Friday, December 29, 2006

Broken Branch

"Former Patriots WR Deion Branch spoke about his most recent performance, which included four dropped passes in the Seahawks' 20-17 loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Branch's comments are detailed in this Associated Press piece.
"I feel I let everybody down. My teammates. Friends. Family," Branch said. "I never want to have that feeling again."
Branch has played in 13 games for the Seahawks this season, and has totaled 50 catches and four touchdowns."

Listen, I love Deion Branch. I named a mix CD after him at one point because of his contributions. But can we please start to acknowledge that he isn't Jerry Rice? For one quick second? He's got 50 catches. For comparison, Reche Caldwell has 57. Granted, it would be nice to have Branch and Caldwell in the same WR corps (in my mind, Caldwell is definitely as good as David Givens. Both were elevated by Thomas Brady). But in the end, another team valued Deion Branch as a carry-the-team #1 WR....and he's not.

It looked ugly early as Brady struggled with timing and learning about each particular talent. It takes time to figure out that Doug Gabriel can't handle Patriot Life and Caldwell is a good listener and has worked his way to learn what Brady wants. But don't you think Belichick knew that his team could compete well enough for the first 8 weeks during this stretch? This team is about to win 12 games. 12-4! We were juicy for excitement in 1996 when the Bledsoe/Parcells Pats stole the 11th win at Giants Stadium in the last week of the season. How things the Pats run up a ho-hum 12-win division title and the Bruins and Celts would set off warning alarms by even suiting up for a Game 7 playoff tilt at the TD...try selling that to someone in 1983.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

You Got Far Enough

Just heard 'Summer of '69' blaring through Duane Reade's drug store-quality sound system...this caught my ears:

"Me and some guys from school
Had a Band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and Jody got married
I shoulda known we'd never get far
Oh when I lock back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life"

Maybe, Bryan, those were in fact the best days of your life. However, I'm willing to bet Jimmy and Jody wished they had stuck it out at least through '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You', you know, for the cash flow.

The 3 Spot

So the NFL has moved the Dolphins at Colts to 4:15 pm. Nice. So now, the Pats need to win at 1 PM and derail the Vince Young Express and pray the Fins can topple the wayward Colts to get that 3 seed, which may be super valuable this year in the AFC. As for Wild Card implications, whether its the Jets, Broncos, Bengals, Titans or Jags, it doesn't really matter, they've faced them all and they'll need to gut out that first home game. Then, the 3 seed would draw the Ravens the following week. Frankly, I can't imagine the Pats losing that well as the Ravens have played, I'm not convinced they can beat Brady. As for the AFC Championship Game, could the Colts somehow derail MartyBall in the second round? In that case, you could possibly have Colts in town for the AFC Championship game in Foxboro, where they have won two in a row. Funny, I'd rather head to sunny San Diego to see Schottenheimer try to take down Belichick.

Can the Fins beat the Colts in Indy? I don't know, but I do know the Texans team the Pats demolished two weeks ago and I can't believe they beat the Colts. Next weekend is going to be wild....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

One Night

How many times do you think you've heard U2's 'One'?

Have a Merry Christmas. Thanks for visiting our site.

Christmas Lists

Here is a quick list of some Christmas greats in a number of genres:

-Jingle Bell Rock - Bruce Springsteen, Asbury Park, Dec. 2001. Hadley can weigh in more on this topic because he was at the show, but it is pretty amazing.

-National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
-A Charlie Brown Christmas

-Brooklyn Winter Ale. I would also recommend: Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve, Alesmith's Speedway Stout, Heavyweight Perkuno Hammer Imperial Porter

-For our family, it's always Chowder, Haddock, and Lobster on Christmas Eve. We have added a cheese plate the past few years that has become a staple. The cheese plate stepped in with a VORP somewhere between Travis Hafner and Ryan Howard.

-The Office: The Christmas Party & A Benihanna Christmas

Candy:-Andes Mints. Not sure why, I just always associate it with Christmas... and they sort of taste like what I imagine Christmas to taste like.

-Trivial Pursuit. We always paired up and went at it while we waited for Midnight Mass to commence. Every year while we played I would vow to engage in the board game world more often, which of course never happened.

-Our favorite Italian Pastry Dessert... the Cannoli. It doesn't hurt when it's dipped in chocolate.

Santa's Gifts:
-We are firm believers that Santa's gifts are unwrapped, left on the couch, so when you come down stairs you are just completely overwhelmed. As you got older and learned to keep your head on a swivel, it became easier... but those first few years you loose yourself in the excitement. Also, wrapping presents is what us humans do... Santa and his elves have enough work to get done, never mind to individually wrap millions of presents. Furthermore, that has to take care of, at least, 3 rain forests.

-A Christmas Carol: Dickens. I know, but name a better one.

-The Knicks have played a game on Christmas 44 times. The also have the most wins and the most losses
-Pistons have the worst record on Christmas at 10-22
-Most Points in a single Game: Bernard King. King put up 60 in 1984 in a 120-114 loss to the Nets
-Phil Jackson gets the “My Family Hates Me” Award for coaching a game every year on Christmas since 1990 with two exceptions, 1995 and 2004.

Lastly, Here is MSNBC's year in pictures. I have always been a sucker for this type of thing. Some of them are nice, some are not so nice... but, in the end, they keep you balanced.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

New Jersey Headache

Not too long ago, I explained my disdain for the humdrum monotony of uniforms in sports today. After sifting through pictures of the Finnish Hockey League, I will take the current state of jersey's over what they are sporting every day of the week.

It gives me a headache to look at. Each player looks like a Nascar vehicle.

By the way, the picture is of Bruins goalie prospect Tuukka Rask. Rask is playing out of his skin in the Finnish league and will make a great addition to Providence shortly. I can't believe we were able to land Rask for Raycroft, which we may look back upon with disbelief in a few years (if you don't already). Here is a write up on Rask from Hockey's Future:

"For over ten years, goaltending has been the strongest position for Finland at U20 level. A returning WJC all-star in Tuukka Rask (BOS) erases any doubt that it will be the case this year as well. One of the quickest butterfly goalies in the world, he had 53 saves in a 1-0 overtime victory against Sweden in last year's quarterfinals. Rask has been in a challenging situation heading into each of his WJC tournaments. This fall he had as many starts as he could handle behind the grossly inconsistent Ilves team in the Finnish league, also preparing for international duties while taking care of military service, too. Despite this, Rask hasn't struggled much yet, and he has made progress on his weaknesses: consistency and rebound control."

You can catch Rask and other great NHL Prospects in the World Junior Championship, which starts on the 26th and can be watched on

-Sorry about the multiple Bruins post as of late, but we haven't felt this good about the squad in quite some time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

History Beckons

We stopped watching wrestling a long time ago here in Freeze Pop Land but, every now and then, you have to pay homage to one of the greats. Here are two clips from a master of his craft...

Bowling for the Gutter

It's a bit delayed, but it needs to be addressed. One Patriot makes the Pro Bowl when they have 10 wins in 14 weeks? Child, please. You're telling me not one or two out of Vrabel, Brady, Samuel, Mankins, Wilfork, Colvin and Warren should fly Oceanic to Honolulu? The whole process is dumb. Don Banks at gives us some insight to the voting, which seems to have less thought put behind it than any Who's Hotter vote currently on every gossip site in America.

