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Entries from April 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Looking forward to the NFL Draft...

The NFL Draft is this weekend and I'm looking forward to finding out who The Patriots are going to pick to help replenish their roster over the next few days. Even though the draft is a time of anticipation and excitement for football fans, I can't say that I have a clue about who the Pats are targeting or what I think they are going to do with their picks.

The Pats are known to move up down and all around the draft board and since I don't follow college ball, and have absolutely no idea who any of the players coming out are, come draft day I just sit back and wait for the dust to settle.

I love football, but I really am truly clueless when it comes to the college ranks. Right now I'm sitting here trying to think of a college player I could name for you and the only one I can think of is Brady Quinn, and I couldn't tell you who he plays for with any level of certainty... Is it Notre Dame? Don't ask me!

As you can see, I'm not a big draft-nik.

Once the draft is all over I read up on the Pats picks in the papers and I wait for my Patriots Football Weekly to arrive so I can get all the in-depth info on our brand new rookies.

The draft is an exciting time. It's like Football Christmas. Hopefully The Pats get some good presents this year.

In Bill We Trust!

Update:
The Pats traded one of their number one picks to San Francisco for a 4th round pick this year and SF's 1st round pick in 2008. With their second 1st round pick the Pats selected a safety, Miami Hurricane Brandon Meriweather.

Well how about that!

I suggested that The Pats might pick a safety over at Angela's. Obviously this shows that I know everything when it comes to picking draft choices and was just being modest earlier. I fully deserve a big pat on the back. (har.)

I will now celebrate my NFL draft knowledge with a Harpoon I.P.A. Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.

GO PATS

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tagged: Why do I blawg?

My interweb friend Angela tagged me this week. I have never been tagged before so this is very exciting!

Ok. Maybe it's not 'exciting' but it's cool. For me, anyway...

Ok. Feeling nerdy. Moving right along.

So, the question is: why do I blog?

First: I HATE the word blog. I feel like such a nerd using that word. Ok I know I'm kind of a nerd by default, seeing as how, here I am, typing away on the interweb, but, you don't have to make it worse with such a nerdy word...

So why do I blawg? Well, mainly for fun. It's an outlet. It's something to do. It's a way to connect with other people who have similar interests. I like to go and read my friends' sites and leave comments and of course I like to get comments here.

Also, I can swear and be a wise ass and say pretty much whatever I want to here. Because it's mine. I pay for it. I set it up. I run it. If I want to say fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck, I'll say it. When I write something here, I may be right, I may be wrong. I may be crazy. I may be a jackass, I may be right on the money... Doesn't matter because I'm in charge around here. That's why it's copyrighted as 'Man King'.

But mainly, it's all just for fun. Like I say in the 'about' page, I don't take any of this too seriously and neither should you, and I appreciate anybody that stops by.

So there you go. That's the beer and tequila enhanced version of 'why I blaug'.

Gary Thorne: bad guy, probably not. Tool of the Week? Yes.

Baseball announcers need to fill time between pitches and unfortunately, two nights ago, Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne said something really stupid when he suggested that the blood on Curt Shilling's sock in 2004 was really paint. This will undoubtedly go down as a classic, 'oh fuck, what did I just do?' moment for Mr. Thorne. He is indeed a dumb-ass for coming out with such an asinine statement in front of a huge audience.

The next question is, does Thorne have a history of dumb-ass-ness or was this a one time, dumb-ass moment for him? I don't know. I only know him from his work as a hockey play-by-play caller, where I have always felt he has excelled. I remember well Thorne's call during the 2001 Cup finals as my favorite player, Ray Bourque, finally raised The Stanley Cup overhead, ‘Take that thing and skate it!’

Obviously (and rightfully,) pissed off, Curt Shilling compares Thorne to CHB and several other less than stellar sports writers on his personal site. I don't know if Thorne is that bad. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and leaning towards 'isn't'. CHB, along with his chum Ron 'I just ripped you off' Borges, is pretty much up there as high as you can get on the dick-head scale. I don't know if Thorne deserves be placed on the same perch as those guys.

