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September 30, 2006 - Even Quicker

Today, Trot Says Goodbye
-- This week's Inside Baseball is all Red Sox, but sadly Stat-free. There's enough little recalled stuffed in the Nixon piece to kill weaker men.


S-T Sports, 10/1/06
-- Not an inch of Associated Press copy to be found.
And let me tell you, we're proud of ourselves.

   • The best way to make deadline to get the paper out is not to write a 50-inch column during your desk shift.

   To say nothing for sanity, especially with the equal of a restaurant "double" coming on Sunday.

   Giants won't lose this week. That's a nice feeling, even if both losses have been cushioned by perfect predictions on exactly what would happen.

   And the Dodgers? In a completely unscientific runthrough the playoffs, they're in the World Series against the Yankees. Somewhere, Bud Selig is doing backflips.


September 29, 2006 - Mind Blank
   We Have Better Choices: In the world of things that piss me off ...

Greeting Cards?

   ... greeting cards aren't what I expected to see the great spam resources directed toward.

   Never find the fact that paying anything from a friggin' e-card seems a little stupid. Course, that's because IT'S BETTER THAN THAT!!!!!!!!

Papelbon Needs To Get A Shot To Start
-- Not quite the end of the line, since I'll now be going to the season finale Sunday after all.

   • I had all sorts of stuff to say, not the least of which being I traveled an hour on the highway tonight listening to the same three-song album, but currently my apartment is filled with nearly the entire female portion of the Flanders family.

   I need Doritos. And several more hours in which I'm not working this weekend, given they're in very short supply.


September 28, 2006 - The Humor of Bandwidth Theft
   The Value Of A Dollar, Amended: Perhaps because the actual "hard-working folks who keep New England running" noted that 99 cents for a bagelwith cream cheese wasn't exactly much of a deal at all, Dunkin Donuts has amneded they're "thanks, beautiful" promotion to 99 cents for two donuts or a muffin.

   Don't care ... it's just the rest of the story, and Lord knows Paul Harvey has made a career out of that. Though he's also billing himself as "The Voice of the New Millenium."

   Given he'll be dead in 15 years barring some lovely draws from the gene pool, I'm thinking the actual "Voice of the New Millenium" will be a robot still to be created. That, however, may just be me. Good day.

   Mmmm ... Fair Leftovers: So apparently on the night we were at The Big E, some 150 teenagers -- likely there on free tickets given to students -- caused pepper spray-necessitating trouble at a gate.

The disturbance included "bull-running," which consists of groups of kids linking arms and pushing their way through -- and over -- crowds of people, police said.

The arrests included two 14-year-olds and two 16-year-olds, all from Springfield, according to police records. A total of 14 people were issued letters of trespass, which means they may not go back to the exposition grounds for one year without risking arrest.

As part of Springfield Day, students from city schools were given free passes, a tradition dating back to the 1980s.

   There was one point late in the evening when this higher-volume mass of teens came through us on the Midway -- this was right after Matt, who does such things often, beat me at a not-rigged carnival game for a stuffed Sonic The Hedgehog -- but they certainly weren't arms-linked, knocking people over.

   I can say with some confidence that if a bunch of 16-year-olds did this in my direction, knocking either myself, Matt or Julie over, I might not have needed to be restrained by police. An elbow to someone's head, however, would be the least of it. For whatever reason, the idea of this pisses me off more than most things.

   It's a good feeling to be at a point where I have no idea what motivates teenagers to be dumbasses anymore. The fair, of course, now being one of my main exposures to it, whether it be the ones who chase the nightly Mardi Gras parade for the free beads or all the airbursh booths to get T-shirts honoring ... something.

   On that note, here's where my annual high school basketball tournament will be held. Even having already known it's place in Hartford Whalers history, I'll never be more drawn to it than I am right now.


   • Remember back when I found some Akron DJ whose MySpace linked to a meaningless picture of "Chipped Chopped Ham" I'd taken at Heinz Field at the 2004 AFC Championship? Well today, I did some more digging through my referral links and topped it a couple times.

   This AP picture of flag burning from March 2003:

   which pissed me off because Mr. America-Hating Oregonian didn't even have the sack to show his face, is currently on this 17-year-old Brit's MySpace.

My British fan.
-- "u knw b4 a rockstar dies theres a really ace pic o thm this is mine"

   I'm trying to remember if BU offered a major in "rebel gorilla revolutionary."

   Better still, the Compton, Delaware, based "Count Von Count" is a fan of moustache rides:

Moustache Rides
-- October '03, in the aftermath of watching the Knicks season opener from the SI box.

   Topping them all, though, is this:

Mary Kate and Ashley Olson
-- The Olson Twins, from the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

   Proving once again what is the Internet's lifeblood, this photo has been reproduced on at least three soft-core porn 'pic' sites.

   Sadly, the same popularity can not be said for perhaps my favorite piece of writing ever, from that very same update:

Kelly Osbourne, Still A Joke
-- It's nice to know I've boiled five years of work to a fat joke.


September 27, 2006 - Filling Space
   Forty-One Down: And they've rarely looked better than this.

Rough Finish For Beckett
-- Another pseudo-gamer, though I never really felt like I had this one all together.


Clement Could Miss 2007
-- Notebook. Yup.

   So after Wednesday, the chase is set in the AL, and down to six in the NL.

Yankees
Detroit
Minnesota
Oakland

Mets
St. Louis
Houston
Cincinnati
San Diego
Los Angeles

   So baseball would love Yankees-Dodgers ... I don't think they're stupid enough to want Yankees-Mets again, given how that went. In my heart of hearts, Minnesota and L.A. would be a hell of show. I'm throwing my support there.

   Oakland vs. Cincinnati though ... think of the forced '70s references Fox would force down our throats. They might just dress Jeannie Zelasco up like Foxy Brown, give Kevin Kennedy a leisure suit and call it even.


   • So prior to Monday, I had never had coffee milk, instead being content to make jokes about it given it's status as the Official State Beverage of Rhode Island. Making jokes about things, I've found, is far more fun than actual learning.

   Some 48 hours later, however, there's a bottle of Autocrat coffee syrup in my refridgerator. Not my doing. But really, every fridge needs some sort of package that doesn't look like it's been updated since 1938.

   As for coffee milk beating out Del's Lemonade for Official State Drink honors in 1993, I would have to concur. Del's isn't actually drink so much as a slurpable slush. Trying to drink Del's like a drink leads to you sucking all the syrup out of the ice, and then you're stuck.

   I'd like to think this debats filled the pages of The Providence Journal for weeks, but really, probably not.


September 26, 2006 - This'll Be Huge In Westchester
   Thank Goodness, Part One: From Boston.com

Don't Speak!
-- I must KNOOOoOooOO!!1!
(I can't even tell, their site is so miserably confusing and dumb.)

   Thank Goodness, Part Two: Matt's pie picture came through!

Delicacy For Fat People
-- Finally, you can respect the fair for all the right reasons.

   Design Star: It's been a while, since no one seems to care about these but me, but I impressed myself tonight:

S-T Sports Cover - 9/27/06
-- The yellow inside the letters is actually a tape measure, though that's not as important as the color in my eyes. It was the last touch.

   The cover also is a nice segue into Today's Quote Taken Completely Out of Context, which honors the deceased Byron Nelson.

"When I was playing regularly, I had a goal. I could see the prize money going into the ranch, buying a tractor, or a cow. It gave me incentive."
-- Full obit here.

   Here's to being retired for 60 years, and here's to thinking about buying cows while playing professional golf. Think of the cows Tiger Woods could buy!


   • So in another great case of commercial convergence, Burger King's Dr. Angus is also the Hummer Magician.

   And, just to prove I'm not wasting the comedic potential of the term 'Hummer Magician,' I forward these 'London Bridge' definitions without comment.

   Well, other than to say, "What an f'ing whore." No matter which one's right.


September 25, 2006 - More Days In Third Place
   Football Thought: In the glow of this week actually winning the football pool I started, I ask you:

Kleinsasser Fan Club
-- What kind of woman is a devout Jim Kleinsasser (No. 40) fan?

   Kleinsasser is the Vikings fullback, a native North Dakotan who went to their U. Likely the real salt of the Earth ... the sort of man who would cherish The Big E (which I'll get to soon enough).

   I bet this woman has a story. I also bet it involves beer.

   Big City Culture: On Oct. 6, Whale City will play host to none other than Whoopi Goldberg, who apparently has a radio show, but I best remember as the one walking around with wire clothes hangers during a pro-life parade.

Whoopi Hangs Herself
-- It's been 2.5 years, and it still doesn't make any sense.
Does her show feature her doing abortions? Will there be a kiosk in the lobby?

   I'm curious as to why top-level tickets are exactly $251, far beyond the point where I can't believe top-level tickets to see Whoopi Goldberg are $251. Amazingly, they're still available if any of you would like to come to visit.

   We have a pretty awesome burrito place downtown, plus the fish smell has died down nicely in the last few days. I'm not sure how much nicer I can make it seem without it feeling like I'm kidding.


   • Today was the perfect day for a 14-hour sojourn back to Western Mass. for everyone's favorite Great State Fair, The Big E. Though my brother's cell phone picture of a new American delicacy, Key Lime Pie, Covered In Chocolate And On A Stick, didn't make it through the ether, the more important one did.

Butter Cow 2006
-- This year's Butter Cow sculpture. Rah, rah!

   Other highlights included the 20-somethingth year where I haven't actually seen a chick hatch in the chick hatchery (though we did come really close), a realization that Vermont has an awful lot of awesome foodstuffs for a state I declared dead many years ago, the understanding that steamed cheeseburgers are a little weird (because you don't miss that char until it's completely not there), a desire for someone to stage a high school basketball tournament in the Coliseum, gaining a rudimentary grasp on the rules of horse pulling competitions and the two newest additions to the apartment.