Toy Story

Times Square is absolutely insane right now...4 days before Christmas, tourists shopping, workers carring Yankee Swap (we call it Nasty Christmas) bags and food trays for holiday parties, construction seemingly on every block....just a complete mess. Strolling through this morning, I saw a party of five of out-of-towners: mommy, daddy, overweight 9 year old boy and his two slightly younger sisters....mommy had them parked on the northwest corner of 44th and Broadway, giving them a wayward lesson on early morning television:

Mom: "Guys, this is where they have the Today Show! You know the show where they have signs...and they stand outside and people wave! You know, the one we watch at home....come on, with Al Roker? We watch it all the time! Let's look in the windows and see if we see anyone famous!"(editor's note: there is clearly nobody in the building. No cameras, no other fans, no humans of any sort)

Meanwhile, the 9 year old boy is screeching "Toys R Us! Toys R Us! Toys R Us!" at the top of his lungs. Hey mom, first of all, you are standing in front of ABC's Good Morning America set. Matt Lauer doesn't work here. Second, you've got your three lovelies mesmerized by the largest Toys R Us on the planet directly across the street. You could be introducing them to Jesus Christ Himself and it wouldn't alter their stupor. This is their big moment; it's like there two outs in the 10th and Gary Carter is coming to the plate. Let them in the freaking store.
(Sorry I couldn't type the backwards "R". My keyboard doesn't have that....)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Speaking of Ex-Bruins

In case you were wondering how things are going for Hal Gill up in Toronto...

Perception vs Reality

The Bruins took a beating for trading the Hart Trophy winner, Joe Thornton. Oh, did they ever...scores of people who hadn't watched a hockey game in 10 years were lamenting the loss of the great, unique, amazing Thornton who had led the Bruins to such great heights. What would they do without Joe? The franchise is doomed! I'll never watch them again! They are dead to me!

These people, for the most part, couldn't tell you three specific things about Thornton's game...and many conveniently forgot that he certainly had some serious flaws. I'll be the first to admit that he's an excellent passer, that he's nearly impossible to move from the back of the net, that he has a tremendous power-play pedigree. I will also remind you that he doesn't shoot the puck, that he takes dumb penalties and that his game is remarkably easy to shadow with an aggressive checking line in a playoff series. I also know this: that this was the Bruins' Scott Kazmir moment...but less destructive.

Hardcore Mets fans are convinced, for better or worse, that the Kazmir trade was necessary. It woke up the Wilpons from a string of terrible decisions and opened their eyes. They brought in Omar Minaya and expected better baseball decisions...and they were rewarded with countless smart, aggressive baseball decisions ever since. They are now in a position to have extended success for the foreseeable future. All because they botched a trade so bad that it made everyone's head spin.

The Bruins situation is eerily similar, albeit not quite as bad for two reasons: 1) Sturm, Stuart and Primeau are actually servicable hockey players and b) most importantly (I've been harping on this since the trade actually happened), there is a hard cap in the NHL. The Thornton trade, like the Kazmir trade, woke up the Jacobs family, finally forced Harry Sinden and his Brigade out of the front office and brought in a regime, through Peter Chiarelli, that is setting out to make calculated, aggressive hockey decisions. Sounds obvious, but I'm conviced Mike O'Connell ran his team by searching Google for online forums like "We Love Enforcers Who Can't Skate Well", "The Draft Isn't That Important" and "If NHL '94 Doesn't Need More Than One Scoring Line, Than Neither Do We".
In the Mets case, they could have afforded Kazmir forever, so the only benefit was that it shook things up...but in the case of the Bruins, they received the Kazmir-induced shake-up, the booty from the Thornton trade (three servicable players)...and tons of cap room. Luckily, Chiarelli, with help from Jeff Gorton et al, delivered, producing two studs: Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard. Chara is certainly a freak of nature who is a very solid defensemen (with flaws, I may add, but still very good) but Savard...he's the reason I write this song....he's virtually Joe Thornton without the pedigree, attention and reputation. Check this out:

2006-2007 - Regular Season - Points - TOTAL POINTS

11 MARC SAVARD C BOS 31 games 11 G 30 A 41 P
15 JOE THORNTON C SJS 34 games 9 G 30 A 39 P
20 PATRICE BERGERON C BOS 31 games 10 G 27 A 37 P

Interesting...first of all the franchise-killing decision has, in 12 short months, been somewhat resolved. Second, the Bruins have two centers in the Top 20 in scoring. They are very much in the mix for the playoffs. They've been very competitive since everything settled down in October. All the panic and doomsday scenarios, when you take a step back, were a tad overplayed. Briefly, the Phil Kessel testicular cancer thing seems to be, thankfully, a managable situation. If he's okay physically and mentally, he's going to be amazing...he has top notch hands and wheels, but cancer is obviously unpredictable.
All in all, I'm enjoying the Bruins. For those who swore them off, just want to let you know that there's actually been a regime change...not sure if you noticed. Yes, the crowds at the TD are currently pathetic and it's going to take a little while to fix that, but in the end there is in fact a hockey team in Boston and we could be watching some late spring hockey very soon.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Incidental Milk

I bought a box of Junior Mints this afternoon during my lunch break and, while riding the elevator back to my office, happened to read the warning on the side of the box...


  • Allergen Information
    • Manufactured on shared equipment with milk-containing products
    • Incidental milk may be present
"Incidental milk?" I'm sorry. Did you say "incidental milk" may be present? Yikes. Now there's a two word phrase I never expected to hear. And, to be perfectly frank, I hope I never hear it again. Incidental milk? No thanks.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

5 bad recommendations

1. Got some free time this week? Feel a little stressed out? Well jump in your car and head over to your mall. Make sure to wear a jacket, because nothing beats sweating through four layers of clothing while eating samples in the food court.

2. Hungry? Hurry up and get over to BK and chow down on their Triple Whopper with Cheese . In fact, your better off just grabbing one while you are in the food court at the mall.

3. Go rent "Car 54: Where Are You?".

4. Purchase a Huge Picture of an athlete and throw it up on your living room wall. Nothing will add that welcoming touch you're looking for during the holidays like a Carmelo Cut Out next to your tree. Can we get it with him slapping some Knicks in the face as well? Seriously, who is buying these things. I understand for a child’s bedroom, but their commercials are aimed at middle aged white men. I don't know, maybe I am just not hip anymore.

5. Go catch a Hornets game. I advocate going to see as many sporting events as you can, but if I lived in New Orleans and was given tickets I would not go. Stern thinks they will turn it around, but until that point... I'd rather watch water boil.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Zoo

"3. Keep an eye on the Umass football team. They only lost to Navy by a point and beat Colgate and Villanova. The Minutemen are returning back to McGuirk Staduim to face Stoney Brook(0-3) and Machon predicts a blow out. Minutemen vs. The Seawolves " Machon, posted September 22.

They have not lost since. They are 13-1 going into the National Championship Game in Chattanooga tonight against Appalachian State (13-1). Appalachian state took home the title last year and Umass is returning for their first time since 1998, when they beat Georgia Southern under the "soon to be" head coach of the Boston College Eagles, Mark Whipple. Umass is lead by running back Steve Baylark, who is just shy of 2,000 rushing yards this year. He has rushed for at least 1,000 for each of his four seasons. Umass is strong on both sides of the ball and Appalachian State reminds me a lot of UNH, speedy QB who can hurt you both in the air and on the carpet. All that said, I take Umass 35-21.

Post Game Edit: I greatly underestimated the talent of Kevin Richardson. He strapped the Mountaineers on his back tonight and put the game away in the fourth quarter. The final two drives: 27 plays with 25 of them on the ground. Umass gave up too many yards on first down and Richardson had no problem gaining getting the rest of the yards. Good game, but Appalachian State clearly out played Umass.

15 Hits & 2 Errors From A Benihana Christmas

Tremendous Office last night. I'm not sure exactly where it ranks yet but that has to be somewhere in the top ten I think. Kudos to Harold Ramis and everyone involved. Below are 15 of my favorite moments from last night plus 2 (minor) complaints...

The Highlights

1) Three words...Goodbye My Lover. For my money, the absolute best scene of the night. If that doesn't sum up Michael Scott I don't know what does.

2) The re-introduction of Oscar. Brilliantly done.

3) Michael and Andy's handshake.