Now that the dust has settled a little bit, my final take on this whole Gary Thorne / Shilling bloody sock thing is that maybe it was just a case of Thorne getting carried away and simply saying something dumb. I compare it to sending out an e-mail that, five seconds later, you wish you could take back. Once you've hit the send button there's no taking it back. You get that sinking feeling in your gut because realize you just fucked up, but it's too late and all you can do is sit back, wait for the shit to hit the fan and then suck it up when the time comes. Thorne has since come out and said the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

Is Gary Thorne really a bad guy? I'd say that's up for debate, but he definitely wins the 'Tool of the Week' award. For what it’s worth I still like the way he calls a hockey game.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

How to be a tool, by Gary Thorne...

I have always liked Gary Thorne and have generally been a fan of his and of the way he calls a game, particularly an NHL game, but his recent on-air comments, stating that the blood stain on Curt Shilling's sock back in the 2004 playoffs was really paint and that the whole 'bloody sock' thing was just a made up publicity stunt, were totally, totally lame.

I give it a full '10' on the lame-o-meter. In fact, I'd even say that this one goes to '11' on the lame-o-meter.

If you are still unsure as to whether the stuff on Curt's sock back in '04 was blood, paint or ketchup, this should clear things up:

"I am planning to throw something up about this subject at some point, but needless to say it was blood, my blood, and it was coming from the sutures in my ankle. You’re either stupid or bitter if you think otherwise."
~ Curt Shilling

Gary Thorne, I am very disappointed in you. Way to be a tool, you tool.

Who I'm rooting for in the Stanley Cup Semi's, George Strait tonight!

I never posted my picks for the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and now that the first round is over and the second round has started, I figure I better get my second round picks up quick before it's over too!Quest For The Cup

Note: These are the teams I am rooting for, not necessarily the teams I think will win.

EAST:
Buffalo Sabres vs NY Rangers: Rangers - For some reason I have always kind of liked the Rangers, even though they are a rival to the B's.

NJ Devils vs. Ottawa Senators: Sens - I hate the Devils and would root against them no matter who they were playing. It just so happens that I like the Senators, so hopefully this one works out for me.

West:
Detroit Red Wings vs San Jose Sharks: Sharks - I hate the Red Wings and would root against them no matter who they were playing. I like the Sharks because of the AHL connection with my home team, the Worcester Sharks, and also because I like Joe Thornton. And also because I would love to see the gnashing of teeth that would occur down on Causway St. if Joe is seen raising Lord Stanley's Cup over his head at the end. Yeah, I am vindictive like that sometimes...

Anaheim Ducks vs Vancouver Canucks: Ducks - To be honest I don't really care about this one but my friend Turtle is a Ducks fan, so I'm rooting for his team. And I really like the fun way that Ducks rhymes with Canucks.

So there you go, there's who I'm rooting for in the NHL Conference Semi-Finals.

In other news, I'm going to see George Strait tonight down at Mohegan Sun Casino. This is the concert I was supposed to take my Wife to back in March but it was post-poned because George had laryngitis. It was originally supposed to be on a Friday night which would have been cool. Unfortunately the rescheduled date is now a Thursday night, which is not quite so cool, since I have to work the next day, but it will still be fun and I am looking forward to it. George Strait has always been a big favorite of mine. I have most of his albums and this will be my 3rd time seeing him live. The first time I saw him, he was the opening act for Alabama. That was in the late 80's.. Sheesh. Way to make myself feel old. Anyway, it is always great to see George Strait play live and it will be nice to have a night out with my Wife.

(Image via NHL.com)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fat bald guy in his underwear talking about new car smell does NOT make me want to buy a car...

Ok. I can't take it anymore. I have to ask and put this out there because it's making me nuts... What the hell is the deal with the ad on NESN during Red Sox games that has a fat, naked, bald guy with a goatee and glasses, sitting in a car and talking about new car smell?

Who is the marketing genius that came up with this ad? Seriously! Fat naked guys do not sell cars folks!

Every season NESN always seems to have one or two really bad advertisements that are played during Red Sox games but damn if this is not the worst one yet.

A fat bald guy sitting in a car in his underwear yammering about how new car smell makes you want to buy a new car does NOT make me want to buy a car! Nor does it make me want to run out and check out your dealership's selection of vehicles. Trust me on this!

All I can think of when I see this ad is, 'why is this guy sitting in his underwear in a car and which car is it at the dealership that he's sitting in, because I sure as hell don't want to take that one out for a test spin.'