Tin Signs
-- Just when the second was losing its humor,
Matty Cooch found the first and saved the day.

   More when I think of them, or more likely, when Julie points them out to me on Tuesday afternoon.


September 24, 2006 - Still Fun ... Well, The Golf Wasn't
   Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 1:

Nomar's Slam
-- I could get used to this.

L.A.'s Nomar Garciaparra pumps his fist after hitting a game-winning grand slam against Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luis Vizcaino during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. The Dodgers won, 5-1. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

   Course, they're still on the outside looking in with a week to play. Though if nothing else, this provides a nice place to mention T.J. Simers latest column on Tom Lasorda.

This week the L.A. icon celebrated his 79th birthday, his protege, Bobby Valentine, arranging to send 79 fruit baskets to Lasorda's home because years ago Lasorda told his players, "I'm busting my behind to make you guys better so you can make a lot of money, and you guys wouldn't even buy me a basket of fruit."

Valentine contacted 79 of Lasorda's friends, had them write messages to Lasorda -- some sappy, some funny -- then attached each one to a basket that contained more toys than fruit, which have now been donated to Mattel Children's Hospital.

"When you come to a fork in the road," wrote Yogi Berra, "use it to eat pasta."

"You taught me how to play the game and you made me love the game," wrote Billy Buckner. "You were like a father to me ..."

"Although you told me long ago in Dodgertown I would never amount to more than a batboy," wrote Brian Cashman, former Dodger batboy and now general manager of the New York Yankees, "at age 39, I already have twice as many World Series rings as you, and counting! Oh, by the way, here's your fruit basket."

   Brain Cashman is awesome, by the way. I just found a reason to continue living if the Yankees win the World Series.


   • So today was the rarest of the rare ... a Sunday off during the football season, with the Sunday of the Ryder Cup out there to boot. Like most normal people, I had a day where I could simply absorb televised sports' warming, glowing, warming glow.

   The U.S. got killed in the singles matches.

   The Giants got killed by the Seahawks.

   The Patriots got killed by the Broncos.

   Even if I did predict most of this, there was a definite feeling of, "Jesus, I think they're trying to tell me something" when it was all over. And that was even before the realization that California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas are, well, pretty weak.

   I'm just glad I didn't have to eat it all myself. That could have gotten bloody.


September 23, 2006 - Ick!
   The Ryder Cup: Probably going to break tradition and not write a column this year ... nothing's changed, so really, I don't need to repeat myself.

   They'll never be favored again. Ever. In a way, it's kind of nice.

   In another way, it's depressing as all get out.

So, Who's Up For Another Moronic 'Trade Manny!' Offseason?
-- For this week's Inside Baseball, I wrote my own headline. Can you tell?

   I got into a not heated, but edgy discussion of this very topic on Friday night. Somehow, it didn't occur to me that it would make a good column until Saturday afternoon. I'm just glad it did in time.

   Polished and to the point. I'm proud of myself for once.


   • So tonight, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention. That leaves 17 teams in the running for the world championship (mathematically).

N.Y. Yankees
Detroit
Minnesota
Chicago White Sox
Oakland
Los Anaheim

N.Y. Mets
Philadelphia
Florida
Atlanta
St. Louis
Houston
Cincinnati
San Diego
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Arizona

   What would be the best World Series out of all of them, even discounting that half the NL teams have no legitimate shot at the derby?

   I don't know ... Minnesota would be good to see. Yankees-Mets only intrigues me if the Mets can be competitive, and I don't think they can be yet. Quite frankly, I dislike most of them.

   Course, the Dodgers pulling it out changes everything. Give it a week.

   I just hope it doesn't look worse.


September 22, 2006 - Banking
   Seizing The YouTube Chain: In finding the clips I linked to in Thursday's update, I came across the very definition of why YouTube exists. Not good videos, but this: a six-second clip of a girl in her kitchen, wearing a Yankees Suck T-shirt, which I will now quote in its entirety.

... kees suck, NIGGGAAAAAAAA!!! Ha ha!

Man in Carmelo Anthony Jersey: Be nice if you had a razorblade ...

   Stupendous.

   So stupendous, I followed the rabbit hole to her YouTube page, which features this clip of her father burning his Johnny Damon T-shirt after Damon went to the Yankees. "What a sellout," indeed.

   That, however, didn't explain the comment about the razorblade, so I nosed around a little bit more. And lo and behold, I pieced the together the puzzle.

   The 'Yankees Suck' clip that had brought me there was nothing more than a hilarious out-take from the three-part series "Stefie Learning How To Roll A Blunt."

   Part One is 'Blunt Rolling 101" -- I know I do wish I had a class like this when I was in school, unseen cameragirl. Part Two we go to the bedroom where the stuff is, and learn it's just like rolling up a dollar bill ... so long as you "do it over the paper." Part Three, we celebrate with our first blunty blunt, and then point out the shirt again.

Yankees motherfuckin' SUUUUUCK! Red Sox and Mets ... wha-WHUUU.

   Somehow, Vin Scully led me to this. He would be so proud ... almost as proud as I am right now, but probably not in a "I wish I could somehow get all these people arrested" kind of way.


   • The other day, I did some figuring and calculated that in the going on 4.5 years since I graduated from BU, I have made more than $140,000. The large majority of that is from the paper, obviously, but that's all everything. Six figures.

   Course, I've also spent six figures. And since that seems downright frightening, I'm glad I pretty much have it spelled out where it all went. For example, in the past 4.5 years, I've taken out more than $21,500 from various ATMs around the world.

   This is a good way to make yourself feel better about being relatively poor. Course at the end, you're still relatively poor, but at least you can feel like you've touched a lot of money.

   This story really doesn't go anywhere. But really, do any of them?


September 21, 2006 - It Usually Looks Smaller
   It's History at Night, Part One: For some, a trip to Plymouth is a long-planned school field trip. For me, it's an acceptance that I can drive my car past cranberry bogs without plowing into them.

Not shown: Malcolm X
-- Not shown: Malcolm X, stuck underneath

Honey! Rock history!
-- Well, when you put it that way ...

'This isn't really important.'
-- It's almost like, "Ha! Suckers! You're already here!"

Just the boat.
-- Nothing really to add.

Moose hat.
-- Except for the moose hat from a week ago.

   On the plus side, the Mexican is excellent. And the skater punks come out at night.

   The Ryder Cup: It starts Friday, and as I will do biannually, I'm predicting America will lose. After all, this is the first time since I tore the '04 team apart and wrote "Everyone loves an underdog. Now it's time to accept that's us."

   There's been so little leadup to it this time around, which I suppose is a function of it being in Ireland, but also a function of being embarassed 18.5-9.5. It can't possibly go that bad again, though that coming from a guy who's looking at at least two of the American players the way most usually see the odd European who's not a household name here.

   It'll be closer, but probably still bad. If only because I have no other way to end this.


   • A quote that, blissfully, is completely in context:

"Boy. There is no reason to speak when you see pictures like that."

   It's Vin Scully, describing the four home runs in the Dodgers' Monday night comeback. YouTube has the whole thing, split in half.

   Are you listening, entire rest of the broadcasting world? Especially those parts who mentioned Scully when showing the highlights, then talked over him the whole damned time?

   A long pause for the celebration, followed by "I forgot to tell you ... the Dodgers are in first place"? It gets little better. I've never been so happy to have told someone where the chowder was.

   For the record, Don Orsillo's call of David Ortiz's 51st home run tonight was good in its own, relative way. Orsillo doesn't scream and go stupid like many announcers. He's got a good balance of excitement, goofy phrases you know he's going to work in and timing. A solid 7 out of 10, each and every time.

   That call isn't on YouTube yet. The David Ortiz erectile dysfunction commercial posted on Deadspin a few months back, however, still is. As is this delightful "Mr. Met As A Sniper" bit that came up when I was trying to find what the Ortiz commercial actually made me think of ... "Big Hit, Happy Body!" from Mr. Baseball.

   There's no way anyone else anywhere has gotten as much mileage out of that film as I have. Not even Selleck, and they friggin' paid him to be in it.


September 20, 2006 - Live The Dream!
   A Nice Little Roundabout: Showing, once again, that being American makes me invincible, a new energy drink is being marketed under the name "Cocaine."

Jamey Kirby, the drink's inventor, says the name for the drink -- Cocaine -- came to him during a brainstorming session at 1 o'clock in the morning.

"It's an energy drink, and it's a fun name," says Kirby. "As soon as people look at the can, they smile."

Kirby says Redux wanted to make a beverage that would send a sensation to the mouth. He describes Cocaine, the new beverage, as a "fruity, atomic fireball" drink.

The 8.4 fluid ounce energy booster has no actual cocaine in it, but it does contain 280 milligrams of caffeine. According to the company's Web site, the only way to get more caffeine per ounce is with an espresso.

   Does cocaine make you smile? It doesn't for me, but only because I'm more of an intravenous kind of guy. Course, given heroin's frightening grip on my city, I suppose that would be where I'd first turn for laughs.

Warning! You are about to experience the highest energy content of ANY energy drink on the market today! 350% greater than The Bull!

Cocaine is not just a re-hash of existing drinks: It is a completely unique new formula - it tastes like a fireball, a carbonated atomic fireball!

The question you have to ask yourself is: "Can I handle the rush?"

-- From the aptly named DrinkCocaine.com, where you can find area 'Dealers.'
Remember, cocaine is funny. After all, look what it did for Lin ... never mind.

   There are so many things wrong with this ... not the least of which being I'm discussing news I learned while flipping past The Ellen Degeneres Show. Though then again, I'm not exactly a marketing guru, considering I noticed Coca-Cola BlaK is still on the market during my last trip to the supermarket.

   Though if they changed the name to of Crystal Light to Krystal Meth, and went back to the original "Original Formula" ...

