just fallen down an entire flight of stairs. Thankfully she is ok, except for some bumps and bruises. Apparently she was trying to carry too much stuff while at the same time, trying to close the baby gate and ended up losing her balance. Thank God she was not hurt!!

Last week, the baby fell down the stairs. She is now starting to walk and wants to climb onto everything. We have gates at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent her from climbing on them unattended but somehow the baby pried open the bottom of the wooden safety gate at the bottom of the stairs and managed to get past it onto the steps. She lost her balance and fell down a number of steps. Thanking God once again, aside from some bruises, the baby was ok. The wooden gates have now been replaced with double-locking metal (read: impregnable) gates.

After the last snowstorm, I was outside with the older kids sledding. My son decided he was going to try going down the hill on his toy snow-ball shield, which is basically an air-filled disk with a handle on it that's about a foot wide and maybe two inches thick. It's meant to be held in your hand as a shield in snowball fights. It's not meant as a sled. I did not think that riding his snow-ball shield was such a good idea but before I could say anything he was already zooming down the hill laughing and picking up speed. He ended up sliding right off of the shield and slid down the bottom half of the icy, snowy hill on his face. Thank God, HE was ok, except for some scrapes on his cheeks and a cut lip.

Then, not 10 minutes after depositing my wailing son in the house with Mom to get his lip patched up, my older daughter was running on the driveway in her boots, tripped and landed flat on HER face. UNBELIEVABLE. Thank God SHE was ok, except for a scrape on her nose.

So basically everybody in my house is black and blue and is covered in cuts, scrapes and bruises. Everybody except me. WTF?? I'm starting to worry that people are going to think I'm abusive or something. These people need to start being more careful!

To top things off they're all scheduled to have their portraits taken today and of course everybody has some kind of cut or bruise on their face. Those will be nice to hang on the wall... Oy.

Update:
I called my Wife to see how she was feeling and to see how the pictures came out. At the time I called she was shopping in Yankee Candle for some new scented candles. After a few seconds she had to abruptly end the call. Apparently the demolition crew (my children) were in the process of knocking over an entire display in the store... [shakes head].

Suddenly I've got a headache.

Fu Manchu, B's debacle, Sox new old closer...

I went to see Fu Manchu play at The Middle East in Cambridge last night and I was up waaaay past my bed time. I did not get home till around 2 AM this morning and now I am super, super sleepy. I am basically in a semi-caffeinated, trance like state right now. Very non-productive.

Fu Manchu was great and they did a bunch of songs off of 'The Action Is Go' album which is the one that I have, so that was nice. Even better they did the song, 'Saturn III', which is my favorite song on that album. They also did 'Grendel, Snowman', 'Evil Eye' and a couple others. I wanna say the did 'Anodizer' but my brain is failing me and I cannot confirm or deny whether that song was actually played. In any case, super cool all around. All of their songs rocked. The songs they played off their new album, 'We Must Obey', were very good. I'm going to have to put that one on my list of albums to buy. They ended the night, after the obligatory walk off the stage and come back out thing, with a cover of 'Godzilla'.

/Guitar nerd - I noted that Fu Manchu's lead guitar player was playing a Gibson SG. /Guitar nerd

I got to The Middle East extremely early. I was one of the first ten or so people in the club so that was interesting since a lot of the band guys were in there just hanging out. I did not talk to them. It was just interesting to see them in that environment, sitting around in an empty club, relaxing and getting ready for the show.

I thought the band that played before Fu Manchu, Valient Thorr, was ok. Their singer is a madman. He was all over the place. Getting up on the bar and walking around in the crowd on the floor. His antics were pretty entertaining to watch.

There were two other bands that played as well, but one of them I don't remember so obviously I was not that impressed with them. The first band of the night to play were actually pretty good. I think they were a local Boston band called 'Bull by the Horns' or something like that. I kind of missed getting their name...

{looks up band name online}

They are called Mess With the Bull. I liked those guys. I'll have to keep an eye out for them in the future. Also, I noted the singer / guitar player played a Gibson Firebird guitar. You don't see a lot of those these days. I am easily impressed.