4) Michael's "bros before hoes" speech, presented below....

5) Creed stealing from the toy drive.

6) Kevin doing Alanis. Michael and Andy doing Mayer. Kelly doing We Belong. Darrell on the synth.

7) "The Asian Hooters." Especially enjoyed Andy's beverage of choice. "One part egg nog and three parts sake..."

8) Michael marking the arm.

9) Taking holidays away from Stanley...

10) Angela's shirt

11) Angela's "Hello Kitty" line. Very underrated.

12) The Karen/Pam friendship dynamic. Interesting twist from the writers. I liked it.

13) "And circle gets the square..." Good line from Dwight in the opening goose scene. Toby killed me in that scene too. I love the deadpanned lines from him. "We've been over this..."

14) Karen and Pam's party pitch to Meredith. "We've got vodka!"

15) Ski-son's Greetings...

The Quick Complaints

1) Most of the karaoke scenes were outstanding but having Dwight sing Lady for Angela was a poor choice in my opinion. You might not feel that way if you never watched Freaks and Geeks (and shame on you if you haven''s one of my top 5 shows of all-time.) but there's a scene in Freaks (see below), involving Lady, that's one of the absolute seminal moments of that show's history. And I feel like there's enough crossover/respect between the writers/producers/actors of Office and Freaks that they should've gone with something else.

Here's the scene from Freaks...

2) No Todd Packer. Because it's always better with Packer....

A Day In The Life...

... of Natalie Portman

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Tale From The Office

Just had this conversation with a co-worker...

Her: All right, well, I'm gonna run out to CVS quickly.

Me: Cool. I've got to stop there at some point today myself.

Her: It's so addicting isn't it? I swear I can't go in there without spending at least $30. That's like the minimum, isn't it?

Me (not wanting to prolong the conversation) : Uhh...yeah

Me: (in my head) : I couldn't disagree with that more. I don't find CVS to be even remotely addictive. And I almost never spend $30 in there. It's the kind of place I buy a greeting card or shampoo. I'd be surprised to learn that 5% of my receipts from CVS, over the course of my entire life, have been $30 or higher. The fact that you take hour and half lunches on a regular basis is starting to make more and more sense to me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Throw Back

While I get annoyed with the throwback jersey craze, I guess I understand it. However, what I really think would be great is a throw back company for all sorts of things. If jerseys are such good sellers, lets get some other categories in the mix:

Drink: Boku. Machon and Hadley use to get Boku by the bulk load. I am not sure if they were that good, but I certainly drank a lot of them.
Fast Food: Chicken little's. I don't eat fast food, but if they brought these bad boys back I may consider it again.
Candy: Candy Ciggerettes. Nothing says USA like a 8 year old buying a pack of Lucky's at their local candy store.
Pants: Skids/Vanessa. You had to have these didn't you. Looking back, was it really a great idea to name a pant company Skidz? I guess so because I owned at least 6 pair
Jewerly: Snap Braclets. A Great idea, straight from the production line at Mainway Toys.
Video Game: Leisure Suit Larry. Brought to us by Sierra, we navigated around as Larry trying to take home the bacon, if you know what I mean. The parental control has changed a bit since 1988, in LSL you had to answer three questions. These were pop culture questions usually about the Beatles and Bo Derrick. Needless to say, not your Fort Knox level of security.

Friday, December 08, 2006


"Hey, do you fellas know a.. a guy by the name Bill Brasky?!!"

A poster at SoSH reminded me of the force that is Bill Brasky. For those of you that have no clue who he is, leave.

Bill Brasky

Some Highlights:

-The last digit of pi is Brasky.
-He hated Mexicans! And he was half-Mexican! ...And he hated irony!
-Brasky's not allowed to attend the Olympic games because his very aroma is considered a performance enhancing drug!
-We once had a bachelor party for Brasky. He ate the entire cake before we could tell him there was a stripper in it.
-Bill Brasky stares at the sun every day until it goes blind. This point in time is called night.
-way....Brasky once wrote a book on how to court a woman. Which was actually just a collection of all his restraining orders.
-The story of Johnny Appleseed is based on Brasky... except for the part about planting apple trees... and not raping men
-Brasky ranked 18th.. in the AP College Football Poll..

It could go on for days.

"..To Bill Brasky"

One of the Brasky SNL transcripts

Morning Decisions

Pancakes or Eggs? Sausage or Bacon? Home fries or Hashbrowns? Toast or Bagel? OJ or Chocolate Milk? Grits or ... no Grits? Breakfast unlike any other meal can be a very binomial process, unless you go the Lumberjack route and take them all, which I highly endorse. Hadley and I were talking about breakfast the other day and wondering how it adopted its time slot. You don't see pancakes and eggs on dinner menus and if you want to enjoy them at night someone will make sure you know that it is complete anarchy. I am for breakfast at anytime for a few reasons. For one, it is very cheap. The lack of breakfast on dinner menus may be a conspiracy theory from the top. You can only mark up the price of a "farmers daughter" special so much. The supermarket near me recently had a deal where you could buy one carton of eggs and get THREE free. Some people may say there is nothing romantic about breakfast, but that is just absurd. Nothing spells out true romance like two eggs, over easy with a side of hash browns. (Say that in the Gob Bluth voice). Secondly, while there are less options for breakfast overall... I urge someone to find a more verstile food than the egg. Sunny side, over easy, over medium, fried, poached, scrambled, basted, omelettes, fritattas, egg salad, scotch eggs, custard, eggs benedict, shirred eggs, soufffle, baked eggs, french toast*, boiled eggs, quiche and so on. It is the kid chameleon of food for cryin out loud.

So how do you all go through the process of choosing your breakfast? Is it a tough thought process? Are you a lumberjack kind of gal? Do you have a "go to" every time? Here is Machon's selection method:

1. As aforementioned, it is a binomial process for me starting with the heart of the plate; the egg family vs the pancakes/french toast/waffle family.
2. From there I go to sides. Bacon or Sausage. Depending on the place I switch it up. Good sausage can't be beat, but often it is that rubbery mini sausage from the frozen section of Cosco.
3. Home fries with cheese, always. Not a big hashbrown guy
4. Toast w/ Bagel and cream cheese on the side
5. Coffee, OJ, Choc. Milk all see an equal share of playing time

-No other meal offers such a full customization structure as breakfast. I am having pancakes for breakfast today, but more importantly, I am going to have eggs for dinner. Free Breakfast!

*Egg is a crucial part of french toast, and while it may be a reach, I am putting it on the list.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hanging Red Sox

It is officially Christmas time. So while families everywhere are buying gifts, decorating their house and setting up their trees, we are thinking about those red sox. Not the ones hanging from the mantle stuffed with baseball cards, obnoxious amounts of gum, tic-tacs, Pez, deodorant, gift cards, golf balls and what ever else one may find in their stocking. We are thinking about the Red Sox that just two years ago were untouchable. The Red Sox that everyone gave a 5 year grace period. The Red Sox that would never buy a drink again in this town. The Red Sox that inspired more books than one could read. Remember that? Now people are saying that Theo won with Dukes team (Ortiz, Schilling, Mueller, Roberts, and Foulke say hello) and he has to produce this year or else. Now people are livid about not offering Damon more. I want to talk about those Sox.