I'm sure the guy in the car sweat a lot during the taping of that commercial. Do you think he stuck to the seat? Do they had to peel him out of there when the shoot was over? I bet that must have hurt! Or did the high volume of back-hair provide some insulation between his skin and the car seat? I don't know, but I do know I don't like it because, it's just, eeewwwwwwww.

Every season NESN has an ad that is constantly and continually played during Sox games that eventually becomes so grating and annoying, I want to throw my shoe at the TV when I see it. It's only April and fat naked bald new car smell guy is already this year's clear winner. Game over.

I'll end my little tirade by simply saying, just say no to man-boobs and next time, put a hottie in the car seat in her underwear and maybe I'll change my perspective. Thank you.

In the meantime, 4-1 Sox bottom of the 7th. Hmmm. Seems like when I write posts during Sox games, the team scores a lot more runs... This could become a heavy burden. I can't have the result of every Sox game hanging on my keyboard...

While I'm at it, now that the inning is over and we're back to the advertisements, I hate the KFC 'Famous Bowls' ad with the guy explaining how the girl in the ad wants all her favorite ingredients in the bowl. Hate it.. And I want to punch that guy.

(I think I'm in a bad mood?)

Update:
Sox win 6-1. I guess it's not all bad.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mission: Immaculate lawn... and a Red Sox sweep

I am dog tired right now. I've been busting my ass all weekend. Yesterday I spent the morning helping to move furniture. When I got back home I put together a play-house in the yard for the baby, who is now a toddler. Then after that, I did something, but can't remember what it was, except it involved physical labor of some kind from what I recall.

Next, I played with the kids in the yard. That was fun. And while all this was going on I listened to The Red Sox win another game against the Yankees. Nice.

Today I pretty much spent the day working on the lawn, raking up the old grass, de-thatching and cleaning up up leaves. I was going to practice my guitar tonight but my hands are too stiff. I've got my first sun-burn (working on my farmer's tan), I had my first t-shirt and shorts day and we had our first back-yard cookout with cheeseburgers and hot dogs. I'm hoping the nice weather is here to stay now.

And I'm hoping the Red Sox can sweep the Yankees tonight. Currently 3-0 MFY, top of the third... Let's Go Red Sox!

Tomorrow after work I've got to pick up some Scott's Step 1 to put down on the lawn and I need to get my wheel-barrow fixed. I went to use it today and one of the tires is flat and a clamp holding on the axle is broken. There is another stone wall in my near future so I'll have to get that taken care of quick!

I'm trying to get these projects done in the April - May time frame so that I can spend the summer taking it easy for once. We'll see how that goes...

In the meantime, it's still 3-0 MFY in the bottom of the 3rd. The Red Sox need to get some runs on the board to support The Diceman. Dice has pitched well in his last two games but the Sox bats have been silent. If the Sox bats don't wake up for him soon he's going to start to think people don't like him or something... (Yeah, right!)

GO SOX

Update:
And just like that, the Sox scored 2 runs and it's now 3-2 MFY, bottom of the 3rd... Keep em comin' boys!

Update 2:
Holy guacamole, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd, Manny, Drew and Lowell have each come to the plate and hit solo home runs and The Red Sox have tied the game, 3-3.

Update 3:
Oh my god the Sox are scoring runs faster than I can type up these updates!! The Captain just hit another solo home-run. That is 4 batters, 4 solo homers. WOW! 4-3 Red Sox.

Wooop!

Ok, I'm afraid to stop typing now. If I keep typing, maybe the Sox will keep hitting balls out of the park...

Update 4:
No more of these things. The magic is gone. Willy Mo struck out to end the inning. 4-3 Sox. Now, let's keep it goin'

Saturday, April 21, 2007

All I can say is 'Wow'

With the Sox trailing 5-2 going into the 8th, and an early wake up call looming for me in the morning (I should actually be out the door right now as I write this,) I figured the Sox were cooked and headed off to bed.

Boy was I dumb.

I woke up this morning, and as is my usual routine when I miss the end of a game, the first thing I did was check to see the final score. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the score was 7-6, Red Sox win.

Wow!

