Random Thoughts

The Yankee has its own domain

Posted on May 17, 2008. Filed under: journalism, Politics, Random Thoughts, Sports, Uncategorized, Weather, Web and Tech |

This blog is migrating…

Like the Baltimore Colts (for all you serious football fans), I have packed up the U-Haul in the middle of the night and moved. But I would hate to think of people waking up, racing to check my blog, and finding out it wasn’t there. I know that would be devastating for millions thousands a couple of dozen lonely souls you. So, please note, and change your bookmarks, that you can find the new Yankee 2.0 at http://www.yankee20.com.

Also, like a true Yankee… I’m not paying the $10/year for the automatic redirection. 🙂

See you there!


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Getting my hands dirty

Posted on April 28, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts | Tags: |

It had been a long week. Lots of daily work stuff going on, some good, some bad. You know, one of those weeks we all have.

But this weekend, I actually did something different. I unplugged as much as I could, and my wife and I went out, bought some plants and replanted our garden. It’s not anything that no one else has done. We couldn’t find a way to use Web 2.0 technologies to make the event more social, interact with gardeners worldwide, or set up a system in which the plants could communicate via FriendFeed.

We didn’t even take any pictures.

But at the end of the morning, as it started to rain, I packed up the bags of weeds, old plants and dead leaves, went inside and took a shower (Because I was actually dirty, not because it’s the appropriate thing to do each day), and today, feel like I actually did something that I’ll be able to see two months from now without having to use a search function of any kind.

Of course, now I am posting it on a blog to end the romance of it all. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

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Suddenly the Fenway beer lines don’t seem so bad

Posted on April 14, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts, Sports | Tags: , , |

So, I got a chance to go to Fenway this week with my wife and my friend Steve. Of my many observations, a few little nuggets of note. First, public thanks to Steve, who has the kind of seats that make you appreciate Fenway even more, get you on TV when they show the first base coach, and give you a legitimate chance of catching (or getting killed by) a foul ball. Kinda makes you pay attention.

Three observations:

1. Those people who have the really good seats, and you wonder how they got them? Yeah, I still have no idea. Steve said something about a neighbor who had tickets since Cy Young was on the mound…

2. There is no such thing as a warm April night at Fenway.

3. And they serve beer in the seats in these expensive seats! Sounds sort of elitist, but I was thinking about it economically, and really, if you are spending $2 per minute (or more) for the game, 15 minutes in a beer line would be a drag.

Except for one thing. They bring you the beer. They open it. They pour it. You give them your ID. They check it. They give you your beer. AND THEY STAND RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU THE WHOLE TIME! I mean, hey, it’s a beer. In a seat. At Fenway. So, I’m willing to put up with a lot.

But it’s worse when the fine people in the row in front of you order their four beers and you can watch the nice vendor pour and serve. And pour and serve. And pour and serve. And pour and serve. Or even better, when the guys in the row behind you order their beers and your view gets blocked by the person in front of you who now has to use the rest room after enjoying his frosty cool beverage, but can’t get by the very pleasant vendor who is pouring. And serving. And pouring…

The Way Fenway Should BeThe Way It Was

Which one did I see more on the night? The one on the right.

Of course, if Steve wants to invite me again, I’m willing to reevaluate. Because hey, I’m a giver.

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New England’s Metal Tulips

Posted on April 9, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts, Weather | Tags: , , |

Look in a New England garden this time of year, and you can see them sprouting. Daffodils and tulips. (I think they’re tulips, right? I’m no garden guy.)

Look on the roadways, and it’s metal tulip season. What’s a “metal tulip?”

Objects in mirror are colder than they appear

They’re those little mobile things we call convertibles. At this time of year, they are seen in 35 degree weather like this morning, with the top down, but the windows rolled up and the heat cranked high enough that they create a little pocket of global warming around them. (It’s metal, and it’s bowl-shaped, like a tulip. Work with me here, please.)

I’m not complaining. I see them, and their counterparts, as another sure sign of spring.

Other roadway horticulture:

The two-wheeled thistle: A motorcyclist so bundled up that they look like a puffball riding a bicycle.

The steaming rose: A car with a sunroof open in weather cold enough that you can see the heat exiting the car into the surrounding atmosphere.