Oh and the other band that played was called Seemless. I should say, they were not a bad band. They were ok but I did not find them to be exceptional. To be honest I  was not paying a lot of attention to them when they were on because at the time I was sitting at the bar watching the infuriating debacle that was last night's Bruins / Habs game.

Since I've meandered onto the subject of sports, when I was not hiding my face in my hands at the dismal-ness of the Bruins, I caught a between periods segment that featured Jonathan Papelbon commenting on his recent switch from the starting role back to being the Sox closer. It seems he truly wants to be the closer, and the change was something he asked for, so that is cool. I kind of assumed that he would prefer to be a starting rotation guy, but if Papelbon is really happier working as the closer, then even better!

I am getting excited for The Sox to start playing some real games.

Some thoughts on the Bristol race this weekend...

I know that I'm in the minority here but I don't like The Bristol race. The reason I don't like the racing at Bristol is because it's basically one big long set of caution laps with a few green flag racing laps sporadically thrown in. Yes, the history and the concept of racing at Bristol is cool, but the always caution filled race itself just frustrates me as a viewer.

One thing that does have me interested in this year's Bristol race is the fact that NASCAR will be running the 'Car of Tomorrow' at Bristol. I am curious to see how NASCAR's new car will perform and what, if any difference it makes in the race. It should be interesting, provided we can get some racing in, between caution laps.

NASCAR Ranting and Raving Blog has a good post up talking about the Car of Tomorrow and The Bristol race this weekend. By the way, if you're wondering where all the good NASCAR blogs are, definitely check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving and go from there. You can't go wrong.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Paps to closer role, Fu Manchu show tonight...

So it looks like The Sox now have their closer. Jonathan Papelbon is going to be moved out of the starting rotation and into the closer role.

Interestingly, I first read the news over at 38 Pitches, Curt Shilling's personal blog, as opposed to a 'normal' news outlet like ESPN or the Boston Herald. Even though I have not seen anything officially official out of The Sox, I'd say this information is pretty reliable and it's minty-fresh. Which is nice.

Admission time: While I am glad that The Sox now have the closer spot squared away, Papelbon is guaranteed nails, I have to admit I was looking forward to seeing Paps in the starting rotation. Based on my deep and unquestionable baseball fan knowledge, (HA!) I feel that Papelbon has what it takes to be a great starting pitcher so it is tough to see him not getting his chance to show what he can do as a starter.

However, the team has a need at closer and if you have a guy already on the team who you know you can count on to shut the door in the ninth, you have to do what is best for the team, so in that sense, this move makes perfect sense. Sense-wise... (Now I'm just being stupid.)

According to Curt Shilling's post, Papelbon is ok with moving to the closer spot and his health does not seem to be an issue (for now). So in the end, though there is some wondering of what might have been with Paps as a starter, moving him to the closer makes the Sox a better team in the long run and that is the bottom line.

And since I'm admitting things: I have not watched a single inning of Spring Training baseball. Not one. No Dice-Man, no Shilling, no none of it. Spring Training holds no interest for me. The things that happen on the mound and in the field and even at the plate are of no consequence. Everybody is just working on their stuff, different pitches, different batting stances, etc etc, so what you are watching in Spring Training is about as meaningless as it gets. Guys can look like crap during Spring Training and then start the season en fuego (have not pulled that phrase out in a while, must be getting close to baseball season). Guys can look awesome during Spring Training and then go right in the shitter once the season starts. So I don't pay a lot of attention to Spring Training, other than the fact that I am glad it is happening and that the games will be for real, real soon.

--

In other non-related to anything news, I'm heading into Boston (ok, technically the People's Republic of Cambridge) to see Fu Manchu play at The Middle East tonight. It should be a good show and I am looking forward to it. I don't know a ton of Fu Manchu's stuff, I only have one of their albums, 'The Action Is Go', but that is a great album and thus, they are a great band. Plus I was told by a very reliable source that Fu Manchu is also great to see live, so for 12 bucks, I figure I can't go wrong!

In honor of going to the Fu Manchu show, I have decided to grow a Fu Manchu mustache. The only problem is, I am facially-hair challenged, so my Fu Manchu is pretty lame mustache-wise... Maybe in two months or so, it might start to look ok.

