Music and Baseball

Two good little tidbits captured from the internet over the last week or so:

  • Interesting little ditty written by Nirvana’s Krist Novaselic about that night at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards (in my old man voice: when they were actually interesting to watch) when Novaselic tossed his bass up into the air, only to miss the instrument on the way down and have it clock him in the head. The actual event isn’t as funny as the backstage interaction Cobain had with Axl Rose. Novaselic apparently pops up occasionally in this column. Drummer Dave Grohl also has a decent story on the event.
  • Now – to sports. I swear to you that before this baseball season (2008) even started, I was thinking to myself about David Ortiz. And I kept coming back around to the Mo Vaughn situation the Red Sox had back in the late ’90s when he was about to become a free agent. The two stories have very similar parallels. Their physical makeup is very similar and their five year arc of being unbelievable, fearsome power hitters are very similar. Ortiz, of course, has proven himself to be a far superior clutch hitter. But the similarities between the two cannot be overlooked. Here are Vaughn’s career numbers and here are Ortiz’s. So anyway, I was thinking back before the ’08 season started that given the similarities, we might expect Ortiz to run into the same health issues as Vaughn did – slowly sort of falling apart. Of course, one never knows, but I do actually agree with Chad Finn’s article about trading Ortiz while the gettin’ is good. I have felt this way since spring training last March.

Bledsoe Is Hurt? They’re Done.

So I’m not really a hardcore football or Patriots fan. If I have time, I’ll watch. And I’ll certainly watch the big playoff games, but other than that I have a million other productive things to do instead of parking it on the couch for 3-4 hours. That said, the loss of Tom Brady will at least make it more interesting to watch the Patriots this year, because it won’t be the same weekly systematic demolition. Just remember, everyone thought the Pats were in deep trouble when Bledsoe went down. ‘Member that time? Pats will take a hit for sure, but they’ll be competitive. Plus Belichick is too much of an stubborn ass to let it all get away from him. He wants to prove that he doesn’t need Brady to win. As much as I dislike him, he’s the perfect coach for these guys right now.

Microsoft’s Foldershare is the best private file sharing solution out there since the late, great Grouper shut down a few years back. I’ve tried 5 or 6 others since Grouper shut down and none are as easy or simple as Foldershare. Never overlook Microsoft, I suppose, although I’ll probably buy a Mac next time around.

No Offense….

Whenever someone starts off a sentence with “no offense, but…..” – then prepare to be offended. Even a little bit. That being said….

No offense to divers, but is it really necessary to have color commentators for diving competitions? I mean, I can understand a play-by-play person telling us who’s diving, where they’re from and who’s winning the competition, but I don’t need to hear color commentary, especially when everyone is virtually doing the same dive. There’s really nothing you can add. Last night, in our never-ending battle to find something (ANYTHING!) compelling to watch on television this summer, Steph and I stopped at diving for a few minutes and watched 3 divers. The color commentator said virtually the same thing each time. Steph summarized it best when she mocked, “in order to jump high, you MUST jump high.”

Someone should pay her big money to do this!

Bam! Pow!


  • I woke up on Saturday morning around 5:45am, as usual, to get the kids up and about. As I groggily opened my eyes, I saw an odd formation to the right of my dresser. It was a strange shape and I thought “ok, you’re half asleep, so it’s probably something obvious.” Then it moved! Now I’m like “oh shit!” The first thing I thought was that it was a bat. Because when it moved, everything moved in tandem and it went from wide to thin pretty quickly. Now I’m freaking out a little, because if there’s a bat, I’m not gonna be the guy running around the house with a broom and a box. Hell NO. Remember, all this is happeing in the space of about 30 seconds. So I get up, half-expecting the bat to come at me and peck my eyes out. But as I approach, I realize what an ass I am. It’s a leaf, part of a whole little project that our twin nephews put together for the boys. Sigh. One of the leaves was simply hanging off the edge of the bureau (by fishline).
  • Crazy event this weekend. We went to a pool party thrown by some local Maynard friends on Saturday. It was hard to socialize the way we want to since a) our guys are 1 and the rest of the kids are mostly self-sufficient and around 5 years old. This means most of the kids can swim – and ours just walk around and want to jump in the water. Anyway, I’m sitting there and lost in the craziness of a pool party, I notice another kid jump in. No big deal, looks like he’s done it a million times. 30 seconds later, a woman screams and jumps in the pool, without taking her shirts and shoes off. The dad was already in the pool, so he shot over. Seems the kid that I watched jump in couldn’t swim yet. Holy shit! The kid was freaked out when the parents got a hold of him. I don’t know if it was instinctual or not, but the kid knew to kick and flail to keep himself up. Thank goodness. Really scary stuff.
  • Speaking of pools, Michael Phelps’s display of awesome at the Olympics was something to behold. But swimming is like the NHL. People don’t really watch it except once every few years and I don’t care how many golds you win, swimming goes back into the closet for 4 years now that it’s over. On another Olympics note, it was awesome to see people our age doing great things at the Games. How about a 38 year old Romanian woman winning the marathon by almost a country mile! Or that 41 year old American swimmer? Really cool.
  • Oh, we had our annual “tax-free” weekend in Massachusetts these past couple of days. Basically anything you buy up to $2500 is tax free. It was suppoesdly a decent success. My contribution to the state economy: 24 wall anchors for screws and a fill-up of my propane tank for the grill. Total: $18. I saved one cent!