I was happy to see The Sox got the win and was kicking myself in the ass for missing the rally as I read all about it. High-fives all around for Coco Crisp for his efforts last night, going backwards over the bullpen wall to try and prevent a 3-run homer by A-Rod, (who even I have to admit is en-fuego,) knocking in the game tying runs with a triple in the 8th and then eventually scoring the winning run himself off of a blooper by Alex Cora.

That'll teach me to go to bed early! Dammit.

Ok now I've gotta go. Duty calls...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enough with the rain, jeeeez!

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Diceman runs into good pitching again, takes loss

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

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

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

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

GO SOX

Monday, April 16, 2007

Game on...

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

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

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

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

GO SOX

 

Rain, rain, go away...

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

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

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

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some thoughts on The Pats 2007 schedule...

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

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

*Subject to flexible scheduling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tweet! Tweet!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bledsoe to retire...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy retirement Drew.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Opening Day at Fenway...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GO SOX

Sunday, April 08, 2007

To catch a rabbit...

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

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

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

Suddenly, I reached out and grabbed it!

'Gotcha!!'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hoppy Easter...

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

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

Kids: EASTER!!!!!

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

Kids: NNNNNOOOOO! TO-MOORRR-OW!!

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

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

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

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

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

Kids: Rabbit stew? NO!

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

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

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

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

Son: And eggs!

Me: Eggs! Fried or scrambled?

Kids: Colored eggs Dad...

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

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

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

Kids: No way Dad. Skunks are stinky!

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

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

Me: Well, ok. If you say so.

Friday, April 06, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GO SOX

R.I.P. Darryl 'The Stinger' Stingley...

I was very saddened to hear the news that former Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley had passed away today at the age of 55.

Stingley is a player from my earliest memories as a Patriots fan. Whenever I think about The Patriots of the 70's, he is one of the guys that always comes to mind. I was very young when The Stinger was playing for The Patriots, not even 10 years old, but he still stands out to me as one of the greatest players to don the Patriots uniform.

RIP Darryl Stingley.

Here we go... Samuel 'not happy'...

Mike Reiss has a brief post up on his site that has Patriots cornerback Assante Samuel telling the NFL Network that he is 'not happy' with the way his contract talks are going with The Patriots.

Apparently Samuel thinks he is worth more money than The Pats are offering him. Shocking.

I am disappointed that it is going to come down to this with Samuel. I am still hoping that the two sides will work out a contract but if they can't, since Samuel has been designated with the franchise tag, at least The Pats will get something for him if he ends up on another team. Samuel has been designated by The Patriots as a non-exclusive franchised player, which means if he signs with another team, that team has to give up two number one draft picks to The Pats in return for Samuel.

Hopefully the two sides can work out a deal that is fair for both Samuel and The Patriots and Assante will still be wearing a Patriots uniform at the start of this season. In the meantime, let the negotiation games begin...

Saying goodbye to the vinyl...

Last week I sold my old vinyl record collection to a used record store. I did not get much money for them, 10 bucks cash and a DVD. I chose the movie, 'Bull Durham' (they did not have much of a selection to pick from..)

I had a bunch of good albums in my collection but unfortunately, a lot of the covers had been water damaged by a flood we had in the basement a few years ago. The damaged albums were basically worthless since it's the covers that make them valuable at this point.. Besides that, who wants to buy somebody's old vinyl records? Even I had not listened to them in years, even before they were damaged in the flood, and I've now replaced a lot of them with CDs or MP3s.

So even though I did feel a twinge of guilt for getting rid of my record collection, especially the ones with all the neat fold out covers, though most of them were now ruined, it was better than trying to sell them for 25 cents each at some yard sale or just plain chucking them in the trash. At least I got something for them and now there is one less pile of half-worthless stuff taking up space in the basement.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rocky Balboa DVD won't play in my DVD player...

I got the movie 'Rocky Balboa' in the mail from Netflix the other day. I was pretty psyched about it because I had been looking forward to seeing that one ever since it had been out in the theaters. (I don't get out to movies anymore. I watch all my movies through Netflix these days.)

We popped the DVD into the player and got ready for the famous opening theme music and the word 'ROCKY' to start scrolling slowly across the screen. Instead all we got was a blue screen on the TV and a 'disk err' on the DVD display. I took the disk out, cleaned it and tried it again. Same thing.