   The Big Come-Down: Tonight's 8-2 Sox loss was my 40th game of the year. It was also the 28th time out of those 40 that I've parked for free, but really, that's even less topical to people who aren't me.

Foxx Worthy
-- Cramped for space, they had me write a gamer. As such, the end got cut off, and I don't care. Like I've said in the past, it's fun when I only have to do it every once in a while.

   With the work schedule out until the end of the year, it looks as though I'll once again make just about half the Sox home schedule -- 42 games this year, after 45 of 82 a year ago (plus two in Chicago and one in New York). From a professional standpoint, it's not ideal, but from a personal standpoint, it's not as though I haven't seen my fair share of awesome moments live.

-- Mark Loretta's Patriots Day walk-off from the front row.
-- The vaunted, and stupid, Doug Mirabelli return (plus J. Damon).
-- David Wells returns ... and takes a line drive off his brittle knee.
-- Curt Schilling's 200th victory, even if I did miss the on-field celebration.
-- The near five-hour rain delay June 10, when Jon Lester debuted.
-- The five-homer game against the Mets, which featured the pitch of the year:
Jon Lester's beyond absurd 3-2 curveball to fan David Wright.
-- Pedro's return: 3 IP, 8 runs.
-- Lester and Papelbon's one-hitter against the Royals.
-- Two Ortiz walk-offs in three days, plus this absurd shot off Mike Myers.
-- The LONGEST NINE-INNING GAME IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY.

   Plus who knows what else. All things considered, I can't fathom ever having a better year than 2004, if only because I can't fathom there ever being a better baseball season anywhere than the Red Sox had in 2004.

   This, though, was the first year where I really and truly felt like I belonged up there. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened, but in a lot of ways, that's the point. I'm certainly no everyday beat writer, but so much of covering baseball is just the day-in, day-out stuff ... people know me there now, and I know them.

   I still eat by myself on a lot of nights, but the fact that's now by choice so I can transcribe tape while I'm doing it is very rewarding.


   • In my winding online travails today, I came across this:

These Times Demand The Times
-- Hooray branding!

   To which I can only say, "Please shut up." 24-hour miracle? Yes. Putting out a newspaper every day is hard. Putting out a newspaper the breadth of the New York Times every day? Even harder.

   It's not a miracle. A miracle is if I open my door one day and spontaneously combust. Or if I walk out onto the sidewalk and there's a stray cat there looking up at me, wearing a sign that says, "Hi, Jon. Please make me your pet. I'm parasite-free and completely toilet trained. Also, I enjoy sleeping on your bed."

  The cat? Far more important to my life than what's happening in Basra, or that peppered gnocchi is the hottest new dish in Midtown, or that Maureen Dowd thinks George W. Bush is an idiot. I'm at peace with being John Q. Dumbamerican.

   It's a nice feeling. Kind of like not losing at poker, or finding out that the guy you know who's working for a Mass. gubernatorial candidate isn't actually working for the candidate you thought he was.

   That's not so much a nice feeling, per se, but it's a feeling. Definitely.


September 19, 2006 - Gray Dolt ... and Tom Reilly
   Remember, You Ovationed This Man: It's no Doug Mirabelli's Day, or even the now-missing Barstool Sports version from May, but only because this seems to be absolutely true.

Doug Mirabelli won't be getting a Christmas card from Padres General Manager Kevin Towers, but maybe he should. The cranky catcher who was traded to Boston on May 1 after a .182 April is one of the central characters of the Padres' season.

To get him, the Padres traded their popular and productive second baseman, Mark Loretta, to the Boston Red Sox.

To get rid of him, Towers was able to extort Josh Bard and Cla Meredith from the Red Sox. Bard has hit .319 for the Padres. Meredith has five wins in six decisions and a 0.82 ERA.

Mirabelli, meanwhile, has raised his batting average, to .183.

"He called (Dave) Roberts (when Mirabelli was traded) and said, 'I guess I'm getting called back to the big leagues,'" Towers said before Monday's game with the Dodgers. "I'm glad I didn't hear that. ... I don't miss him. These guys don't miss him."

   Now that's a man who's living up to the stories told about him. Yet somehow, it gets better.

Mirabelli did not handle this as well as he does Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. Towers says he received more calls from Mirabelli than from any other player during his tenure, and that the complaints were ceaseless.

. . .

When they were alone, Towers said, Mirabelli told him the Padres might want to start Bowen behind the plate against the Dodgers that day, "because I'm not focused on the game."

"I said, 'What?'" Towers recalled. "He said, 'My boys, the (Red) Sox have been calling me. I got to tell you, it's all I watch on TV; all I think about is the Red Sox. Do me a favor and you guys a favor (and make a deal).'"

"I said, 'You're (expletive) catching today,'" Towers said. "'Theo (Epstein) ain't paying you. I'm paying you.' ... Then in the worst way, I wanted to trade him to the Yankees. In the worst way."

   Perhpas my favorite part of the whole thing? Mirabelli's response, where he expresses anger ... at Towers revealing a private conversation.

   If nothing else, it was good to have a reason to look at Dougie's Wikipedia page, which shares his true value.

He is the only player in Major League Baseball history to hit
6 or more home runs in 6 consecutive seasons of fewer than 200 at bats.

   If that isn't the real-life version of Mr. Baseball's "Last season, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August!," it's as close as I'd like to see us get.


   • Funny. The woman who was the love interest in "Mr. Baseball" has never been in another movie. Who could have known that a $5 DVD purchase, after however the hell I first saw the movie, could provide so many asides and mental quotables over the years. Never mind another chance to remember Dennis Haysbert before he was President Palmer and the Allstate Insurance guy.

   Hey, it's more topical than continuing to wonder, as I do every time I vote, why they don't ask you for a photo ID at the polling place. I even had it out of my wallet here, given I'd just registered recently and never voted in Whale City.

   They have these stupid ballots here ... the directions for which are here. Because the town in smaller, we have voting machines in Agawam, not the "connect the box to the arrow with a line" that left me feeling Floridian for a few seconds.

   Course, the ballot is also comically large, and you then have to walk it back across the room to put it in the actual machine. I'm glad that police officer and those old women probably saw several more confused people than me in the course of the day.


   I steered clear of most of the election stuff in the office, since really all we could do was get the section out early and volunteer ourselves for help that wouldn't be needed. I watched a chunk of Deval Patrick's "Maybe if I talk for long enough, you'll all forget why you voted for me" acceptance speech, which probably won over exactly no one. I know when I got home, it led me to look at his platform, since in the general election, I'll be voting on more than "I know a guy who works for his campaign."

   My vote for Bristol County Commissioner, to bury myself further, was bought by a candy bar I've yet to receive. The guy was a distant last, to boot.

   The digging led me to see perhaps the finest journalistic moment I can remember since the guy who kept screaming questions at Theo Epstein at his departure press conference. The guy sent to cover Tom Reilly's train-wreck of a campaign headquarters for NECN was doing his wrap-up, talking about a "bombastic" and "persistent" reporter who kept asking Reilly about how 'bitter' the campaign got. Painting this reporter as a jerk.

   At which point, he then announces to the camera, "And that reporter ... WAS ME."

   They cut to the clip of Reilly, surrounded by the media horde, answering a question rather calmly. Then, as he finishes, Edward R. Murrow starts screaming, "TOM! TOM! TOM!" and stutters his way through his question. Reilly gives him a generally affable answer given the circumstances, which prompts Mic Stand to ... ask the question again.

   That's being hard-hitting, you know.

   It was nice. On the day where I make my first attempts to get back into politics, at least to the lower end of being a responsible citizen, I get reminded exactly why I told the whole lot to go screw in the first place.


September 18, 2006 - Gonads In The Lightning
   Jaguars 9, Steelers 0: What's the downside to running a football picks pool in your office?

   When you're tied for ninth place out of 11 players after two weeks, you feel like a bit of an idiot. Especially since among the reasons you're not lower is your boss missed more than half the slate by making his picks after the deadline.

   An inspiring tale of suckitude.

   Dodgers 11, Padres 10: Didn't see a second of this for wrong-coast reasons, but if I may:

Ahh! My groin!
-- Insert joke about an injury here.

Los Angeles hit four consecutive homers in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, and Nomar Garciaparra's two-run homer in the 10th lifted the Dodgers to an 11-10 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night and back into first place in the NL West.

. . .

After Los Angeles tied it in the ninth with four straight homers -- just the fourth time that's happened in an inning in major league history -- the Padres went ahead on Giles' double and Josh Bard's two-out, single off Aaron Sele (8-6).

But Rudy Seanez (1-2) walked Kenny Lofton to begin the bottom half, and Garciaparra followed by hitting his 18th homer deep into the left field pavilion.

The capacity crowd of 55,831 at Dodger Stadium stood and cheered for several minutes afterward.

   Because I'm sure they were still at capacity in the 10th inning of a Dodger game. The team ought to start a charitable promotion where they let church and school groups come into the game for free after it clears out in the seventh inning, but that's not the point.

   I need to note this here, because I need to remember this game happened five, 10 years down the road. Think of on how many levels this is enjoyable. First off, Dodgers win. Second, they go back into the NL West lead. Third, it's an ending beyond absurd -- not only do they hit four straight solo homers in the ninth to tie, infuriating every sportswriter in the ravine, they give up a run in the 10th, but win anyway.

   On top of all of that, Nomar hits the game-winner off Rudy Seanez. I'm not even sure I can succinctly explain why that's awesome, so I hope it just stands on its own.

   I might have to wear the jersey to work on Tuesday. Maybe I should rip the No. 5 off the back of the Sox one and tape it to the Dodgers one. That'd be funny for maybe a couple seconds.


   • Tuesday is Primary Day in Massachusetts. In 2001, I would have used this platform to remind everyone to vote ... perhaps even, for the Massachusetts residents among us, throwing a link to where you can see who's on your ballot.