Pats continue to be active in free agency, no word on Troy Brown...

The Patriots continue to be active in free-agency, re-signing several of their own free agents over the past few days. I noticed the re-signing of wide receiver Bam Childress and I can't help but continue to wonder, what is going on with Troy Brown?

Not that I think that Childress' signing would have any impact on whether or not The Pats will sign Brown, it just perked my curiosity as to what is happening with Troy's playing situation.

As I had written earlier, I usually do not focus on individual players, but Troy Brown is a special case. Hopefully there will be some news about his status soon. Is he retiring? Is he coming back for another year? Are The Pats negotiating with him on a new contract?

When you're dealing with The Patriots, there's no way to know. We won't find out what's really going on with Troy until we read about it on Patriots.com, unless of course he signs somewhere else, but hopefully that will not be the case.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Spring AND Free Coffee Day at Dunks!

Wednesday odds and ends:

1. It is now officially Spring, which is awesome, even though it was 12 degrees outside this morning and there is still a foot of snow on the ground. That nasty white stuff will soon be gone as the unstoppable force of Spring continues to grow even more powerful with each passing day.

Sorry Winter, just because you woke up late and didn't get your ass in gear until February this year, that does not mean you get extra time during Spring to make up for lost time. Now go away. Birds, time to get a-chirpin'...

2. Because it is now officially Spring, Dunkins is giving out free iced coffee today. YAY! Who cares if it's only 25 degrees outside. FREE ICED COFFEE!

3. I'm still pissed and irritated over the Bruins loss to the bleeping Habs last night, which for all intents and purposes, ended any hopes of them making the playoffs. Therefore, hear me now, as I am officially rooting for the NY Islanders now. The Isles are now my Eastern Conference Backup Team for 2006-7. Unless they don't make the playoffs either. If the Isles don't get in, my fall-back team at that point is The Toronto Maple Leafs. And if THEY don't make the playoffs, my backup backup team is the Ottawa Senators. Yes, I know it is somewhat odd that 2 out of 3 or my backup teams are still fighting for a playoff spot. At least I know the Senators will make the playoffs this year.

4. The Dugout has a funny post today all about Manny and his gas-grill auction on e-bay, which, by the way, is not really his grill, but his neighbor's grill.. (I don't know what is more absurd, Manny selling his neighbor's grill on e-bay or the fact that this has turned out to be such a big story..)

5. I got disk one of Miami Vice Season 3 in the mail yesterday. Woop!

Update:
E-Bay has taken down the page for Manny's neighbor's gas-grill. Maybe somebody bought it. It did come with an autographed baseball after all...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kissing the playoffs goodbye. Friggin Bruins...

I just watched The B's lose a 1-0 game to the Fucking Habs. Fucking Habs!! Hate them. HATE THEM!

FUCK! I'm pissed.

Goodbye playoffs.

It has been so frustrating watching The Bruins this season. Will baseball season ever start?? I need a distraction from this one step forward, two steps back nonsense.

Post thought:
I felt that Bruins goalie, (or if you prefer, net-minder,) Tim Thomas played great in this game. The B's left him hanging out there. Damn shame.

Post thought 2:
Today is Bobby Orr's birthday so I'll be having a drink for him. Here's to ya #4.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Waiting for word on Troy Brown...

With The Patriots' off-season workout program beginning today, I am hoping there will soon be some news out of Foxboro relating to the status of Troy Brown. Unnamed sources aside, (we had a perfect example of reality vs 'urban legend' a few weeks back,) I would take news of Brown's presence at The Pats off-season training program as a true sign of his intentions to return to the field in 2007, but there have been no T. Brown sightings reported as of yet.

I generally try not to get sentimental about players but Troy Brown is one of the exceptions. If Brown decides to continue playing football in 2007, it will be a shame if he is not wearing a Patriots uniform on kickoff weekend. Troy Brown epitomizes the team-first concept of The Patriots. Yes, he is getting up there in age, but he is still a play-maker on offense, defense and special teams.