Damn.

I was bummed. I had been looking forward to sitting down and watching 'Rocky Balboa' ever since it had arrived in the mail last week. Figuring it was a bad disk, I sent it back and waited for the replacement disk.

We got replacement disk the other day and last night we tried it out. It turns out the replacement disk has the same exact problem as the first disk. When I put it in the player all I get is a 'Disk Err' on the display. What is up with that? I am wondering if maybe there was a bad lot of 'Rocky Balboa' disks from the manufacturer or something.

Oddly enough, the disk played fine in my computer's DVD player and every other disk I put into my living-room DVD player plays fine.. so what is going on here? My DVD player is only a few years old and I have never had this problem with a DVD before. This is the first time I have run into this.

I hope there is not some new format or encoding technique that is being used for DVDs that is going to start causing me problems...

I've got a 3rd 'Rocky Balboa' disk headed my way, but I have a bad feeling that I'm going to have the same problem with it... we'll see. I might have to watch it on my computer if I want to find out what happens to Rocky.

Just out of curiosity, if anyone else has run into this problem, I would be interested to hear about it, especially if you found out what the cause of the problem was. Thanks internest.

Touch me I'm sick...

For the last week and a half I have been feeling pretty under the weather and last week I started coughing, pretty much non-stop. On Friday it got to the point where I was coughing so much, my boss told me to go home. I tried to get a doctor appointment that day, but my regular doctor was out of the office. Being the skeptic that I am, I assumed he was golfing (turns out he was at a conference, my bad).

Since my regular doc was not available, I tried getting an appointment with his backup. Unfortunately, that guy basically blew me off. I got a message from his nurse saying he had phoned in a prescription for me. I thought that was weird since he did not even talk to me, never mind physically examine me, but I went down to CVS and asked to get the prescription. They did not know what I was talking about and told me they did not have a prescription for me.

Back home I went and called the backup doctor's office. He had left for the day. It was like 3 PM. 'These fucking guys', I was thinking to my self. I was pissed. I asked the nurse or secretary or whatever the person was, to please page him because I was coughing non-stop and needed to get the prescription he has supposedly left me. After about an hour the guy called me back and told me he had left the prescription at Brooks pharmacy.

Ok. So this time, before driving all the way down there, I called Brooks and asked if they had a prescription for me. It turns out the guy had told them to just point me to an off the shelf cough medicine, called Delsym. Now I was even more pissed, since I had already drank a whole effing bottle of Delsym over the previous few days and it had zero effect on my coughing. Maybe if this guy had taken the time to actually see me or at least speak to me, he would have known that. Fucking prick.

So at that point I was pretty much screwed, annoyed, pissed and miserable from coughing. I spent the weekend coughing away and sleeping on the couch, since I was keeping the whole house up. The only thing that gave me any relief at all was Theraflu, which would knock me out enough at night to get a few hours of sleep.

On Monday I called my doctor. He could not see me that day because he was too backed up from being out on Friday. I made an appointment for first thing Tuesday and went back to coughing and misery.

Finally on Tuesday I was able to see my regular doctor. It turns out I have walking pneumonia.

Awesome.

Thankfully I've now got a multitude of medicines to take and I am finally starting to feel better. I've got an anti-biotic and an inhaler to kill the pneumonia and a fantastic codeine laced cough medicine to stop the cough and allow me to sleep. That stuff is sweet. There's no sleep like a codeine sleep... Mainly I am just thankful to have finally gotten something to stop this damned cough. Hopefully I will start feeling normal again in a few days. 'Fuck Me I'm Sick.'

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

China Bowl postponed. GOOD!

The NFL has postponed The China Bowl. YAY!! I was not too keen on the whole idea of the China Bowl and I was downright displeased about the Patriots having to play in it, so I was extremely happy to hear the news that the China Bowl has been postponed until 2009. Frankly I hope by the time 2009 comes around that the whole thing will have been chalked up as 'what were we thinking' and canceled..

The downside? The only reason the China Bowl has been postponed is so that the NFL can focus on the regular season game that is to be played in London this year instead.