Within the last 12 hours Drew and Lugo are officially part of the Club, Jon Lester is returning to Fort Myers cancer free, and Manny is most likely sticking around. That would potentially give the Sox a line up that looks something like:

(numbers from last season/career)

1. Youks .381/.379 108/107
2. Drew .393/.393 123/133
3. Papi .431/.374 164/135 *increased in both categories every year since 2001
4. Manny .439/.411 168/157 *MVP caliber season last year
5. Lowell .339/.339 106/109
6. Tek .325/.348 85/105 *Teks drop comes right at that age one would expect
7. Lugo .341/.340 94/92 *Could be high up, but a nice OBP at the bottom of the order
8. Pedroia (tiny sample size
9. Coco .317/.329 80/97

-If Wily Mo Pena is in the lineup, you put his .900+ OPS 5th. In that case you sit either Lowell or Coco. I love having a high OBP guy in the two spot and a Youks/Drew combo at the top would give the two headed monster that is Manny/Papi a lot of ducks to drive in. That being said, I bet Tito goes with a Youks, Lugo, Papi, Manny, Drew lineup. Last note on the lineup, a poster over at SoSH makes a point that Manny should bat second. He says this because "very piece of optimal lineup research I've seen suggests that you should bat your best hitter 2nd."

A rotation of:



*Paying 2.7M of Renteria's contract as well

The Cost

Without Matsuzaka the Sox have $137M tied up in payroll for next year. If he does sign for 10 per year, they would be $1 million under the cap and going into arbitration with Foulke. They also would be short a back up catcher and another bench player. I am guessing they are going to move someone soon to get back under the tax threshold.

So what contracts do the Sox no longer want to pay?
-Clement at 9.5
-Lowell at 9
-Manny at 18 (looks like he is staying)
-Coco or Wily Mo both at 3.5 (3.5 mill is a lot for 4th man out there)

Machon's Thoughts
-I am excited about the possibility of having the top four batters in the line up crack the .400 OBP mark. It would be very tough, but is not outside the realm of possibility. Lester battled his way through cancer in record time and will be reporting to camp. In my opinion, this is the best news of the off season. Trading Manny would have been nice if they saw a Peavy like player coming back, but only 10 people tops can give you what Manny does at the plate and if Drew has a year like 2004, he is one of them. Now I just hope they get the Matsuzaka deal done.

Things You Might Enjoy

Once again, I apologize for the relative lack of activity here lately. Things should pick up after the holidays but, for the immediate time being, there are some pressing matters which are going to limit our ability to post.

In any event, to fill the void today, here are three things you might enjoy...

1) Glaceau Vitamin Water: A co-worker of mine turned me on to this stuff a few months ago and I've been addicted to it ever since. There's a wide range of flavors so you'll have to tinker with what works for you. My suggestion? Try Forumla 50. That's their grape flavor and it's absolutely top notch. The best way I can describe it (and Machon came up with this...not me) is that it tastes (quite appropriately given the name of our blog) like the liquid part at the end of a grape freeze pop. I love it. Other flavors I endorse include Revive (fruit punch) and Essential (orange...which also tastes like the end of a freeze pop).

2) Papermate Flexgrip Elite Ballpoint Pens: A simple thing, perhaps, but a product that I'm happy to endorse none the less. Why? Well, it works well. I mean, how much can you really say about a pen? It works well. It doesn't make a mess. It has good longevity. I've gone through my fair share of pens and most of them sucked but this one doesn't. If you're unhappy with your current writing impliments give the Flexgrip Elite a shot. I think you'll like it.

3) Ben Folds Video for "Learn To Live With What You Are": Featuring full pirate garb and bike theft....

Friday, December 01, 2006


Sometimes, going into the weekend, you just need to pass it to the man....


Go out and rent it now. This movie is off the "unintentional humor" charts. It came out in 1993 and is full of Cool Blades, Plaid Shirts, and an unknown Jack Black. Legendary material like; deciding in the middle of a hockey game that the first one to three wins, organized skating battles down the "devil's backbone" against the prepies (I'm not entirely sure if that is the name of the school, or the actual social class), and grade A hazing from dirt in the locker to stealing clothes while someone is in the shower. Just classically cheesy stuff.

Nikki: So, if you could have lunch with any three people in the entire world - alive, dead, fictitious, I don't care. Who would it be?
Mitchell Goosen: What kind of question is that?
Nikki: A fun one, c'mon.
Mitchell Goosen: Well, I'd have to say Tom Curren; greatest surfer in the world, now that would be cool. And, um, maybe Ghandi. Not for lunch though, he wouldn't eat lunch.
Nikki: And the third one?
Mitchell Goosen: I'd have to say you.
Nikki: Me? You can have lunch with anyone in the world, and you would choose me.
Mitchell Goosen: You're not just anyone. You're special.

Write that one down fella's, it's gold.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Screw You, Starburst

If I may, please allow me to provide some evidence towards something of which I've long been suspicious; namely, Starburst is intentionally screwing people over by giving them more oranges and yellows (widely known to be inferior flavors) than reds and pinks. I just bought a $1.99 bag of Starbursts on my lunch break and the breakdown of fruit chews in said bag is as follows:

16 Orange
13 Yellow
7 Pink
6 Red

What kind of garbage is that?

Top 40 Concerts in Boston History

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the lack of activity here in Freeze Pop Land for the last few days. The three contributors to this space have, unfortunately, been very busy lately. In any event, here's an interesting link someone sent me recently to a Boston Phoenix feature on the 40 greatest concerts in Boston history:

Lot of shows I wish I could've seen in there. Dylan at Harvard Square. The Dead at UMass. J. Geils and Tom Petty on the Cape. Not too shabby. And I was only vaguely aware of the circumstances surrounding their #1 pick so that was interesting to read as well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another Tale From The Office

Recently overheard snippet of conversation between two middle-aged white guys from my office…

Man #1: “OK, that sounds good. I’m happy with that. Or, as Will Smith would say, I am jiggy with it.”

Man #2: (Heartily laughing) “Ha ha ha!”

#1: “One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite actors. He’s so funny.”

#2: “Yes, he is.”

#1: “You know what other line I like? When he says, ‘the difference between you and I is that I make this look gooood.”

#2: “Yup.”

#1: “…and he does.”

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nothing On TV?

I just stumbled across a great thing that is only getting better. Peak TV shows full length television shows on their site. It is constantly growing and more videos are submitted every day. They have a ton of shows, but here are some of Machon's favorites:

24 (102 episodes)
Arrested Development (9 episodes)
Band of Brothers (22 episodes)
Heroes (every episode)
Lost (53 episodes)
Seinfeld (98 episodes)
Weeds (16 episodes)
The Wonder Years (33 episodes)

In addition to television shows the have movies, stand up, cartoons, anime, asian drama & movies, and the 2006 World Cup.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Great Album Covers

A look at two of the better, more thoughtful album covers. One that capture the essence of teamwork, cooperation, balance, and trust. And another that shows us how electric an image can be:

The Playmates: at play with The Playmates

1. That is illegal. There is a 80% chance the penguin looking fellow on the back is going ass over tea kettle as soon as they hit 15 mph.

2. The guy driving the vespa certainly looks like he was dragged into this idea. He looks repulsed, scared, unsure, and kind of curious at the same time. I just spent 15 minutes in front of the mirror trying to replicate it, (the face, not the 3 man sandwich) and I can't do it.

3. The meat of the sandwich loves it. This is blatantly his concept. Look at his smirk and the eye brow twitch, he can barely contain himself. I wonder if he asked to be in the middle or it was the obvious position for him.

3a. Is it me, or does he look like the guy from MAD magazine.

3b. He really is putting a nice bear hug on the hopeless driver. He has his left hand wrapped firmly around his right wrist. If Sly Stallone could have adopted that hold in Cliffhanger, Hal Tucker would be spending the holidays with his girlfriend

Devastatin' Dave: Zip Zap Rap

1. The Turntable Slave? Was that really your best option? Besides the obvious cultural problems, it doesn't make any sense. Why would you want to be the turntable's slave? I always thought that a DJ was in total control over the turntable, thus being able to make records do things it would never do on its own.
2. Take an extra close look at those glasses. Pink rims, awesome stuff.
3. How many people still go with the one earring routine? I remember kids use to rock that look way back when, but I am hoping that left with Jellies and parachute pants.
4. I am not sure how to attack his clothing choices. I do know that it must take him 20 minutes to take off those pants.
5. Speaking of pants, is it necessary to put the second Zap there? What are you trying to say Dave?
6. Why is he giving us the double point? I don't want any part of what Dave is offering.