   In 2006, however, I'm reminding myself that they'll buy dinner for us at the paper tonight. In a world of no perks, election night food seems to be a profession-wide joy. As is watching the dayside people, who frequently panic when stories aren't in by 10 p.m., run around going nuts while we in sports smile and prepare for another night of missing deadline by 1-6 minutes.

   Conveniently enough, my polling place is on my two-minute walk to work ... in the elderly housing I stare at out the window when I'm working on the computer. Sadly, I don't think I can name half the people I'll be asked to choose between, but I have seen enough politicial ads that I know which candidates to make fun of.

   Tom Reilly, if the fact that you publicly shared your tax returns is the best you can give me, I have a feeling you needn't be making any plans for beyond Wednesday afternoon. Also, if $200 really is "real money" to you, I don't think I want you going pick up the dinner order, never mind filling the seat left warm Sir Mitt Romney, Our Savior Pure As Driven Snow.

   How will he spend the day today? I'd imagine like he spends every day ... floating three inches above the ground.


September 17, 2006 - 27-24
   The Value Of A Dollar: Now, when I pay $2.61/gallon to get gas on the Mass. Turnpike, I know I'm probably overpaying ... it's a rest stop. However, when I was paying $3 plus to get gas not too long ago, I still feel like I'm getting a deal. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

   However, I now have to wonder how out of touch I really am. Dunkin Donuts, in their desire to show their infinite compassion for their fellow man, is offering "the hard working people who keep New England running" a deal -- a bagel, with cream cheese, for 99 cents.

   If I may ask ... how the hell much do they usually charge for a bagel with cream cheese?! I'm not up in the morning. I'm not buying breakfast at DD. You mean to tell me it's more than a dollar for a stupid bagel with a spread on it? McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wendy's, all the rest ... they've got whole menus full of items that are a dollar, many of which are probably a significant amount more filling than a bagel with cream cheese.

   Help me. I don't eat. I don't know these things. Should I be even remotely impressed? Should I be concerned that my local DD might not take part in this budget-busting promotion?

   Today's Quote Taken Completely Out Of Context:

"In my view, as good as the Yankees were in the first half
of this game, that's how as bad they've been now."

   Did Tim McCarver actually say this? Or is this something that was on Family Guy tonight, making fun of Tim McCarver? You weren't sure for a second, were you?

   I remember seeing him in 2004, and almost going over to ask him whether he was aware that the majority of Red Sox fans hate him. Sort of glad I didn't, but at the same time, it might have made for a good story.


   • If I may, there have been few sporting events of late that have made me scream out, "YEAH!" at the television.

   Well, there's been one, really.






   I can only hope, as the game went final, that my college roommate from Pennsylvania Justin thought of me.

   And that he actually got to watch the whole comeback, since I didn't, being in the car, driving across the state, overpaying for gas and all.

   At least I got a burrito out of the deal.


September 16, 2006 - Bring It Back
   West Side Customs: I'd imagine there are many such-name car shops across the country, but as far as I know, the one in West Springfield is the only one whose commercial warns consumers to stop going to shops with "Napoleon Dynamite look-alike salesman."

   I don't know why they need to make fun of others. They do, after all, promise that their work will have "more getting slammed in your car than just the stereo [sensual female noise]."

   It was something like that. The only one I was able to actually get the quote down for was the group's favored Western Mass. hangout, which does actually have "the best damn wings in the world." So really, they must all be true.

Everyone Made Out on Pedro Deal
-- This week's Inside Baseball celebrates the Mets, and the unbridled joy that was the Carl Everett Era. I've heard so much about it of late, I feel like I missed something.

   • Tonight, with nothing better to do, we sat outside with my family by the fire pit and burned things for upwards of three hours. The best loser night ever.

   The only shame is I don't have a picture of the moose hat my family bought me in Maine. After all these years, they've finally understood it's the best way to deal with someone who never takes anything seriously.


September 15, 2006 - State Buildings Await
   The Michelle Wie Experience: In the least old crank way possible, how about you stop for a little while, junior?

Her 84 Lumber rounds of 77 and 81 left her a distant 13 shots away from her perceived goal of making the cut and 23 shots behind co-leaders Ben Curtis and Ryan Moore huge gaps that probably can't be corrected by a tweak here, an adjustment there.

This tournament wasn't an anomaly, either. She had a 77 and 78 last week while also finishing last in the European Masters, which is not a PGA Tour event.

   Yes, it's very impressive that a 16-year-old girl can finish within 23 shots of the lead after two round of a PGA Tour tournament.

   It's also, in my mind, no fun to watch until she's actually ready to be competitive -- ticket sales are no doubt disproving this right now, but for how long? Is she really looking to be the kind of show where people play the "OK everybody, guess how many over Michelle Wie is?" game at the office? I have a hard time believing this is helping her any.

   Go win your share of championships on the women's tour. Prove yourself as a winning commodity -- she hasn't, and don't argue. Stop having the potential to be the next Annika Sorenstam and just be the next Annika Sorenstam. Once that's done, chase yoru dreams of playing with the men, winning the Masters and claiming the Ryder Cup. Don't worry ... there'll be mediocre PGA Tour events desperate for a sales boost until the end of time. The door's not going to close.

   Except, maybe, if you keep continuing to stink up the joint and the whole world gets sick of watching it. Maybe it's not as likely as I think it is, but I can guarantee it's a possibility.

   Like, totally.


   • Strictly in the interest of being fair, and in the interests of Cohabitation, Day 19, Julie did the dishes today before she left for Western Mass. I came home to cleanliness, which is nice, because there was no way I was doing them.

   Ironic, since I made most of the dishes in a two-boxes-of-cereal binge across the last week. What can I say? The Life family of cereals do good work.


September 14, 2006 - Which Way To The Scrimshaw?
   Rare Moments in Parenting: After yesterday's discussion, it would be nicer if this was closer to Agawam, but it's Maine. Just the sort of thing parents don't often find themselves saying elsewhere.


-- "Honey, get off the pig."

Emily Billings, 8, relaxes on her five-month-old Yorkshire pig Cookie at the Oxford County Fair on Wednesday in Oxford, Maine. The pig will be put up for sale during the Youth Animal Auction on Friday. The fair continues through Saturday with a variety of activities and events. (AP Photo/Lewiston Sun Journal, Russ Dillingham)

   Is this how the child will learn the hard truths of farming? Will I see a similar situation if I do actually make it to The Big E on Saturday? (Foreigner's playing!) Will someone from Maine say this is not, in fact, The Way Life Should Be?

   Ah, made-up drama. It's so much easier on the radio.

   "The Glamorous World of Sports Journalism": The photo, and the accompanying smarm, really need no further comment.

   Frontrunner Standards: It's amazing how a man like Jack Nicholson has somehow become a Yankee and Laker fan over the years legitimately ... as a New Yorker who moved to Hollywood, it somehow makes sense. Backing that, it appears he's not actually willing to do anything for a dollar:

Lifelong New York Yankees fan Jack Nicholson refused to wear a baseball cap sporting the badge of his team's rivals for his role as a Boston, Massachusetts, gangster in new movie 'The Departed'.

Director Martin Scorsese suggested the movie legend wear a Boston Red Sox cap for one pivotal scene, but backed down when New Yorker Nicholson insisted he wouldn't wear the head gear out of loyalty to the Yankees.

Instead, the star dons a Yankees cap in the scene, according to magazine Sports Illustrated.

-- Here.

   I'm curious as to exactly why the Red Sox cap seemed like an idea when a Yankees cap worked fine, but really, I'm not all that curious about it. Especially not in a film where ... well,


   • Cohabitation, Day 18

   Things have been quiet, which is a good thing, since millions of people live with other people every day and don't feel the need to post stories about it anywhere. Somehow, something of note doesn't happen every day.

   Today was not one of those days, as Julie walked over to the office to tell me that she'd, more or less out of the blue, gotten a second job.

   Given she works days and I nights, she has a lot of time on her hands in the evenings. As such, she's taking advantage of all the area has to offer, going to movie screenings, book signings, local landmarks, etc. She did so tonight, ending up at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, "America's Premier Whaling Museum featuring blue whales, sperm whales, whaling history and education."

   I can't even imagine who we would be competing with, but that's neither here nor there.

   She made it there late for the film they were screening, so instead she used the time to ask the woman at the front desk whether they had any jobs available. This led to a three-page application, which led to her being hired on the spot to work in the gift shop for now, then expand into working with kids as the months go on and they see how awesome she is.

   I'm probably the only person that finds this fascinating, the whole concept of being able to walk in somewhere and being hired immediately. Never come close to happening for me, and I don't even consider it an option.

   Regardless, I can worry a little bit less about her having too much idle time. Idle time spent eating Cheez-Its and plotting against me.

   Plotting against me in apartment organizational matters, while probably part of the greater good, is still technically plotting against me.


September 13, 2006 - Apparently, Emotion
   Perpetuating The Stereotype: Growing up, I never owned a goat. I never knew anyone who owned a goat, nor did I -- as far as I know -- know anyone who really wished they could own a goat.

   Apparently, I missed the opportunity.

Griffin has two goats in a pen in his yard at his Agawam home. He told Housing Court Judge William H. Abrashkin that he milks them for his wife, who can't drink cow's milk because of digestive problems.

Griffin's lawyer, Joseph Cabrera, argued the two small goats named Cinderella and Snow White really should be considered pets, just as some other exotic animals are.

However the goats are not allowed under the town's zoning laws, according to town solicitor Vincent Gioscia, because they are livestock and not pets.

"If you bring a horse into your house, it doesn't make it a pet,"
Abrashkin told Griffin Monday.

-- Why The Boston Globe needed to run this,
I'll probably die not knowing.


Our lovely, lovely town flag.

   Brownie pride, baby. "If you bring a horse into your house, it doesn't make it a pet."