I can understand the NFL wants to reach an international audience, but I am completely against teams having to play a 'HOME' game, especially a regular season game, on a field that is an entire continent away in front of spectators who more than likely could not give a rats ass about the game's outcome.

This idea sucks.

If the NFL wants to do this international novelty game, since that is all it is to the majority of the people that will be in attendance, a novelty, they should do it as a special pre-season game, or as a Hall of Fame game, a game that does not count for anything except it's entertainment value.

I don't like it. Not one bit. And it's not even my team that's affected (this time).

I feel bad for the teams that are going to be playing in this game, the Giants and the Dolphins. This is going to be a huge disruption for the players, the coaches and everybody involved with the teams. On top of that, the game has been scheduled for October 28, so the game is going to take place during a critical time of the season for teams that are trying to get into position for the playoffs. This London game could potentially throw a big wrench in the works for the playoff hopes of either one of these teams.

And I haven't even mentioned how this is going to affect the Giants and Dolphins fans. What about them? Is the NFL going to ship the NY Giants and Miami Dolphins season ticket holders over to London so they can root for their teams? I doubt it.

The Dolphins have been designated as the 'home' team. So does this mean that Miami fans are now gipped out of one of their legit home games, you know, the ones that are actually played in Miami? Or is the NFL going to give the Dolphins an extra game in Miami to make up for it? I doubt it.

Can we expect that the people who will be attending this game in London will honestly have a clue about what is going on down on the field in front of them? Yes, I'm sure there will be people in the stands that are football fans, and there may even be some legit Giants or Dolphins fans in attendance, but let's be honest, the majority of the people that will be watching this game are going to be there to see a novelty event. They won't care about the game's outcome and, unless they are fans of NFL Europe and have watched the game of 'American Football', probably won't even know what's going on down on the field. Are they going to know when to cheer 'D-FENSE' and when to be quiet? I doubt it. Maybe in the days leading up to the game the NFL will hand out flyers around London that explain how the game of American Football is played... Yah. Sure.

I think the idea of playing a regular season NFL game in London or anywhere else that is outside of the NFL's home markets is a bad idea. Unfortunately, it's something we are going to have to live with and even worse, depending on the outcome, it could very well become a regular event.

I love football but sometimes the NFL really pisses me off. Of course it's entirely possible that I am just a jerk who knows nothing about the rabid NFL fan base that exists overseas which can't wait to see a real NFL football game live and in person. But I doubt it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Baseball Mode: Engage

I thought Spring Training would never end. After what seemed to be an interminable span of time between the Superbowl and today, finally, it is Opening Day of the 2007 baseball season. Although I enjoy Boston Bruins hockey and NASCAR and, at times, the Celtics, when they don't suck, my two main sports are Football (1) and Baseball (1A). Thankfully they both take place at opposite times of the year, except for that brief overlap in September and, hopefully for The Red Sox, October..

I'm looking forward to the game today, though I will miss the 4 PM start, since I will be at work at the time. Time to get MLB Gameday fired up on the ol' wizz-bang computerized inter-ma-thingama-jiggy.

Hopefully when I get out to my car after work today and tune into the game, I will find the Sox are cruising along behind Curt Shilling, comfortably on their way to the first win of the season. 162 games lay in front of us and every one of them is important. Baseball mode: Engage.

I have pretty good expectations for the team this year. Hopefully the Sox will come out of the gates strong to open the season.  I'm not going to make any predictions but provided everyone stays relatively healthy, I think the Sox are fielding a very good team this season. It will be interesting to see how the players gel together as the 2007 Red Sox 'personality' begins to take form.

Note to self: the game is now on WRKO 680 AM, except on Fridays and weekday afternoons, when it is on 850 AM (Who came up with this wonderfully confusing plan??) I'm going to have to add 680 to my radio buttons.

GO SOX

Update:
Holy crap-a-majola I did not expect to be wearing my rally cap already! Shilling has not been very sharp to start the game. Lots of balls, lots of walks, lots of pitches thrown and it's only the bottom of the 3rd. 2-1 K.C. It's still early... And it's after 5. I think I'm outta here. Yes, indeed I am.

Update:
Well that was pretty horrendous. 7-1 K.C. Blah. Now we get an off day to stew on it. Blah. Blah. And I don't like the new guy on the radio. I want Trup back. Blah x3.

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