Bonus: Dave is still around. You can find some of his work here. Do yourself a favor and listen to "Westside Bronx". I have listened to it 5 times and have no idea why the hell it is called "Westside Bronx".

Here is some info on the man himself:
Basic Info
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Status: In A Relationship
Orientation: Straight
Religion: Christian - other
Zodiac: Pisces
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Schools: John Muir/Laney College
Occupation: Jack of all trades.
Company: 2000 Devastating Records Unl.
Personal Info
Interests: Travel, Music, Spiritual things, UFO's.
Favorite Music: Funk
Favorite Movies: Batman, Bad Boys, Catwoman, Training Day, or anything with any of those actors/tresses in it.
Favorite TV: Fresh Prince of Belair
Favorite Book: The King James version of The Holy Bible
Favorite Drink: Koolaid, Beer, Alabama Slama, Scooby Snacks, Bailey's Irish Coffee, cognac.
Favorite Color: Green, Black, Blue, Red.
Favorite Quote: It ain't ova till the fat lady sings!

Few notes.
--You can't have four favorite colors pal, chose one and get on with it.
--His favorite book is The King James version of the Bible? Someone has to add him to the KJ's wiki page, along side Milton and Wordsworth.
--Occupation: Jack of all Trades. For some reason I am having trouble accepting that.
--If anyone can find a better list of favorite drinks, I will drop my pants and run around downtown Boston. Seriously, look at that...
--I wonder what type of spiritual things dave is talking about? All of them?
-- So Dave likes every movie that any of the actors from Batman, Bad Boys, Catwoman and Training Day have ever been in? That is a shit load of movies.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Very Swayze Thanksgiving

Who doesn't wonder what his holidays are like? I spend hours thinking about it....

* Think your family gatherings are crazy? Try spending a day with Patrick Swayze. The "Dirty Dancing" star dished to Allure: "Usually in the Swayze family, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to bring up the past and have big, big fights."

Road House-style fights, baby....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Some Suggestions For The Boston Bruins Pro Shop

As lifelong Bruins, Hadley and I have talked about this on several occasions...the Bruins pro shop (whether we're talking about the physical store in North Station or the online store) really needs to start stepping up its game. As we speak the only two player-specific t-shirts I can find online are for Zdeno Chara and Brian Leetch. That's a problem. You want to buy an authentic Neely jersey? Good luck. The shop basically stocks Ray Bourque jerseys and....that's it. Well, that's bunk. So here are some suggestions to get things moving in the right direction...

1)Allow personalization on the jerseys for full price but give me a stable of 15-20 at all times for a slight discount. I love Ray Bourque but I don't want to see a sea of 77's when I go to a game. Let's spread it out among guys like this...

Big Bad Bruins Era

Lunchpail Athletic Club Era

The 80's

Something like that. Maybe have a wild card every month on sale. Like a Doug Keans jersey. Or a Charlie Simmer. Or Nevin Markwart. It would be infinitely cooler to see those jerseys around town than what I'm seeing right now.

2)I left current players out of the jersey discussion but I'll mention them here now in talking about t-shirts. Can someone explain to me why they don't sell a Bergeron t-shirt right now? Or a Kessel shirt? I mean, let's get on that. Bergeron, Kessel and Chara are basically your three marketable guys at this point. Market them.

3)Give me some DVDs. The DVD section of the online store doesn't haven't a single Bruins-specific product in it at the moment. Let's get the best of Bobby Orr on disc. Let's get Neely highlights on disc. Best fights. A DVD full of overtime goals. A 1970/1972 playoff box set. Something.

4)Finally, I don't care how long it takes you to find it or how much money has to be sunk into the project but somebody down there needs to track down "Who Dey Bruins" by Zip Rzeppa on vinyl and get that onto a CD pronto. I think I'd pay $50 for it at this point. For those of you that aren't familiar with Who Dey Bruins, it was a novelty (obviously) 45 that was produced for the '84 season and features lyrics like this (from memory)...

From the old historic Garden
Comes that black and gold machine
They're the mighty Boston Bruins
The finest in the league

They skate and move and pass and shoot
And always come to play
That tough aggressive, checking hockey
'Cause there is no better way

Who dey?
Who dey?
Who dey think gonna beat them Bruins?
Who dey?
Who dey?
Who dey think gonna beat them Bruins?

We've got Pederson and Middleton
For nifty moves each night
And the Crowders and MacTavish
Who know how to light the light

There's Luc and Krushelnyski
And Tom Fergus who can score
And McNabb and Stevie Kasper
And Dave Silk from down the shore

Nevin Markwart makes opponents
wonder how he got the puck
Captain Terry O. just lets 'em know
Today they're out of luck

You get the idea. You see, THAT is the kind of thing they should be selling.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Morneau's Parents Are Pissed

From: Newsletters []
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 2:31 PM
Re: Breaking Sports Alert: Mauer wins AL MVP

If the player isn't on the Sox or the Yanks, the Globe thinks they all look the same. Is that considered racist? This whole Kramer thing has me confused.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rockin' Manhattan

So, as you know if you've been regularly following the action here at 10 Cent Freeze Pops, Hadley and I were at the Hammerstein Ballroom last night for the Ben Folds show. Personally, this was my second time seeing him live. The first time was last year at Radio City. On that occasion, Folds was his usual brilliant self but the large-room atmosphere and building-imposed curfew (to say nothing of the Pats getting corked at home by Indy on the same night) conspired against him. No such problems for this go-around. This time was just absolutely tremendous.

Some of the highlights...

-The set list was phenomenal. Ben played his staples from recent shows (like Trusted, Cooler, Gone, Learn To Live, Bitches, Army, etc, etc...) but he also threw in some great wild cards (like Still Fighting It, Boxing, Last Polka, Losing Lisa, Best Imitation & One Down).

-The atmosphere in the Ballroom was excellent. There were plenty of cameras in the crowd so I'm hoping some bootleg footage starts showing up on Youtube soon. (The cameras are kind of a mixed blessing by the way...very cool to get that footage when it pops up but a bit obnoxious to have so many people taking pictures and vids all night.) The audience participation on Army and Not The Same was top notch. But it was there all night.

-"Did Dr. Dre really write this song?" Actual quote, overheard by Hadley, from a girl standing behind us in reaction to Bitches Ain't Shit. Yes, Virginia. He really did.

-Watching Folds work the piano (plus the synth and a maraca) from close range. We were about 8-deep right behind him so we had a great view all night. On songs like Dr. Pyser and All U Can Eat he was going crazy at the end. And on a song like Narcolepsy, where he goes from banging the crap out of the piano with his elbow to playing beautiful little classical-feeling parts without breaking stride, you really get a full appreciation for his talent.

Overall, definitely one of the most enjoyable shows I've seen. About the only criticism I can think of was that it ended somewhat abruptly with just one encore. I would've been happy to stay for more. But other than that, it was great.


I wholeheartedly endorse this review....some other highlights:

-a group of 14 year olds having an ecstatic time fueled, well, by ecstasy. This included a group nap between Corn Mo's opening set and Ben's set.

- Corn Mo was extremely interesting. Best way to describe him without seeing him is he's a very talented, full band version of Tenacious D without the direct comedy schtick. Huge vocal presence. Looks like Meat Loaf. Really interesting. I like opening acts that push the envelope.

- Clarke and I were in the Top 5% age bracket. I would feel weird if we were seeing Brooke Hogan. But, please, this is a piano-lyricist in his mid 30s who is writing about growing old, his kids, his marriage, his divorce (first marriage), his parting of ways with old friends...good for Ben because he's making cash, but how does that remotely resonate with a high school student? "I got you to thank for this" is a line about a couple who married too soon and found out the hard way, not a prom date gone bad. That works in the cafeteria? I don't get it.