   In a related note, click here to find a quilt piece saluting Agawam High's Gay Straight Alliance. If nothing else, you'll never again have to ask what two Native Americans in headdresses looks like.

   Sly Says Hi: I had been worried that one of this site's seven consistent readers was on vacation, and then he weighs in with the Wikipedia article List of Playboy Playmates With Big Breasts.

   I don't ask. I never ask. I have too many of my own demons ... seeing Ken Jennings plugging his book on "The Colbert Report" tonight and hearing the eponymous host ask "What's the most trivial thing you've ever remembered?," I tried to figure out what I would say given five seconds to think about it.

   Billy Joel being the first-ever musical guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman" is not even in the top 20 of stupid things I know, but that's what I came up with. Kind of like how at my collegiate 'Millionaire' interview, I told the woman interviewing me my favorite writer was Mike Barnicle. I think I've read three of his columns in my entire life.

   I wonder who actually wrote them.


   • In looking at the book's pimp page -- sadly, I'm the only one who's calling it that -- I'm both slightly intrigued and frighteningly repulsed.

In the wake of his record-breaking Jeopardy! experience, Ken became fascinated with trivia -- its history, its appeal, and its ubiquity in 21st-century American life.

   I'd like to think he became fascinated with trivia before knowing so much of it he won $2.5 million, but that's neither here nor there.

He spent the next year criss-crossing the country, trading questions and answers with America's most die-hard trivia subcultures. Brainiac traces that journey, from the slightly soused trivia faithful of Boston's Irish pubs to the hotshots and hotheads of the academic quiz bowl circuit,

   IMMEDIATE STOP. First, you go talk to Bostonians who pride themselves on being smarter than everyone else in a bar ... I've done this, and I suspect the source is actually more maddening than one might at first think. Then, you talk to quiz bowlers ... quiz bowlers you've actually gone out of your way to deem "hotheads." I don't even want to begin to think about reading this, because I basically lived it for five years. So much so, I stopped playing academic tournaments because I got tired of feeling stupid in a place where I wasn't allowed to start hitting people with desks.

   I'll know the names. I can guarantee I'll know the people he talked to. In fact, I could probably go dig them up right now, because I know the message boards they're undoubtedly posting on spewing how cool they are because they're in Ken Jennings' book.

   There's that sort of car-crash curiosity, where I'd like to see if he actually is able to capture the circuit's worst parts, and then the parts where I know he can't and don't want to see if he did. It would remind me of all the things I missed out on in college -- studying abroad, mainly -- because of priorities. The friends I made certainly ended up making it the right choice, but it's the unknown, parallel universe kind of stuff, you know?

   Anyway ...

from a weekend quiz marathon spent with the radio-trivia-mad residents of tiny Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to a backstage peek at Ken's six-month streak on America's top-rated quiz show.

Ken also tells, for the first time, the 300-year story of the rise of trivia, from the coffeehouses of 17th-century London to the Trivial Pursuit and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire fads of recent years. Along the way, he also grapples with more philosophical questions: Why do we love trivia so much? Is trivial knowledge the same as intelligence? And is trivia just a waste of time, or does it serve some loftier, not-so-trivial purpose after all?

   It sounds interesting, but it also sounds like I'm going to throw it across the room in disgust at least twice.

   Maybe it's better if we wait until it comes out in paperback.


September 12, 2006 - Grated Cheese
   Go, You F%&$^#@g Terriers: I have a bit of an odd relationship with the Boston University Athletic Department ... surely not as odd as the one I'd have if I actually tried to make the school's golf team, but really, I think I got as close to it as I ever would have just by going to that organizational meeting as a sophomore.

   Anyway, I got myself on the Athletics mailing list by giving $5 extra at a BU-BC viewing party at Game On! -- the irony of this getting me fliers that encourage me to donate $600 for one season basketball ticket plus a fleece, hopefully, is lost on no one. While I won't be going to Madison Square Garden to watch the Terriers be trounced by the likes of St. John's, St. Joe's and Hofstra, at least I know those who do go will be blissfully respectful to those who give those big numbers.

Boston University fans had better watch their language.

Under a new campus policy, anyone caught swearing or taunting the opposing players with racist or sexist chants during games face ejection, and repeated offenders could even be banned.

Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said the new rule followed a stream of complaints about students' behavior at hockey games, particularly their swearing. Even NCAA hockey officials, who have probably heard it all in their jobs, have complained, he said.

"We wanted to make clear that games should be spirited and lively," Elmore said Monday. "But standing and shouting obscenities does not have a place. I don't equate school spirit with the yelling of obscenities."

   I'm curious if, for his next trick, Elmore would like to announce that Boston University has banned the United States from bombing other countries. I'm pretty sure he has just as many legs to stand on regarding that statement.

   This has been a problem for a good while, as I can remember walking into Section 8 as a senior at Walter Brown and finding a letter "signed" by Jack Parker, encouraging me to clean up my language.

   Course, it lasted a couple weeks, and the ban (self-imposed or not) on the band playing "The Song" -- that would be the one whose chorus goes "Fuck 'em up, fuck 'em up, BC sucks" -- a little over a year. I find it hard to believe Agganis Arena's ushers standing in the concourse have the manpower or will to eject half the arena, but if nothing else, The Boston Globe found a stupid-enough undergrad to express that sentiment.

The policy is based on similar rules at other schools, including the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University, said Boston University spokesman Stephen Burgay. He said a lawyer examined the policy and determined it would not violate the First Amendment.

Some students weren't ready to believe it.

"That's terrible and an infringement on our freedom of speech," Kendall Lyons, an 18-year-old sophomore who said he often takes part in the chants, told The Boston Globe. "Sports won't be fun anymore."

   Yes, Kendall. Sports won't be fun anymore. Ever. I'm not even sure where to begin, but because you now get to have cable in your dorm room, I don't feel bad for you. Though there was a special sort of joy in my hanging that antenna I stole from the newspaper in a window so I could have a Super Bowl party. You don't get that.

   And a lot of other things, apparently.

   Speaking of Five Dollars: Showing that yes, former backup goalie Garth Snow really is the general manager of the New York Islanders, the team has announced they've signed one-year BU Terrier Rick DiPietro to a 15-YEAR CONTRACT.

   Swear to God.

The Islanders scheduled an afternoon news conference to officially announce the contract that would keep DiPietro in the fold until 2021, when he would be nearly 40. "We've been working at it all summer," DiPietro's agent Paul Krepelka told The Associated Press.

The deal is the longest in NHL history, topping the 10-year, $87.5 million contract the Islanders gave enigmatic centre Alexei Yashin in 2001.

"With a long-term deal, you're speculating what you'll be worth and what you'll be making," DiPietro said. "I don't think that player salaries are going to go up that much more. I mean, how much higher can they go?"

DiPietro's deal is believed to be second only in length in North American sports to the 25-year pact Magic Johnson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981.

   Yeah, because both of those worked out so well. Yashin is the whitest of white elephants, further hamstringing an awful hockey team because of the new NHL salary cap, and Magic ... yeah, he didn't play 25 years. It's nice to know the Baltimore Orioles will never be alone.

   To say nothing of DiPietro's side. Yeah, a guaranteed paycheck for 15 years is nice, but as my lawyer pal put it ... yeah, inflation is going to cease from this day forward.

   This is why you should have come back for your sophomore season, dingus!


   • So as mentioned, tonight I went to Providence and saw The Black Crowes. A tremendous show, as I enjoy bands who rock with guitars. I could do without the hour where they tried to be a jam band, but being I was one of 23 people in the club who wasn't toking something every 45 seconds, I'll give them that.

   Julie learned you don't wear heeled sandals to a place where you'll be standing for three hours. I, however, learned something else.

Chris Robinson
-- Weird, weird weird man.

   Chris Robinson. First, he's prancing. Then, he's got arms akimbo, shaking. Then, he claps three times. Then jumps, then throws up a peace sign. A very odd stage presence ... in no way as odd as the overexuberant guy in my general vicinity who was more excited than the band was, and also not as weird as the guy behind him for whom dancing meant "turn side to side for three hours."

   But neither of them brought 'ectomorph' to mind. The band had a sand-colored stone gnome on stage that resembled a handkerchief hanging from a mic stand, and it was hulking compared to the former Mr. Kate Hudson.

   I'm surprised she didn't break him. She seems kind of feisty in everyday life.


September 11, 2006 - What Does It Mean?
   Unexpected Developments: I bought tickets to the Bruins home opener today -- after five road games to open the year, the B's play Calgary on Oct. 19. Definitely not how I thought I'd be spending the day, but when you stumble across the presale password meant for season ticket holders, it feels like anything else would be an opportunity lost.

   This means in the past two years, I've paid to see the Bruins three times and Boston's other professional teams once total -- the Revolution game against Celtic, which was fun, but not something I'm likely to do again anytime soon. Given their reputation, this is pretty shocking. Given a Google search of Jon Couture AND Bruins comes up with "Bumbling Bruins Rapdily Becoming Region's Biggest Joke" right off the top, it's beyond even that.

   Way tamer than Nick's.

   More Unexpected: Tuesday night, I'm going to see The Black Crowes in Providence. This could be interesting, in so much as I know more about them than I do actually know them. "Have the Rolling Stones killed," sadly, is up near the top.


   • In looking through the archives, my remebrances of 9/11 have varied greatly. In 2002, I for some reason encouraged everyone to read Drudge Report. In 2003, I went golfing and encouraged everyone to read this Esquire story which I'm still actually happy I linked to. The last two years, I didn't really note it at all.

   My instinct is to do the same again, but I had today off and thus watched a fair amount of CNN. Five is one of those milestone numbers, so here we are, with me quoting the first entry in site history ever written in all black.

Today is not a day for humor.

I woke up this morning at 6:30 a.m. Hit snooze a couple of times, got into the shower, was out on the streets by 7:30. I ran to Staples, bought an X-Acto knife and metal ruler, and made my way to my 8 o'clock class.

Somewhere else, in this city that I love, at least two people got up. They made their way to Logan Airport, boarded two flights departing for Los Angeles, hijacked them and crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Thousands of people who rolled out of bed this morning, like they've done so many other mornings, are now dead.

The World Trade Center's dual 110-story towers, standing as beacons to human achievement and America's dominance, are gone. When they fell, they fell on firefighters. Police officers. Parents. Everyday people.

I watch this amateur video of the second attack, watching a 767 disappear into the glass of the departed tower before exploding into flame, and it doesn't seem real. I've stood atop the World Trade Center towers. Looked out at the view. Now it's gone.

I wish I could find the words to say what I'm feeling, to say what I see and feel right now. Earlier today while I was making the deliveries at work, I went to the windows atop the Photonics Center, nine floors up. Walking home from the Free Press tonight, I just stopped to look out at the Prudential Center. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore and ever again. It's easy to say these things now, I'll be the first to admit that. But this is a day that can not be forgotten. This is my generation's Pearl Harbor.

Palestinians are dancing in the streets, celebrating this attack on the United States. Somewhere in the world, the perpetrators are smiling, seeing the havoc they have caused and the shutdown they have levied. I have gone through the gamut of emotions today, as much as one can who has no one in those areas of the country. It may sound hollow coming from a 21-year old misfit, but I'm saying it nonetheless.

We will find you.

To those of you who I've ever held dear, I love you.

   The next day, I wrote that I "was filled with a single overwhelming feeling. Fear." I don't remember being afraid. I actually thought that today, when watching and reading and absorbing the far-more-meaty recollections of people more directly affected by what happened. I'm a little surprised by it.

   But now that I think about it, I remember feeling it when I forced myself to go to sleep. To turn the TV off and just stare at the ceiling like everybody else. It didn't last, given four days later, I was posting the absurd amount of food I bought on my first-ever trip to a Costco.

   So I guess the question is: Have I forgotten? What happened to the kid who wrote the above? Am I a different person?

   No. That day, five years ago, I stopped at home to figure out exactly what was going on. I'd gone to two classes and didn't really have a grasp on the situation, beyond seeing a lot of people clustered around a TV in COM and my American Military Experience professor telling the class a plane had crashed in the World Trade Center -- the second one might have actually hit while he was speaking the words, eerily enough.

   Given it was after 11 when I got back to my apartment, it didn't take long to assemble the pieces. It was then I checked the message on my apartment phone, as I didn't have a cell yet. It was the Free Press, putting out the call to all staffers to get over there and get reporting.

   Note my name's not on the story.

   I deleted the message and went to my next class. Then, to my job. Then, home.

   When I think about American life pre- and post-9/11, I think of one major change -- we can't go to the gate to meet people at the airport anymore. Whatever that makes me, that makes me. No use lying about it.

   I've continued living my life. I don't live in fear, always thinking about what "an airplane roaring over my head could mean" like some jackass said on TV in the last couple days. Maybe, as a nation, we've gained a little bit of perspective ... thank God. I remember The Onion running a story to the affect, with photos of what used to rile us up -- Britney Spears, singing with a python around her neck and flesh-colored bikini on her not-yet-trash body.

   Tonight, ESPN will be praising their Monday Night Football doubleheader before everything else.

   That day five years ago, I couldn't find the words I so desperately wished I could. Today, I still can't, but I don't feel like I need to. My life goes on, remembering what happened, but knowing that if it can't submarine American life, it'd be hard to believe I'd survive anything that actually could.


September 10, 2006 - Could've Been Better Or Worse
   Career Milestones: Now, I don't know Michael Rapaport, though I know someone who does. I always thought he was pretty funny, probably because he was involved in some Rock 'N Jock sporting events.

   Who would have thought those would ever be a wistful reminder of an earlier time?

   Anyway, I'm sure the money makes him happier for today. But in the pantheon of fame, I'd like to get a ruling on where this falls:

Four Fathers of Comedy
-- Being on a fake Mount Rushmore with three cartoon fathers.

   Good Times: So as some of you know, this year I started an NFL picks pool in the office. Because turnout wasn't as high as I'd hoped, I resorted to trying to recruit a few people outside the office to get involved. One of them was Matty Cooch, whom was on vacation in Maine with the family when I called him.

   I felt sort of bad, shaming him into something he didn't seem to think he'd be too good at. After signing him up myself so he'd be in in time for Thursday's game, he read whatever paper they have up there and phoned me his picks.

   As noted yesterday, he's 12-2, already having clinched the Week One title and the millions that will go with it.

   Somehow, people are going to blame this on me, aren't they?


   • We're not talking about the Giants-Colts game, given after an afternoon where I pretty much picked everything wrong, I managed to pin down more or less exactly what would happen. At least Indy had the common decency to cover the spread.

   Because I like all of you, I'm going to give you a tip you can use for what you will. I wouldn't think it would be necessary, but apparently, it's still escaping most of the rest of the world.

Brett Favre = Washed-Up Quarterback
-- WASHED. UP. FOREVER.

   It's at times like when I notice the Bears are only 3.5-point favorites to an awful Packers team that I wish online sports betting was easier. If you think I wouldn't have thrown a borderline absurd amount of money on that game, you clearly haven't been paying attention.

   Julie would have gotten a dinner out of it. Don't worry.


September 9, 2006 - It Just Keeps Getting Sadder
   Dull, Unintentional Needles: An actual e-mail from my inbox this afternoon.

Subject: College Football
Date: Sat 9 Sept 2006
From: Josh
To: Everybody

   We have to start the New England roundup this week. With help from Mick and Ryan, who happened to be the lucky guys around when I made the list, I have come up with a dozen schools that will run in the roundup.

   This is the list, please include them all and do not deviate -- unless there is something just huge that has to get in.

UConn
UMass
URI
Maine
UNH
N'Eastern
BU
Harvard
Brown
Bridge. State
Mass Maritime
Stonehill

   I'm assuming BC will be a separate each week.

   Maybe I'm biased, but I think BU playing a football game would deserve more than a passing mention.

   This got me to thinking ... I was a member of the first BU graduating class since like 1905 to leave school without a football game ever having been played. I did, however, play a coupld pickup games of football on the field, not to mention go out and attempt field goals when they would put the goal posts up for the high school Super Bowls.

   Depressing, not to mention it led to me reading this Wikipedia entry:

Boston University's Hockey team has appeared in more NCAA Frozen Fours (Hockey's Final Four) than any other team (20 times in 27 tournament appearances). In all, BU has won 4 National Championships and 5 runner-up trophies since the NCAA hockey tournament began in 1948. The Terriers play in the Hockey East Conference, along with crosstown arch-rivals Boston College and Northeastern. The series with Boston College is known as the Green Line Rivalry or the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue. Under long-time coach and former player, Jack Parker, BU excelled in the 90's, winning four of ten Hockey East regular season titles (and sharing two more), the 1995 National Championship and 3 National runner-up trophies.

   Yeah, ONE Hockey East title in the eight years I've been paying attention. That's it. Thanks, beautiful.

Sox Still Bring Smiles
-- The first official Inside Baseball in many weeks seems even better after the Sox lost in 12 to the Royals. That would be the 54-89 Royals, who have beaten $120 million Boston five times in a row.

   Pedro's 1999 gem couldn't seem further away.


   • It's almost here.

   "Football Sunday," all 17 of them, are the most special day on the sporting calendar. Every year, people knock around whether the first two or four days of March Madness is better, but in my mind, football Sundays lap everyone else. It's the one day where I could conceivably sit on the couch for 8-10 straight hours, not move and be perfectly content. Football is just a great sport to watch on TV, and combined with the various picks pools, one fantasy league and who know what else I've concocted, it's a blast from beginning to end.

   If only I knew who this guy was. He'd be great to watch an afternoon of games with.

   It'd be almost as great as if I could ever actually spend a Sunday on the couch, though the fact they've more or less put a TV in my cubicle at the office makes it OK.


September 8, 2006 - College Radio
   Royals 10, Red Sox 9: When you're squandering comebacks to the Kansas City Royals, please just stop. Fold it up. Give a wave, and step away from the chalk lines.

   This could go for either Mike Timlin or the Red Sox as a whole, depending on your perspective.

   I'd Like To Watch This: Video of Howard Stern's 9/11 show.


   • I would watch it.

   Course, I also still watch the Red Sox. Perhaps I'm not the best critic.


September 7, 2006 - We Did Two Sections
   The Perils of Management: Since being named Assistant Sports Editor, I've noticed I now get more nominally important e-mails. The main S-T address gets a good number of pseudo-spams regarding the sports department, and as someone who's ostensibly more responsible for it now, people feel like I need to be alerted.

   Most of them are nothing. Some others I don't really feel like it's my place to answer, like the mother who sent a note wanting to know how she could get a copy of the paper her high school swimmer daughter was in -- my instinct to e-mail a reply with, "By subscribing, thanks!," was properly quashed.

   Today, there was this.

Subject: FW: Kerry Spokesman Responds to Sen. Greggs' Bizarre Red Sox Lecture
Date: Thu 7 Sept 2006
From: B. O'Rourke (Spokeswoman Lady)
To: Sports Jerks

   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2006
   CONTACT: Liz Richardson, [ Blah. ]
   Brigid O’Rourke, [ Blah. ]

Kerry Spokesman Responds to Sen. Greggs' Bizarre Red Sox Lecture

   Kerry spokesman and diehard Red Sox fan David Wade responded to Sen. Judd Gregg's twisted Red Sox logic on the floor of the Senate today:

   "New Hampshire's own Carlton Fisk must've felt his blood pressure soar hearing Sen. Gregg mangle Red Sox lore on the floor of the Senate.