ID, Please

Seriously, who believes these Chinese gymnasts are 16 years old or older? Steph and I are channel flipping tonight and we stop at the Olympics because, well, 60 Minutes is over and there’s literally nothing to watch. I mean it – we went through just about the whole online guide. Nothing of interest. More on that in a second. The gymnasts from China look like they are 7. I’m not even kidding. Steph and I were pretending that we were the color-commentators and saying things like “and here’s Lio Zinzan, she’s 18 (minus 10)” and “here’s Siano Yuanyuan, she just entered pre-school last year.” Honest to god, can they find fake 16 year old that are least 50 pounds and taller than 2 feet, 4 inches?

I’m beginning to wonder if having cable TV is worth it. Seriously. We watch very little TV nowadays. I guess when fall comes and Lost, The Office and 30 Rock are back on, it may make it worth it, but I’m thinking maybe my money could be better spent elsewhere. We’ve also been thinking about removing the TV from the family room and setting it all up in the basement. Imagine that – no TV in the living room. That would be the first time in my life and you know what, it’s not sounding too outrageous right now. Having to go down into our basement (it’s finished) for TV isn’t ideal, but with the amount we’re watching, it’s acceptable.

I’ve been digging on Blitzen Trapper lately. They’re a group of lads from the Pacific Northwest who are fairly hard to classify, although somebody on Wikipedia called them “an experimental folk band,” which I take exception to. I don’t like experimental folk bands. I poked around on the web for a better explanation and I guess I found one on Pitchfork, from a review of their last album:

While I’m loathe to make a Pavement reference (lo-fi recordings! Slackers with guitars!!!), ‘Wild Mountain Nation’ comes closer to catching the carefree fuck-off sprawl of [Pavement’s] ‘Wowee Zowee’ than any record in recent memory. Here the band sail through any number of genres and styles without giving off a whiff of effort, their apparent West coast breeziness covering for the judicious amount of detail crammed into nearly every song.

Yummy. Here’s a taste for you, a song called “Wild Mountain Nation”

Nerding Out

Even though I’ve been playing fantasy baseball for the past ten years now, I’ve pretty much sucked for the last couple of years in most of my leagues except for one (I play in three).  So when I heard about Baseball Boss, I tried really hard not to click the link, because based on what I was reading, it was a totally different way to play fantasy baseball. That said, I clicked the link. Of course. And now I’m on it like a helpless crack addict.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works: you start with nothing. You get a free pack of 40 baseball cards, with real MLB players, spanning from 1907 through 2007. You don’t have to be a total baseball nerd to play – each card gives you the basic stats you need to figure out the right lineup. Then you start playing other random people who have signed up for the service, issuing (and accepting) challenges. The more you win, the more “points” and “challenge coins” you get in order to buy more cards and acquire more (and better) players. It’s fricking genius! It won’t be long before I know a bunch of friends and we set up our own league – which is coming soon. It’s less maintenance than regular fantasy baseball and it’s far more addicting (you don’t have to set your lineup every day and watch the waiver wire all the time).

If you like baseball at all, give it a shot. I named my team The Screaming Llamas (hat tip on that one to my co-worker Marc).