Coach Belichick has been known to gush about how special Troy Brown is as a player. Of course, he has done that with a lot of different players that have eventually ended up playing for teams other than The Patriots, Willie McGinnist immediately comes to mind, but despite the glut of receivers on the Patriots roster at this early stage, if Brown decides to play this season, this is one case where I hope Belichick and Pioli will follow through and make sure that Troy Brown remains a New England Patriot in 2007.

GO PATS

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Busy week ahead...

Busy week ahead.

I recently found out, late last week, that the group I am in at work is being dissolved and I am going to be placed in a new group. Not the greatest news in the world, but better than getting let go, that is for sure. Thankfully there is a lot going on at work, so they are in an adding mode as opposed to the opposite.

Switching to a new group may be a little stressful, but I am still employed so that is how I look at it. I am going to try and keep an open mind and hope this new group turns out to be cool.

Thank God I still have a job...

So, Monday might be interesting at work. It is still up in the air when all these changes are actually going to happen, but they are going to happen soon.

Tuesday Miami Vice Season 3 and 4 comes out on DVD. Go ahead, make fun if you want but I am not ashamed to admit that I love Miami Vice. I think that it is a great show. I guess I am kind of nerdy about it actually... I am looking forward to getting disk 1 of season 3 in the mail later this week from Netflix.

Wednesday it is the first day of Spring and Dunkins is giving away free iced coffee. Can't go wrong with that!

Thursday I'm going to see Fu Manchu play a show at the Middle East club in Boston. Fu Manchu is a good band so that should be a lot of fun. I started listening to those guys on the recommendation of Turtle and Michele over at Faster Than The World.

Friday is Friday.

So there you go. Lots of things going on this week and quite a few things to look forward to!

March Fatness Update...

Ok it's time for March Fatness! It's my once a month update on my perpetual attempt to lose weight. Yes, I realize nobody probably cares about this stuff, but... here it is anyway.

Goal: 155
Current: High 160's.

Eating-wise, I'd grade my last month a 'D'. I fully sucked when it came to my eating the last month. Lots of big meals, lots of late night chips and pretzels, and I've gotten into a bit of a bad habit where I've been drinking during the week. Not only is alcohol fattening, but, weeknight drinking just not a good habit to be getting into. It's not like I'm getting loaded or drinking every night, and when I do have a drink it's usually only one beer or a glass of whiskey and ice, but still, I don't want to have that turn into a 'regular' thing, if you get my meaning... so that is going to have to be curtailed. And I really need to buckle down on the eating, because that is the whole key for me. As long as I eat right, I lose weight without having to get all extreme about it because I am generally very good about exercising.

Exercise-wise, I'd give myself a 'C-'. I did not really do a lot of exercising this month and that is the big reason why my weight has gone up and not down. I came down with a medical condition last month that made me have to stop working out for several weeks, so the exercise was pretty much non-existant the past month. I am better now, so it's time to get back at that starting tomorrow. I am feeling ambitious and may even attempt to run, but we'll see how that goes, since I can't stand running, especially knowing I will get the same calorie burn from walking... but, we will see... It is springtime in a few days and the spring weather makes me nostalgic about when I used to run to get in shape for track and rugby. The wet roads, mud and dirt up the back of my legs and my back, leftover snow still on the ground and cold air in my lungs carrying the scent of spring. Makes me feel like running.

I expect the desire to run will last about 10 minutes.

Alright! That's this month's fatty mcfat-fat update. Hopefully I'll have some good progress to report next month!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Margaritas on St. Paddys

Hey everybody. Happy St. Paddy's Day! Hope you're having a nice St. Pat's.

We are having a Mexi-St. Pat's since my Wife asked for margaritas. Ok. Well, SHE is having a Mexi-St. Pats. I'm having Jameson, Guinness and pretzels. Because I don't fuck around with holiday tradition. So there you go.

I spend the morning shoveling out after the snowstorm last night. I hate snow. All I will say about it is that there were no snow-blower related shenanigans to tell you about. Sorry. I know everybody loves it when I fight with my snow-blower... I was all geared up to put the Scott's Step 1 down on my lawn and instead, I'm out there shoveling snow. What is up with that?

Think Spring! It arrives in just a few more days. Hopefully this snow will melt soon and we can get down to some spring-time weather!

Happy St. Pat's!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shorts and t-shirt weather...