   Bottom line: when it comes to doing the job as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld is Bill Buckner, Mike Torrez, and Harry Frazee rolled into one.

   There are two differences.

   In Red Sox Nation, Grady Little lost his job when he kept Pedro Martinez in the game too long against the Yankees in the ALCS. Don Rumsfeld is still on the job.

   In Red Sox Nation, when the team breaks our heart, we just have to wait till next year. If only Don Rumsfeld's mistakes were so easily fixed and forgotten. There's no 'waiting for next year' in Iraq. The moment of accountability is now."

   From what I can gather, it's referring to this charming dialogue, the contents of which I assure you I have only skimmed:

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., took a neighbor to task on the floor of the U.S. Senate this week, calling Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a "Monday morning quarterback" on terrorism and the Iraq war and accusing him of engaging in a "viciously partisan attack" on the Bush administration.

. . .

Kerry called the administration's policy politically-based and immoral, even accusing Bush, Rumsfeld and their supporters of using the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for their own political gain.

"I think it is immoral to treat 9/11 as a political pawn and to continue to excuse the invasion of Iraq by exploiting the 3,000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who were lost on September 11," Kerry said. "They were attacked and killed, I remind the Senate again, not by Saddam Hussein but by Osama bin Laden."

Gregg responded, "It sort of makes you think that if (Kerry) were giving a discussion about the Red Sox, he would not have put Bill Buckner at first. He would not have picked Bucky Dent. He would have given Carlton Fisk his contract. Or he would not have traded Babe Ruth.

"It is a litany as if he is a Monday morning quarterback and had the answer now to what would have been the correct process," Gregg said.

   OK. In terms of metaphors, he's batting .500 -- most people wouldn't have played gimpy-kneed Bucker at first, nor failed to give Carlton Fisk his contract (given he'd hit .289 in 131 games during his final Boston season).

   To note that, however, ignores the fact that both John Kerry and Judd Gregg are blowhard jackoffs who should figure out no one gives a fudge that they like the Red Sox. If I'm voting for a friggin' Senator, I'd like to think I'd try a little harder. Course, the top of my Web site doesn't show I'm a normal person by having me in my finest London Fog jacket, walking before a covered bridge.

   Dingbats. Leather-faced, masturbatory dingbats.


   • Course, the upside to being Assistant Sports Editor is midway through the shift, my boss can go "Let's go for a walk." Then, we go get beer.

   Plus, the material beats analyzing a football game I didn't really watch. Remeber that come Monday morning, when I'm wishing Peyton Manning was in a non-life threatening cab accident.

Go Giants!
-- Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 6, 2006 - Thirteen Hour Daze
   Why The World Hates Us: My stance on fantasy leagues is already well known, but I find it hard to believe the majority of people could read this and think anything other than, "Wow. Do we need a punch in the freakin' groin."

According to the professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, the fantasy league phenomenon is about people who are white (94 percent), male (98 percent) and middle-class. Levy's survey of 1,200 fantasy leaguers found 73 percent had annual incomes of at least $50,000 a year, compared with the overall population's 42 percent.

Levy's respondents also reported averaging 87 minutes a day thinking about their fantasy teams, although their wives might have provided a different estimate. These men, average age 35, grew up at a time when sports soared into a national obsession and Elks lodges went into deep decline. Fantasy leagues are really ad hoc fraternal orders.

   It's also impressive that this phenomenon barely missed me, presumably happening on the BU campus while I was there. I can already tell there's going to be comments regarding Dave Kerpen, who, if you're scoring at home, has achieved fame as:

   -- the FleetCenter's "Crunch 'N Munch Guy," setting sales records by being wacky,
   -- a contestant on FOX's 'Paradise Hotel,'
   -- an obsessive fantasy baseball participant, and
   -- a man who was married after a Brooklyn Cyclones game at KeySpan Park.

   That, I have to say, is the most impressive 'F' list of achievements I have ever seen. What does it possibly leave? He's too stable for "The Surreal Life," and yet, isn't it also worth noting he may have crawled his way up to being worthy of inclusion? It's a grass roots story of suck.

   It in no way affects the value of my own degree, but somehow, it feels like it should.


   • While we're there, I love reading stories like Mary Buckheit's on UFC. Not because of the UFC, which I'll admit is the sort of thing I'll watch if I stumble across it.

   I love reading them because of people like her friend.

Psycho
-- And I quote, "Stephanie doesn't probably look like your typical UFC fan."

"So, what do you wear to watch two guys kick the crap out of each other?"

Steph's reply: "Yay. Hot pants, red heels and a sexy halter. Can't wait."

That's why I love Steph. And I'm not alone. Steph happens to be the Alpha-Female of Bristol, Conn. She is a vixen, once described as "the one with the trail of men's souls crawling on their knees behind her." The male species is putty in her hand (see: "Happened into two tickets to the biggest event of the year. Ringside."). Her lip gloss is as capable as a Taser gun. She will eat you alive. She is a predator disguised as a house pet, and of course she is a huge fan of the UFC.

   Throwing out for a minute that they apparently let people work at ESPN who hate sports, I'm reminded of the term "newsroom hot." Depending on what you do, it may have it's own name in your world, but that's what we call it my way.

   It's pretty self-explanatory, and not simply because 26 years of being me has brought about "dork hot," "College Bowl hot" and "newsroom hot" in succession. If your given profession is the least bit male oriented, there's a tendency to view the females in it on a different scale than they would be in the real world. To be as crude as possible for comedic value, 5s and 6s become 7s and 8s. I'd make some sort of math formula up, but since I can't do math beyond the basic functions, it would look something like:

F + (C/X) = I hate you, Mrs. Alves.
-- Where Mrs. Alves was the teacher of my last math class ... in 11th grade.

   It's not a bad thing, but at the same time, it's something everyone's acutely aware of whether they want to be or not. That said, it's not something you shoot for or bank on. Which brings me to this Stephanie, who, if she has men melting like putty in her hand, probably ought to try stepping out of the kiddie pool for three seconds.

   That is, unless she's cool with just eating out of the garbage. And given she's apparently all about being ogled at a friggin' UFC pay-per-view, she apparently is. Which seems to go with the stereotype.

   Funny how that works when you're stereotyping.


September 5, 2006 - Like, Shut Up
   Today's Quote That's Sadly In Context:

"Hopefully, I will be able to play in the Ryder Cup one day. That would be awesome and I think it is totally possible."
-- Michelle Wie, more or less here.

   That's great, Michelle. I think it's totally possible that some day, I'll be able to fly, push a car up a hill and get recognized by people who aren't the UPS guy or the waitress downtown that hates me.

   Thing is though, I prefer to chomp the world up in manageable bites. For you, as an example, that could be WINNING A WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT. ONE.

   She wants to compete with the guys? Great. Heck, her point about why men shouldn't play in women's events is worded better than I would have thought to put it -- I don't think she came up with it herself, but that's not the point.

   I'll even give her that it's remotely plausible she make the Ryder Cup team, even though it probably isn't given her success to this point. It's totally possible the Red Sox still make the playoffs, but know what's more relevant? Them winning one game. Stop with the friggin' pipe dreams for a few seconds. "I want to play in The Masters!" "I want to compete on the men's tour!" "I want to marry Justin Timberlake and have his babies!"

   Me? I want to see you hoist a trophy over your head, even if it's the one from the Longs Drugs Challenge that became an awful joke in about four seconds.

Poor Lorena Ochoa
-- This surely isn't going to help the Web search stats.

NetHead - Papelbon Has 'Dead Arm,' Not Tear
-- An unfinished column scrapped when news happened. Combine this with the notebook, and you could get the impression I know what I'm doing.


Tavarez To Stay In Rotation
-- Said notebook, which was resent three times over the course of the night. Not all due to my idiocy, either.

   The astute among you will notice those links lead to a redesigned S-T.com ... at least most of it. Ostensibly, the whole thing will be working in the next couple of days, but considering the redesign of the entire newspaper's site was a one-man operation, I'm amazed it's gotten this far and has gone this well.

   Boston.com we ain't.


   • Much as I'd like to be more verbose, more or less every computer I'm in possession of is having issues not worth the time. My desktop is fine, but the DSL connection to the Whale City estate is having another one of its famous bouts of spottiness.

   Boy, I'm sure glad I don't have to wile away the night-time hours here. It would especially suck if, say, I was a fan of leaving Instant Messenger on overnight like some people, though admittedly, I've only stopped doing that because I've grown to hate the human race since college.

   The work laptop I have on semi-permanent loan doesn't seem to like most wireless connections, though it's foound one from somewhere that I can't exactly place. However, I'm not exactly eager to pile all my garabge on there, since ostensibly, it's for paper-related business.

   And my own laptop, whose prediliction for shutting off for no reason caused most of this in the first place? Got a call from the shop where I brought it this afternoon, 10 days after the "couple days" window I assumed I'd get a phone call.

   Apparently, the motherboard is cracked, though it doesn't actually sound like said techie really knew what the hell was wrong with it.

   I just can't have nice things, I guess. Outside of Julie, anyway.

   I'll be picking up the laptop on Friday, and just so everyone can map out exactly when my death march began, I'm of the mind that, after reading this, I'm capable of replacing the motherboard myself. I suppose I'll ultimately ask the guy when I go pick up whether he'd be capable of replacing the board given parts, but really, that wouldn't be any fun.

   Part of me is actually relieved that my data -- as non-essential as it is -- appears to be OK. That part, however, is the same size as the part that's excited about buying a new laptop, and both of those are dwarfed by how much I'm looking forward to spending more money I've convinced myself I don't have.

   That's three personalities, if you're scoring at home. Probably still a low count, but close enough for now.


September 4, 2006 - The Attention They Crave
   The Kids Today: So apparently, Brattleboro, Vt., has a problem.

Nude Brattleboro
-- Their photographers are spending too much time posing nudists.

Alec McPherson, Chris Corr, Pat Scheeweis, and Adhi Palar, from left, relax in a parking lot in Brattleboro, Vt., while protesting a proposed ordinance banning nudity in Brattleboro. At least eight cities and towns in the state have passed anti-nudity ordinances, according to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. So far, Brattleboro has chosen not to, but the teenagers' dress-down may change that. The town is researching what other communities have done to curb their nakedness. (AP Photo/ Brattleboro Reformer, David Shaw)

   As someone long on record as being cool with Canada just kind of absorbing Vermont, it comes as no surprise the state has a problem involving teenagers spontaneously disrobing in some parking lot. I mean, why would a state need an anti-public nudity law? Wouldn't most people just assume they should take all their clothes off and sit around outside?

   In Vermont, though, that kind of thinking is called 'oppression.' Though granted, I'm not thinking our bare-assed friends are thinking it through that deeply:

Brattleboro is no stranger to nudity. It's not unusual to see a few naked swimmers at local swimming holes. The early 1990s saw "Breast Fest," in which a group of women walked topless down Main Street. And four years ago, a charity calendar called "Men of Brattleboro" was released, a product that featured prominent male residents, including the local superintendent of schools, in the buff.

But the recent bout of nudity has been different. Over the summer, the teenagers have held naked bicycle rides and naked Hula Hoop contests. Still, the nudity is typically rare and brief.

   Still, you notice Whale City isn't having this problem. If I walked out of my apartment naked, once the cars stopped crashing because of the blinding whiteness, someone would openly mock me and we'd all move on. They wouldn't beat me, since who wants to touch a naked guy, but you get the point.

   Vermont, though, is different. And Brattleboro is now famous for apparently more than having New England's premier dry-out center.

Nudists rarely expose their unclothed bodies to the general populace, according to the owner of "www.NakedinVermont.com," an online community and resource center for nudists in the state. Nudists will typically meet at out-of-the-way swimming areas or private houses, said the Burlington man who runs the site, who asked that he be identified only as John, his first name.

"It's not normal for nudists to walk around their towns naked," he said. "But I'm not quite sure why these kids in Brattleboro are doing what they are."

   Why are they doing it? Does it really matter when it's nothing a bat couldn't solve?

   Though seeing Bill O'Reilly and Dr. Phil have already been on the case, I'm sure that's already been proposed.


   • As you're aware, Steve Irwin is dead. A stingray did what so many probably predicted for so long, piercing his heart with a barb and becoming the first stingray to kill an Australian since 1945.

   It's extremely sad, so much so we had a guy fax in an awful editorial cartoon of a crocodile crying -- the idea was solid, but I'm curious as to what we were supposed to do with a fax of a badly drawn crocodile weeping. The AP moved a pencil drawing in sepia tone, which is truly the sign something bad has happened.

   Many are taking solace in the fact the Crocodile Hunter "died doing what he loved," and how this would probably have been how he chose to go. That's fine ... it may be true, and it's better than what happened to Press Your Luck's Peter Tomarken -- plane crash with his wife, and Yahoo putting it with a headshot so awful, you wondered if it was taken on the plane.

   It got me to thinking about what I would have to be doing for all of you to say I died doing what I loved. The consensus in the office was me bring struck in the head by a foul ball in the Fenway Park press box, collapsing on my laptop, but I'd like to believe I can do a little better than that.

   Actually, I know I could, but this is a family Web site. All the people who come here looking for the dirty talk are supposed to have done it by accident, so let's leave it at that.

   As such, I'm open to suggestions. What would it take for me to have died doing what I loved? Would you call back if a reporter called you for comment? Could a whole feature be done on Sly? Would my mom make my brother post something on here? Would it be readable?

   But most importantly, would death allow me to learn what the hell those Vermont teenagers are thinking?


September 3, 2006 - Enjoy Not Working!
   How Times Have Changed: Technically, this should be another Cohabitation update, since my decisions were in no small part influenced by not wanting to ditch my roommate.

   Today, I had the option of overtime pay if I went to cover the Red Sox game, which would presumably be played despite it spitting rain in Massachusetts for like 36 hours. I declined, instead opting to spend the day with Julie's family, who was driving across the state to celebrate her grandmother's birthday.

   While I was doing that, I got a call from work. We were up a creek, needing someone to cover the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. PGA Tour action, close by and enough to get me out of working on the desk Monday night.

   That, however, would keep me from spending the sunshine with Julie on what's a day off for her. So I declined, though for public consumption, we'll say I did it because I hate the access level we get for the tournament. I refuse to sit inside a stupid media tent and watch things unfold on television, but with no inside-the-ropes access, it's our best option.

   As such, I'll pass. Five years ago, the idea I would skip out on that would be absurd, and that's even before you consider they feed the media like the fat cows they are.

   Times change. Apparently, even from two weeks ago, where I'd cover the tournament, race back to Whale City, then work a half-shift for overtime.


   • Obviously, I'm happy with my choice to see Julie's family, since they're crazy like my family, but without the blood connections.

   Finding the NEW Carol Wright Gifts catalog just made for the icing.

   I needed something to read, and this is what I grabbed. Pretty generic, really ... just a book full of TV products like the Faraday Flashlight, One Touch Can Opener, fleece shawls, sweater vests and the very Table Mate Grandma actually got for her birthday.

   So imagine my surprise when I found this page:

One of these things is not like the others.
-- Two of these things are not like the others.

   Interspersed on two and a half pages out of the 48-page catalog, Carol Wright shows off her new line of cock rings. Admittedly, that's not what I noticed first ... that honor went to the, um, vibrating pump.

   You know, when three pages earlier you're looking at maid, bear and bunny cozies you put over your vacuum cleaner, the word "clitoral" will catch a person off guard. Even if it's under the fingertip massager and next to, well, the oddly shaped way to "smooth away stress and tension."

Yeah, you find it.
-- Yeah. You figure out which one I'm talking about.

   The magazine, by the by, notes it's "7-inch" while exclaiming it's only $3.99.

   Now, you have to be 21 years or older to order these things, which I would presume carries over to the "Deluxe Personal Trimmer" on which they're sharing space. I can't see many 15-year-olds having a lot of unsightly hair, to say nothing of a need for battery-operated candlesticks, flannel pajamas, giant toenail clippers or "urine gone!," the "stain and odor eliminator for pet or people accidents."

Urine Gone effectively removes new or old urine stains from washable surfaces and fabrics. To find hidden stains, simply darken the room and use the stain detecting Black Light to check carpets mattresses, furniture, walls and floors. The stains will glow so you don't miss any.
-- Product description.

   There's about 15 jokes to be made, but trust me. Julie's mom already made them.

   Let's just say the inclusion of "Sta Tight" -- "A Safe Alternative To Botox" -- in a nearby ad was either a stroke of luck or a work of pure genius.


September 2, 2006 - Respect Chief Wahoo
   Ted DiBiase Was Right: I grew up in the mid-'90s, vaguely around the period when Matt Pinfield was either establishing himself as a bad ass or trying to convince everyone what a bad ass he was. I never watched him closely enough to know which it was, but the idea remains the same.

   There's a good chance he'd have slapped anyone who said in 2006, he'd be hosting the VSpot Top 20 Countdown, considering it's regularly filled with the sort of dreck which he derided for so long. Yet there he is, getting off screen just in time for Paris Hilton to come on, plead for votes and thank everyone for letting her become a star after that video of her coitus "accidentally" got out.

   And While We're On VH1: Admittedly, I make it a point to let the whole "CelebReality" concept pass me by, instead hoping the government using the ratings numbers to determine which of my generation should be sterilized. I have, however, watched enough to see a lot of FLAVOR FLAAAAAAAAAAAVVV!!!!

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah boooooooooooooooooyyyyyyyy!
-- YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

   Sorry. Felt it was necessary.

   Now, he started on the 'Surreal Life,' sparking a relationship with Mrs. Drago, which apparently didn't work because he then got a Bachelor-like show to find love.

   It worked so well, they're now in the second season of it.

   So at what point do they decide, "Hey, let's just have a show called 'Flavor Flav Likes To Do Different Girls'?" Especially since the finale of the first season is apparently the highest-rated show in the history of VH1?

   We, and Matt Pinfield, can only hope.


   • So I've decided I'm going to attempt to win the World Series in an NES emulation of 'Bases Loaded,' feted here last month.

   This will probably only last about a week. Still, though, that doesn't make me any less of a loser.


September 1, 2006 - Call 'Em Up
   'Thank Goodness': Um, not really. Never have I, and a whole bunch of others, so wished Tony Massarotti was a pandering idiot.

   With Jonathan Papelbon apparently screwing up his arm tonight, I'm reasonably certain what's happening now is historic. How could there possibly be any other team, short of the Grande Torino team that died in a plane crash, that has gone through what the Sox have gone through in the last month? I'm not trying to call for an episode of "Who's No. 1" or anything, but seriously ... what's left?

   Please, for the love of God, no one answer that.


   • Sometimes, no matter what I do, it feels like I'm not doing enough.

In the last hours before (Pittsburgh) Mayor Bob O'Connor succumbed to a rare form of brain cancer, the man in line to succeed him declared himself ready to serve.

Council President Luke Ravenstahl, 26, of Summer Hill, became the youngest mayor in city history shortly after Mr. O'Connor passed away last night.

In remarks to news reporters earlier in the day, Mr. Ravenstahl acknowledged that his youth "is an issue that many will raise. But I am here. I have been the president. I have been elected by my district, I have been elected by my colleagues, and I'm more than confident that if and when I'm called upon, I'm here to serve the residents of the city."

   Ominous.

   In no way like Julie leaving for the weekend without doing all the dishes she made, but really, that had to get mentioned somewhere.


2006: [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2005: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2004: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2003: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2002: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2001: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05]