-That being said, there were two guys in our vicinity who were easily 8 years older than us who were there to pick up high school chicks. They were not smooth. It's not like they were even bad looking guys, they just had no game. First of all, they didn't know any of Folds' stuff. That stands out like a sore thumb at a Folds show. Folds fans don't look for the hits and then lay back when lesser known tracks are played. The entire show is generally devoured and the energy level never dips. These guys were just out of their element. It was great.

- My feet are still hurting. GA floor has its benefits, but the pain comes along with it.

- Don't get the Mini Burgers at the Andrews Diner across the street from the Hammerstein.

- I'd see Ben once a month. Not an issue. He's that good. Can't wait to take the girls...just need to wait for Ms. Hadley to decide when it's appropriate to subject them to Bitches Ain't Shit. I say 4 years old is fine.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


It got tough to watch the Sox this September, only David Ortiz and the presense of the young guys made it enjoyable. It is a shame that Ortiz broke Foxx's record while the team was 12 games back and not in the playoff hunt. Either way, here is a tribute to the big fella:

I really like the sound of a baseball hitting a bat.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Meatloaf's .666 average

It's interesting how the meaning of an average changes drastically depending on what the sample is. Going two for three for a couple of games is fantastic in baseball and most likely impossible to sustain over a season. However, if you are getting two out of every three questions right on your GMATs... not so good. The reason I bring this up is my coworker was singing Meatloaf's "Two out of Three ain't Bad". After thinking about it for a solid hour at work, I decided that Meatloaf is completely full of it. Two out of three is piss poor when talking about love. I guess it depends on the sample size, but even then it is certainly a red flag. If you start dating Meatloaf (which is sort of a red flag in itself) and on the third date he starts dropping the ball, you would probably chalk it up to a bad day. However, if after 100 dates, he has F'ed up 33.3 times, well... I would have to cut the 'loaf loose. Not to steal the lyrical analysis from Clarke, but his faults are very prevalent within the lyrics of the song:

"I'm tired of words and I'm too hoarse to shout
But you've been cold to me so long
I'm crying icicles instead of tears"

-Two things. She is probably a bit upset about the fact you shouted till you went hoarse. That is not your typical, quick tempered fight. Going hoarse involves a prolonged, continuous period of yelling. She has every right to be cold. Secondly, if by some miraculous development, icicles do in fact replace your tears, you should get that checkout immediately. It sounds very painful.

"And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you
I need you
But there ain't no way
I'm ever gonna love you
Now don't be sad
'Cause two out of three ain't bad
Now don't be sad
'Cause two out of three ain't bad"

-No Meatloaf, you're wrong. In this case, two out of three is not only bad, it's downright appalling. It's a deplorable effort.

"You'll never find your gold on a sandy beach
You'll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you're looking for a ruby
In a mountain of rocks
But there ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding
At the bottom of a Cracker Jack box"

-You really know how to shatter a girl's dreams don't you. However, what type of girl plows through a box of Cracker Jacks hoping for a Caddy? And how many mountains are made of something other than rock? I think you could have taken a page out of the George Costanza manual and gone with the age old, "It's not you... it's me" routine. Furthermore, no city in America is going to let some inexperienced woman start drilling for oil on a street and I would imagine no woman is slotting that in their weekend schedule. Drilling for oil is a dangerous, highly skilled activity that requires ridiculously expensive equipment. If she is really considering this and has the resources to get it done, you should contact the police immediately.

-When I imagine this situation, I would have to guess that the lady walked out half way through this next verse. He starts off the conversation by screaming at her until he loses his voice, which in his profession is suicide. The big guy then demolishes her aspirations and tells here that there is no way he can love her. I would think at this point, she gets the message and letting off the gas for a second would probably be beneficial to her self-esteem. But no, he feels the need go into this:

"There's only one girl that I will ever love
And that was so many years ago
And though I know I'll never get her out of my heart
She never loved me back, ooh I know
I remember how she left me on a stormy night
She kissed me and got out of our bed
And though I pleaded and I begged her
Not to walk out that door
She packed her bags and turned right away"

-Thanks Meatloaf, real f'n cool of you. Why don't you go ahead and tie the noose for me. It's been hard enough with the yelling and the insults. Not to mention that Meatloaf’s holler is not your average scream, but the type that causes seismic activity. I don't want to hear about your lost love, why don't you let go of the past and see what’s right in front of you. Lastly, I have a feeling you are cherry picking your stats here. Nowhere in the context of this song do I see any indication of you getting two out of three things right. Your average is more likely in the class of the 1962 Mets.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hadley Waits

Just over 48 hours til Folds at Hammerstein....he's not for everyone, but if you like pianos and lyrics, I can't see how you can possibly deny the brilliance

The Notorious BSG

The best basketball writer on the planet delivered a tremendous column this week regarding, in no particular order of importance, the disaster of Doc Rivers, the hypocrisy of the media, the lack of necessity to be in a clubhouse (particularly because it completely ruins the joy of sports) to write informative and entertaining columns and the growing momentum of the basketball gods' ultimate thank you gift to Red (that being Gregory Oden). When Bill writes about hoop, it makes me enjoy the sport more. No other writer is able to do that. Peter King is fun, Gammons is a legend, but those sports are part of my bloodstream. Hey, I grew up a hockey player in Greater Boston. I'm Bruins first, Celts second. Simmons makes this sport fun:

"During a somber home game on Monday, Doc (now looking like Mikey after the answering machine scene in "Swingers") played 11 guys in the first 13 minutes against Orlando (the same team that fired him after a 1-10 start). The subs were coming fast and furiously, to the point that I think our penalty-killing line was out there at some point"

Good stuff....speaking of penalty-killing lines, the Bruins have rebounded nicely back to .500 with 3 straight wins. There is talent on this team, outside of goaltending where average is the standard we need to acheive until Tuukka (Rask) Yoot's Riddim arrives on the scene next year. But the Bruins look like they'll give us a winter despite the fact that Chiarelli (for better) and Lewis (for worse) play with the lines and the roster like a 12 year old when he loads up NHL ’07 for the first time. I expect Lewis to ask the refs if he can play with offsides and line changes off at some point in December.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jersey On My Mind

The Diamondbacks just unveiled their new uniforms. Thank god they switched, because I am not sure if the league would have survived with only the Nationals wearing those colors. Nothing has pissed me off more than the constant altering of uniforms in sport. For some reason, every team believes that black, silver, and blue are the only colors that are going to attract consumers. The NHL even changed their classic logo to black and silver. It is not only incredibly irritating, but every team looks the same. This is most prevalent in the NHL, but is certainly not limited to it. Some classic uniforms have been ruined because some market research assistant compiled some statistical data and had some idiots fill out a survey. Have you ever wondered why the seats in Madison Square Garden are purple and aqua? Well, when they renovated it in 1991, they asked New Yorkers what the most popular colors were in an effort to enhance the color scheme. Unfortunately, the people they surveyed were wearing Skids and Hyper-color t-shirts at the time. Orange and Blue? Blue and White? No… let’s throw millions of dollars into what frigging colors are most popular while C&C Music Factory, Color Me Badd, Hi-Five, and Paula Abdul are on the billboard top ten. Just short-sighted decisions. Same thing happens with uniforms, they adjust them to raise the bottom line. Because of this some classics have been lost. I want to take a quick look at some that MUST be brought back.

Washington Capitals

-Why they are no longer red, white, and blue just boggles my mind. A no brainer in my opinion. As you know, they decided to go down the black, blue, silver, white road. Most likely because those colors have some deep roots in our nations capital.

Vancouver Canucks

-Just a classic jersey. Why mess with that. It is such a unique color scheme that set them apart. They also adopted the new standard for uniforms.