Oh, and don’t take pictures of objects in your rear-view mirror while driving. Do as I say…

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It’s just a fantasy…

Posted on April 6, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts, Sports | Tags: , , |

Once again, I am faltering at my regularity with which to post to the Yankee. I’ll blame it on the New York Times story about the dangers of blogging, but really it’s just my own disorganization and busy-ness. And part of it is sports. I am a sports fan, and this time of year is like my mecca. It’s even better than the fall confabulation that is the baseball home stretch combined with the beginnings of football, basketball and hockey, because you have two sports coming down to the wire, plus the beginning of baseball (which is sometimes more downright fun than the end), plus all sorts of random things — like today, I wanted to see (but missed) the FA Cup semifinal. Oh, and then there’s the Final Four.

And for me, baseball is made a little more fun because I (drum roll please) play fantasy baseball. Before you click away, i’ll tell you why I am hooked, and it’s more than the numbers. (I am an accountant’s son, but still…) Here’s what I like – I get to pay attention to more than just the Boston Red Sox. I get to pay attention to more than just the majors. I get to care whether Rick Porcello can make his way quickly through the minors. I get to wonder whether John Patterson can find his talent and resurrect his career. In looking at the numbers, I actually get more invested in the stories of the individual players who make up the game. The average Sox fans cares about 5 players. I care about all 25, in some form. And there’s a group of people I got to see this weekend — a group I only see once per year — and we have a kind of fun common bond.

So I end up preparing and studying Major League rosters more than I might otherwise. OK, a lot more. But for those of you who dismiss it as a bunch of nerds playing with numbers, well, you’re right to a point, but there are interesting stories here that are a little bit more than the average Joe watching at home (or Johnny working at Burger King, for you Keith Foulke fans,)  might get out of it.

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The fine line between clever and Fool-ish?

Posted on April 1, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts | Tags: , , |

So, open question to the world.

What’s your take on April Fools Day pranks, and whether reputable news organizations (well, ones that try to be reputable) should or shouldn’t take part in a little Foolery. I had a couple of ideas myself, but am a strong believer that things like this need to be done well to work, and I didn’t have the time to do it well.

So, can news people have a sense of humor and get away with it? I have been surprised by the number of people I thought might say “Yes” to that question, who look at me aghast and say, “Hell no!”


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I’m good enough, I’m smart enough… I am not my pool

Posted on March 22, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts, Sports | Tags: , , |

and doggone it, I’m better than my NCAA pool.

Not that I am doing that badly.  I had San Diego over UConn, after all. But it’s happening again. That March Madness feeling that requires me to glance over at the TV all too regularly to see if Siena actually won. (Didn’t call that one.)

So I must remember…

I’m better than my pool.

My pool does not define me.

It will not make me smarter, or more handsome, stop the aging process, fix my back, help me lose weight or make me a better chef.

It cannot do my taxes, pay my bills, make my lunch or feed my cats.

It will not do anything for the war in Iraq, it cannot feed the starving, clothe the needy,  or give anyone shelter.

It shall not take me over… but, excuse me, I do have to watch the end of this Xavier-Purdue game.

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He can’t pitch yet, but he’s a good pitch man for ALS

Posted on March 22, 2008. Filed under: Random Thoughts, Sports | Tags: , , |

So, a lot of people have sort of a love-hate relationship with Curt Schilling… usually leaning towards the love part. But no matter what you think of him in general, you have to give him credit for his efforts fighting ALS. Curt’s Pitch 4 ALS has raised a of awareness about the disease, and a good chunck of change. Let’s face it, writing “K ALS” on his cleat when he knew the world was watching his bloody sock in the 2004 World Series was a pretty brilliant raising awareness move.

Anyway, Curt has decided this year that since he can’t pitch for much of the season, he’ll be following 4 other pitchers any donate money to local Curt’s pitch chapters based on their performance. And – he picked four guys who will strike out a lot more guys these days than a healthy Curt would. Brandon Webb in Arizona, Josh Beckett in Boston, Cole Hamels in Philly, and Daisuke Matsuzaka for Curt’s Pitch Japan.

If my in my head math is correct, at $100 per K and $1000 per win – if the quartet match last season, Curt will be writing checks for $145,000 to the charities this year – plus all the other stuff he does for the organizations.

Read about it here:
Curts Pitch 4 ALS GOES GLOBAL! « 38 Pitches

And that’s an All-Star performance.

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