I had to go to a customer site today to do a software update. It was pretty easy overall. No yelling or screaming was involved and I was out of there by lunch, which meant I had the whole rest of the day off, since I sure as hell was not going back to the office.

It was incredibly nice out today and when I got home I broke out the shorts and t-shirt for the first time this year. Almost all of the snow is gone. There are small patches of it here and there, which can be useful for making snowballs.

Shorts, t-shirt, 60 degree weather and possibly the last snowballs of the year. Last Saturday I took my kids sledding and I told them it was probably going to be the last time that we would get to go this winter. Now the snow where we were sledding is completely gone and there is nothing but a leftover track in the grass where we went down the hill.

I guess it's going to get cold again this weekend and there is a chance for some snow, so the kids might get one more crack at the sledding hill before Winter gives it up for the year...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pats get Stallworth...

Although it's not officially official, I.E. there's nothing about it on Patriots.com, it looks like The Pats have got their number one receiver in Donte' Stallworth. Trustworthy Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe confirmed an ESPN report that Stallworth has agreed to a contract with The Pats as of this morning.

There are two knocks against Stallworth: it's been reported that he's in the NFL's substance abuse program and that he's had some problems with his hamstring in the past. All that being said, I have the utmost confidence in The Patriots front office and if The Pats felt that those were legitimate issues, they would not have signed him. Period. The End.

So The Patriots now have a receiver who is over 6 feet tall. Who was the last Patriots receiver that was over 6 feet? I think it was Donald Hayes? I can't remember. I know it's been a long time since we've had a 'big' receiver that has also been effective in the passing game. Hopefully Stallworth will buck the trend.

The Pats have made some pretty decisive moves during free agency to address the holes on the team. I have not seen one signing that has made me scratch my head and say, 'I wonder why they did that?'

It is great to see. And we've still got the draft ahead of us...

In Belichick We Trust

Vegas, baby...

So far this Las Vegas race has been mostly a caution-fest. Not much to say about it other than that. It's hard to get into a race when they run three green-flag laps then go around for 6 or more caution laps... I'd say this new harder tire they are using in L.V. is a bad idea so far. I'm not sure how much the new track surface is coming into play but I am sure that is another factor as well...


Update:
A good ending to the race today. I was glad to see it end with green flag racing and not the usual caution green/white/checkered shenanigans.. I don't mind seeing Jimmy Johnson get the win.

I was disappointed to see Dale Jr. get mixed up and follow Jeff Burton down pit road when it was closed. I did not expect Jr. would get the win, but he could have had a much better finish. It was disappointing as well to see Jeff Burton lose a shot at a top 5 due to a battery problem. Oh well.

A top five finish for Mark Martin was good to see...

Oh yeah, one last thing. Kevin Harvick, tell your wife to remove her hat during the National Anthem. Thank you.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Basement before and after pics...

As promised, here are some pics of my basement. This was a pretty big project. We did the whole thing ourselves. The only contracting we had done was for the electrical work, lighting, outlets, etc and adding a third zone to the furnace, which is forced hot-water heat. The rest was all us! Myself, my Wife, my In-Laws and my Dad all chipped in their time and effort to make this room into a reality.

This room would not exist without the help of my Father-In-Law, who was so huge in helping with all the cutting, measuring and general hammer swinging and other grunt work. Plus he built that super-nice bookshelf that you can see in the right of the 'After' pic, all by himself. That thing covers a whole wall and it is packed with books and kids vids. Pretty damn awesome!!

Before (click for bigger):
What a mess!

This pic is from late Oct' 2005. I had just started the project. The only thing I had done at this point was to paint the walls with Drylok (that's why they look white instead of gray).

After (click for bigger):
Much nicer...

Here it is all complete! Pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I was originally planning on paining my Green Monster wall with a scoreboard, so that it would look similar to Fenway Park, but my Wife pointed out that if I did that, I would never have room for all the numerous pictures I have commemorating Superbowl Championships, World Series wins, and various other things. She was right!

She's the smart one.

Well there you have it! The basement is now completed. On to the next project...

Gonna have to wait to see George Strait...