Houston Astros

-They have had so many different uni’s over the past 30 years it hard to figure out when they completely sold out. I always liked these though. I guess I have a soft spot for that throw-up yellow color.

Pat Patriot
-It is extremely hard to bring this one up. The Pats have seen plenty of success under their new logo, but you can't go wrong with Pat Patriot. Love the three point stance, classic material.

Then there are some that should be brought back for comedy sake. At the least, they would make watching games more entertaining.

Pittsburgh Pirates

-Sorry about the black and white, but you get the picture. Although, if they brought these uniforms back, they would have to force the entire team to adopt a mustache. I can't imagine a team having this uniform and not having a phenomenal stache.

Chicago White Sox

-You just can’t have this discussion and not incorporate these bad boys. It would not be prudent.

Hartford Whalers

-Gotta love the Cooperalls. Here we see Ron Francis showing the full range of motion that they offer. Love the Cooperalls. Also notice the size of the goalies pads. Goalie pads were so much smaller back then. If I were a goalie today, I would sport that mask as well. I feel like that could be a good intimidation factor during shootouts.

Lastly, there are plenty of teams that, due to a number of factors, are no longer with us. These moves not only take the local team away from the community, but some great uniforms away from us. Two of my favorite hockey sweaters traveled down this road

Quebec Nordiques

Winnipeg Jets

You can still get these jerseys, but it is not the same. In my opinion, you either bought yours when the team was around or you have no business wearing one. I am not a big fan of the throw back craze. As bad as I want that Canucks sweater, I will not buy one now... it wouldn't feel right. I also wish someone would burn all alternate uniforms, especially the Bruins.

Never Look Back

Under 5 hours until the Scranton/Stamford branch merges...and you know what? I'm rooting for Karen. Love the Pammer, but she had her moment. I'm on Team Stamford now.

We also get to experience the first moment that Dwight realizes Jim is his boss and the first collision of Andy and Dwight. Wow.

Doyle Redland Reporting

If you aren't listening to The Onion Radio News every day, find a way to squeeze 45 seconds away from something else and marinate in this comedy jewel instead. They knock it out of the park at least 80% of the's is good, but make sure you check out yesterday's masterpiece Wet-T-Shirt Contest Runner-Up Consoled.
You know that Married Cops Aggressively Volunteer For Asian Massage Parlor Task Force is right around the corner. Yes, I just made that up...not bad, huh?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dear Blender...

I know music is subjective but...

Thank you for your feature on the Killers. I'm sick and tired of hearing people rag on Brandon Flowers - OK, he has a big mouth sometimes, but he's earned it. His music is proof that rock & roll can ennoble the spirit, deepen the soul and change people's lives for the better. Critics are right to say that Sam's Town isn't on the level of Bruce Springsteen or U2 - because it is twice as good as anything those guys have ever put out. Also, Brandon is really hot."

-Jennifer Kolows, Pueblo, CO're wrong, Jennifer. Sam's Town is not twice as good as anything Springsteen or U2 has ever done. It just isn't. Sorry.

Worst Draft Ever

The guys over at Clubbing With Danny Ferry make an argument that no one rivals the 2000 NBA draft class as worst of all time.

Top Five:

1) Kenyon Martin

2) Stromile Swift

3) Darius Miles

4) Marcus Fizer

5) Mike Miller

Very entertaining read.

A City Misplaced

So I'm leaving a meeting in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart and there's a large gathering in front of the building. Turns out that Rex Grossman was there for a Starbucks promo event that launched their Christmas drink menu (welcome back, Peppermint Mocha). Rex was throwing snowballs at former Bears/BC token white WR Tom Waddle, who is seemingly the Scott Zolak of Chicago. Everyone was jolly.

Well, at least everyone but my cab driver. I jump in a cab and the guy asks me "Is that Grossman over there?" I confirmed that it was. His response: "He's the f'in (he didn't use the abbreviated version) weakest link on our football team. I'm saying something." He wasn't kidding. The guy rolls down the window as we pass Rexy signing footballs for agency girls and screams "Grossman, you are the weakest link!" and starts laughing like a hyena. We couldn't have been more than 7 feet from Grossman. A cop yelled at him "Grow up, dickhead!" and we pulled away over the bridge to The Loop....

Two things:

1. He really was reliant on that "Weakest Link" line, huh? That show was big in the States BEFORE 9/11. It's been over 5 years. That's right in Michael Scott's wheelhouse.

2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Chicago belongs wedged somewhere in the middle of Boston, Philly and New York. It's a kindred spirit. They care about their city. They care about their sports teams. They care about their politics (I've been told that some of the local elections were about as ugly as it person was accused of "taking the books out of schools" that's comedy). They care about their history. You can Monsters of the Midway me all you want...this city belongs in the Northeast.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

There's A Reason Creed Is Buying Shots

Quick update: Office fans need to head to Itunes now and buy last week's masterpiece, Branch Closing, even if you've already seen it 3 times on TiVo. There's 8 minutes of extra scenes, including tasty subplots with Creed and Meredith....and Dwight has one of the best plays to the camera in show history. It's pretty cool when a show has so much momentum that it has cutting-room floor scenes that are better than everything else on TV.

Learning Fast With Wiki

How much can I learn in 30 minutes? I ask this because when I find myself lost in a daze of boredom, I always end up over at Wikipedia. Once you get started with the endless link that is wiki, there is no stopping. You start at “The Goonies” page and the next thing you know you are researching Booby Traps. Booby Traps inevitably leads you to practical jokes, which in turn derails you to “The Massacre of the Innocents”. Now you went from reminiscing about Data and Chunk to learning about the episode of infanticide from the Gospel of Matthew. This happens all the time.
The way I look at it, there is two ways to attack the world of wiki. The aforementioned method is the one I use the most. I begin at a specified page and let the magic happen from there. You end up losing track of time and the next thing you know its 2:45 am and you’re discovering the origins of the 1st Delaware Regiment. The second method is the random page passage. A chaotic, unstructured adventure guided by the unknown forces within wiki. Which is better? It is a matter of mood, taste, opinion, etc. My question is how much can I learn in 30 minutes with Wiki driving. Will it be useful, important information or just complete junk food? I will judge each page on a 1-5 scale. 5 being immensely entertaining or useful and 1 being a waste of time. Let’s begin.

The time is currently 11:38pm:

Page 1: Cecil Charles Windsor Aldin
-Alright lets see what we got. Well first of all, you have to love that name. As Tobias would say, “That sure is a mouthful”. Cecil was a British artist that specialized in two things: Animals and rural life. Not too much more to see here.
----Rating: 1, although I am a big fan of that name.

Page 2: Mattoon, Illinois
If you find yourself in Coles County, Illinois… make sure you hit up Mattoon. No kidding… they mention Will Leitch, Deadspin's editor, on this puppy. Apparently, Will grew up in Mattoon and his novel CATCH is set there. Wiki just amazes me everyday. Mattoon saw a small oil boom in the 40’s and 50’s that led to some beneficial economic activity. The city is also the self-declared “Bagel Capital of the World” and if you head to Mattoon during those hot summer months you can take part in “Bagelfest”.
----Rating: 4, some interesting information here. However, I always question places that declare themselves anything. You just can't self-declare yourself something can you? This happens all the time with Roast Beef shops where we are from, they are all "famous". Who says so?

Page 3: Lyrestad
There are only 20 words on this page. “Lyrestad is a village of Mariestad Municipality in Sweden. In Lyrestad the main Stockholm – Gothenburg railway crosses the Gota Canal.” Can we get someone on this, I mean 20 words?
----Rating: 0, I know I said a 1-5 scale but this is just a lack of effort on someone’s part. They couldn't give us anything more? Really? I may just make something up, see if anyone will actually police the Lyrestad page. No chance anyone will...right?