Hey what's up everybody? I have today off from work. I took the day off so that I could take my Wife to see George Strait tonight, down at the Mohegan Sun casino in CT.

We were going to head down there early and have some dinner and do a little gambling or whatever. I'm not really a gamblin' man, but I figured it would be a fun way for my better half and I to have a night out together and just blow off some steam.

I have never been to Mohegan Sun so I don't know what it's like there. I've heard, in the five-million or so Mohegan Sun ads that I've sat through during Red Sox games, that it's a pretty nice place. Or maybe that's Foxwoods? I don't know, the two places kind of blend together for me...

But, anyway, it turns out that all that doesn't matter because I found out this morning that George has laryngitis and the concert has been postponed till April. Wish I had found out about this sooner, since it would have saved me from blowing a vacation day, but at least I found out about it before driving all the way down to there. The casino is a good two hour drive from here so you can imagine how pissed I'd be if I drove down there to find out there was no concert tonight.

So that kinda sucks but George can't help it if he has laryngitis, so what can you do? We had babysitters already lined up to take care of the kids for the night, so my Wife and I decided to take advantage of this rare occasion and go out for a fun night of something else.

We are planning to go to dinner at a place called The Margarita Factory and then go to a Worcester Sharks hockey game. It should be a fun night and we are both looking forward to it. We don't get many nights out where it is just the two of us.

This will be our first time seeing The Sharks since The AHL returned to Worcester after The IceCats left, so that will be cool. Hopefully it will be a good game. The Sharks are playing the Hartford Wolfpack and those guys are always competitive, so we should be in for some good hockey action tonight.

In other news, we had a momentous occasion here yesterday. After about a year and a half of work, which also included several months of delay due to being 'on hiatus for the holidays' and various other work stoppages thrown in, the basement reclamation project is officially complete and it is totally awesome down there. I know there are some people who will want to see what it looks like so I will put up some before and after pics in a separate post.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shilling starts blog. Old Media dies a little more...

With Curt Shilling recently unveiling his own personal blawg*, 38 Pitches, we are are once again presented with another example of the continuing erosion of 'the old media'. I'm talking specifically about news outlets, print, television and radio, whose reporters and columnists make a living by twisting people's words and injecting their own bias into everything they write.

The old media is becoming a dinosaur and it is happening right before our eyes.

Sites like Shilling's are rare these days. Not too many athletes have the inclination or the interest to start up their own interactive website, where they share their personal thoughts with the world and trade comments with their readers, but I have to believe that there are other athletes and public figures out there who are tired of having their words and ideas re-interpreted and re-purposed by reporters and newspaper columnists. Once those people learn that they can talk directly to the rest of us without having to go though the dirty filter of the main stream press, sites like Shilling's will become more and more numerous.

As personal websites like 38 Pitches become more and more predominant, people will no longer need to rely on the the likes of The Boston Globe, whose columnists can't even be bothered to write an original article, for their insight into what athletes, politicians and other public persona's are thinking.

Why read some newspaper or magazine columnist's edited and biased interpretation of what a public figure has said when you can go right to their blog-site and get it straight from the source?

The filters are coming off and the walls of the old school media are crumbling. Enjoy.

On a side note, I would love to see someone like Shilling keep their own recordings of their interactions with the press and then post the unedited version after the reporter's version has been published. I'm sure it would very interesting to compare the two versions of the same story.

*PS> I still hate the word 'blog'.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dammit, I gotta go to work today...

My numbers didn't even come close in last night's Mega Millions drawing, which was up over 300 million dollars. What would a person do with that kind of money?? Unimaginable.

Anyway, I'll never know and since I did not win the lottery, I'm off to the office once again. Whoopie!!

What I would do with 300 million dollars:
Pay off my house
Pay for my kids education
Buy a Mustang, a Challenger and a new pickup truck.
Buy a house on a beach in St. Thomas.
Oh yeah, something nice for my better half
An automatically recharging Dunkin's card.

and, WHATEVER ELSE I FELT LIKE!

Ok. Back to reality. Time to make the coffee and head out to work. Fuck.

Update:
My Wife says she'd build a garage and get a bigger kitchen and go shopping for new clothes.

My Daughter says she'd buy more ducks to round out her duck collection. Cus she loves ducks..

Ok! I am down with that!

Update 2:
Oh yeah how could I forget, Pats and Sox tickets for eternity.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll...

Whenever I am practicing my guitar, my daughter always comes down to the basement and watches me play. She jumps around and sometimes picks up this total piece of junk guitar that we have lying around and pretends to play along. One day I put an old strap on it and showed her how to position her hand on the guitar neck and how to strum. Even though she is not really playing anything, she seems to want to. Basically, she seems really into it and appears to have a genuine interest in the guitar, even though she is quite young.

I am not sure how much of this is her imitating me and how much of it is a real interest. I think it's a combination of both, but I wanted to try and encourage her interest and see if she continues with it or if it fades out over time. The piece of junk guitar that I referenced above is not suitable for any kind of use other than make-believe, due to the fact that the neck has been snapped off of the body of the guitar, thanks to her brother's standing on it, and the only thing holding it together is the glue between the fretboard and the guitar body...

So, after talking it over with my Wife, we decided that my daughter was old enough and responsible enough to be able to take care of a real instrument, and I took her to a guitar shop and bought her this:

Click for more info..

Yes. I am awesome.

When I first started thinking about buying my daughter a guitar, I had gone to a couple shops and looked at some kid's acoustic guitars. They were all pretty low quality. They would not stay in tune and were barely a step up from the broken guitar she already had. I decided if I was going to spend money on a guitar, I was going to get her a real instrument, not a toy. Let me tell you this Ibanez Mikro is a really nice little guitar. It is not a toy that is for sure. It is the real deal. My daughter seems to really love it, and is excited about using it, even though it is still a little bit too big for her.

I have been showing her how to hold the pick and strum, and how to place her hand on the neck of the guitar and press on the strings with her finger-tips. Right now that is as far as we have gotten as far as teaching her how to play and this is something that will progress at her own pace, depending on her interest level.

I am pretty enthusiastic about her interest in the guitar. We'll see where it goes from here.

Ker-splash! Belichick and Pioli Cannonball Into Free Agency Pool...

As Patriots fans are well aware by now, The Pats made some big free agent moves this past weekend, signing what many consider to be the top linebacker of this years free agent group, Adalius Thomas. Thomas is a slotted to play outside linebacker, where his main responsibility will be to disrupt opposing quarterbacks. However, Thomas is an extremely versatile player that can play several defensive positions. He is a player that The Patriots can move around to different spots and use to cause confusion on the offensive side of the ball. In short this is just the type of player that The Patriots look for. At 29, he is still well within his prime years, but has plenty of NFL experience with seven years in the league. This is a very exciting signing and goes a long way towards filling one of the Patriots most glaring needs, which was to inject the linebacker position with some youth.

In addition to Thomas, The Pats also signed TE Kyle Brady as a replacement for the departed Daniel Graham. This is another nice signing. With Graham gone, Brady is a player that can fill Graham's spot as a blocking tight end quite nicely. And we get to look forward to the 'Brady goes to Brady' play-by-play calls this season. Other than his age, 35, Brady should not be that much of a drop off as a replacement for Graham. He should compliment TEs Ben Watson and Dave Thomas, who I have a feeling is going to have a breakout year in 07, quite nicely.

The Patriots have also picked up running back Sammy Morris and appear to be on the verge of signing wide receiver Wes Welker. Morris is not intended as a replacement for Corey Dillon, that is going to be Laurence Maroney's job. What Morris does give the Patriots is yet another option as a complimentary running back to Maroney, Faulk and Evans. Morris is another versatile player and can play several important roles on the offense, including running back, full-back and receiver.

Should the Patriots sign Wes Welker away from The Miami Dolphins, he would make a nice addition to the Patriots receiving corps. He does not fill the role of 'number one' receiver, but he will add some depth to The Pats current group of twos and threes. With Troy Brown likely to retire, this would be a good signing for The Patriots, provided it goes through of course...

I'm very excited about the big cannonball splash the Pats have made so far with free agency. The Pats blew a lot of water out of the pool and they are not done making waves yet.. (I'm having fun with the cannonball thing here, in case you didn't notice..) There is still the draft next month and the potential to trade with other teams for additional players.

The Pats still need a legit number one receiver. Rumors are flying that The Patriots could be interested in Randy Moss. I don't know about that one, but the Pats are always unpredictable. Personally I would be surprised to see Moss in a Patriots uniform, but not that surprised.

Moss has had attitude issues on every team he has played for, but, can some of his 'bad' attitude be attributed to the environment of the team itself? He went from a Vikings team that was a complete mess to a bad Raiders team that was an even bigger disaster than The Vikes. I'm not making excuses for Moss' actions in the past, but it is intriguing to imagine what kind of player Moss could be if he were to play for a team that, top to bottom, has it's act completely together, such as The Patriots.

On an unrelated note, I went grocery shopping this past weekend and as I was going through the meat section, I noticed that the store had some Patriots Gridiron Grillers on display. Since I am a sucker for anything and everything that has a Patriots logo on it, I was very tempted to pick up a package of Patriots Gridiron Griller Brats... Plus I was hungry, and a person should never grocery shop when they are hungry. However, exercising an enormous amount of restraint, I was somehow able to resist the temptation of some Patriots branded brats.. this time. Next time, it might not be so easy.

In Belichick and Pioli We Trust

GO PATS

Friday, March 02, 2007

Free agency time...

It's officially free agency time! Who's coming? Who's going? It's time to sit back and watch as players visit other teams and search for that lucrative contract, while teams themselves look to fill voids in their roster and find good value in the players that are out there.

As we head into free agency, The Patriots are in a good spot. With a good deal of cap space, the Patriots are in a position where, monetarily at least, they can go after any player they want to. There are no players out there that you could tag as being out of their reach due to salary cap issues. Whether the Patriots actually spend gobs of money on a player is an entirely different matter, but they have the money at their disposal if they want to use it.

The Patriots' most glaring areas that are in need of improvement are at the Linebacker and Receiver positions, and between free agency and the draft, it will be interesting to see how the team goes about filling those needs.

The Patriots linebackers are starting to show their age and they need an injection of youth at that position. The Pats will try to fill this need through both free agency and the draft.

At receiver, The Patriots need to find a legitimate number one target for Tom Brady. The 'off the street gang' played admirably last season, but the Pats need a reliable 'number one' receiver that can get open and make the catch, the type of receiver that opponents are forced to spend time and energy defending and thus will open things up for the number twos and threes that are already on the roster.

With Daniel Graham soon to be playing somewhere else (lets face it) and Corey Dillon on his way to another team (The Jets? Would not surprise me...) The Pats could also use some depth at Tight End and Running Back, and with the way that Safeties and Corner-Backs seem to drop like flies every year, The Patriots can always use help in those areas as well.

It will be fun to watch the maneuvering of the players and the teams as we wait and see where the chips will fall. Time for The Patriots to start loading up for another Superbowl run. In Belichick and Pioli we trust.

GO PATS

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

I have been dealing with some some very wimpy emotions and feelings and shit lately and I actually had a whole post written up talking about them but while I was on the verge of hitting the [POST] button, I abruptly changed my mind and deleted it instead and decided to do the right thing and ignore them / bury those annoying feelings deep down where they won't bother anybody.

Plus, I would not want to affect anyone's happiness points system. There you go.

In the mean time, that does not leave me with much to talk about at the moment so I'm going to point you over to Faster Than the World where people are voting for the Funniest Movie Ever. Because we all know that voting in online internet polls is way more fun that talking about stupid feelings. Enjoy!

Besides, it's March 1st today and March FULLY RRUULEESS!! I love March. March is when Spring happens. That means snow, your days are numbered. It also means that I'll have to pick up some Scott's lawn fertilizer soon because pretty soon I'll be able to see my grass again. Yay!

I feel better already.

Did I mention that I'm going to a flower show this weekend? Yup, that's right. So NOT gay because flowers are awesome and are way better to look at than gray, icy-cold slush and snow. And they smell nice and put me in a good mood because they are ALIVE, unlike the frozen wasteland outside my window at the moment. AND you can get all kinds of good land-scaping ideas at the flower show. And I'm into that shit. So there you go, again.

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