Update: 13 minutes have gone by

Page 4: Patrick Fisher
Our first sports reference! Patrick Fisher was born on September 3, 1975 in Zug, Switzerland and plays for the Phoenix Coyotes. On October 5, Fisher appeared in his first NHL game against the Islanders. I just looked up his stats this year. Thus far he has notched two goals and two assists. He has a plus/minus of -1 and has spent 12 minutes in the box. I also saw that our boy Nick Boynton has a plus/minus of -8 and has spent 62 minutes in the booth this year. We miss ya Nick.
----Rating: 3, I wonder how many sport articles are on Wiki... it has to be a huge number. Think of all the players, teams, leagues, games, colleges, law suits, mechanics, literature, movies, etc.

Page 5: Chickenman (radio series)
Dick Orkin created this radio program that spoofed comic book heroes. Loosely based on Batman, the shows main character worked as a shoe salesman and fought crime at night as the “Winged Warrior”. They had 273 episodes of this. 273 episodes is roughly 40 more episodes than Friends produced and 100 more than Seinfeld.
----Rating: 2, I just can't see this working today. We are so much less patient then a half century ago. Hell, I can't even watch telvision shows in real time anymore. I will do some other activity for fifteen minutes and then watch it so I can skip the commercials. No shot I would be able to catch 273 episodes of the Chickenman, no chance.

Page 6: Coefficient
Here’s the thing. These are the pages you just skip. You see the title and click “Random Article” again. It doesn’t affect the value of the journey, it just makes you wait longer for the gem down the road
----Rating: Skipped. Often I get a chain of pages worthy of the skip and I will read almost anything. There is a lot of useless boring crap out there and you realize it pretty fast when cruising through wiki.

Page 7: Jim Lash
Lash was a wide receiver for the Vikings for 5 years. During those years his Jim and his teammates lost Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, and Super Bowl XI to the Dolphins, Steelers, and Raiders respectively.
----Rating: 3, I would have given Jim a four if the Vikings could have mustered up a win. Marv Levy's page wouldn't see a 4, so neither will Lash.

Update: 24 minutes… lets try to get a gem in here before its all said and done

Page 8:Maria Angelova
She was an Author... she died in 1999.. blah, blah, blah
----Rating: 1

Page 9: Pandoro
A very tasty, traditional Italian sweet bread. Popular around Christmas. I would spend more time but I think I can get another page in before my deadline.
-----Rating: Rushed, but I do like Pandoro and suggest everyone to give it a whirl. Speaking of whirl, we discovered that Ben and Jerry's discontinued their flavor "One Sweet Whirl" which was my favorite ice cream they made. Seriously, head over to their website and look at their graveyard. They have killed some tremendous flavors.

Page 10: The Fabulous Thunderbirds
-TFT as I now like to call them were a blues-rock band in the late 70’s and 80’s. “The first two albums (with Keith Ferguson on bass and Mike Buck on drums), did not initially sell well, but are now regarded as successful white blues recordings.” I think that is a compliment, but I am not sure. They did break “into the mainstream” in 1986 when their appeared behind Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas in “Tough Guys”. The found more success on the silver screen the following year in “Hot Pursuit” starring John Cusack. They produced 12 albums with “Butt Rockin’” being my favorite title.
----Rating: 3, some good info, but I was hoping for something better to end with. Maybe something like this or this or even this

Times up and I did not receive that diamond in the rough that I was looking for, but I won't let that get me down. I will just sit up and continue to hit that “random article” button until I am satisfied. So what did I learn this past half hour? I learned where Will from Deadspin grew up and that he wrote a book that was set there as well, that Nick Boynton is spending more time in the box than on the ice, and that I could care less about coefficients. However, for the most part I was only concerned with finding that one page that made it all worth while. And that is why Wikipedia consumes so much of my time. I guess it reminds me of playing golf. You can spend 4 hours hacking around, playing like absolute garbage. You can swear to your buddies that you’re done; you’re putting the clubs away and spending your money and time elsewhere. However, all it takes is that one shot. That one shot that brings you back. Same principle applies in the world of Wiki. I can waste my time for hours, but then you get that one that draws you right back in.
----Final Rating: It may have been a bunch of pointless information, but 30 minutes never went by so quick and that is enough for me to give it a 5.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gammons Reports Sox Win Matsuzaka Bid

Peter Gammons has reported that the Sox bid $42 million dollars for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Gammons has been extremely quiet on this topic up to this point, which makes me believe this is genuine information.

A couple of points. Many people will question the amount spent on the posting bid. The fact is, Matsuzaka opens up a ton of revenue streams for the Sox that they have yet to tap into. They will gain presence in the Asian market both in the U.S and abroad. This will not only raise revenue through merchandising, but also through sponsorships. The $42 million dollars does not go toward the salary cap and will most likely benefit them when it comes to taxation and revenue sharing. It blocks DM from the Yankees and gives them a top of the rotation starter who will be 27. The question now is how much are the Sox willing to give DM for a salary. He makes about 3 million a year with the Seibu Lions. Considering Scott Boras is his agent, they could be looking for triple that. I think the sox will offer no more than $10 million, but that is just speculation. If they make an offer to low, I would imagine some owners (Goerge) would preach bad faith. That being said, I think they get this thing done fairly quickly. That would mean the sox would potentially have 3, maybe 4, starters in their mid-to-upper twenties.

Assuming this thing pans out, I can’t wait for the first time Matsuzaka faces Matsui.

A Swampy Foxboro

So I'm pissed off enough as it is after that Jets debacle yesterday (weird season, nobody's talking about two obvious things: 1. Gabriel's game-altering fumble...very few things kill a team quite like fumbling a huge offensive play and 2. Second straight year (and one half of the Carolina Super Bowl) that the defense cannot get off the field on 3rd down with Rodney Harrison on the sidelines. These are two HUGE reasons they lost yesterday, not covered in any game story. Go figure).

So, Amazon decides to send me this email this morning, apparently to taunt me. I think they need to work on their related purchases emails, if you ask me....

Dear Customer,
We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in Super Bowl XXXVI - New England Patriots Championship Video have also ordered The Legends of the Florida Gators on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that The Legends of the Florida Gators is now available on DVD. You can order your copy for just $25.95 by following the link below.

The Legends of the Florida Gators

I think I'll pass.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Used To Love 'Em, But I Have To Kill Them

I'm not saying it wasn't fun. It was. That was exclusively a result of the crew we rolled in with. When you bring Boston, Buffalo, Manoguayabo with a double shot of Rochester together, madness generally ensues. The only problem was that Paul and I went head to head with W. Axl on Nightrain and I honestly think our version was better. Oh, Axl doesn't look a bit like the photo to your right. He's not in fighting shape. Not in the least.

Here were the main issues:

1. Sound was awful. Speakers were muted, I believe intentionally because Axl couldn't hit the notes, to the point where you could have a normal voice level conversation with the person next to you while the concert was going on...not exactly what you expect from a GnR show.

2. Not a very well-thought out setlist....the new songs and the guitar and drum and piano solos were show stoppers...and not in the good way. They actually brought the show to a halt.

3. Chinese Democracy is not an album with appealing music. You won't get it confused with Paul's Boutique, London Calling or Blood On The Tracks, trust me.

4. Axl's energy level is gone. Hey, the songs they were pumping out were fun to sing to, but remember how nuts he used to get during Knockin'? The sprinting around the stage? The "I'll sing one and you sing one" callback? The spandex? None of it is there. It's all gone.

All in all, very happy I went, but when the highlight of the night was chanting "Guns....N....Reyes" and the Shea Stadium/Jose chant with the biggest Mets fan on the planet outside of MSG (much funnier when you've been drinking for 8 hours and seeing pissed off Yankee fans glare at you), well that doesn't say much for Axl's new band.

Here's his old band: