06/29/06 - Vote for Pedro

It must have been a slow news day on Monday, because I heard the same question posed on both the local Maine sports radio show as well as on ESPN, "How is Pedro Martinez going to be received in Boston this week?"

Pedro, of course, was one of the stars of the 2004 World Series winning Boston Red Sox. But that winter he signed to the New York Mets, after repeatedly requesting to stay in Boston.

"How's he going to be received?" What kind of stupid question is that? How far from the pulse of the average sports fan are these jackasses?

I know where the question comes from, though. The other big name defector from the 2004 champion team was Johnny Damon. And when he showed up at Fenway this spring damn near all-hell broke loose. Homeboy was booed like a baby-rapist at a meeting of the National Organization to Prevent Baby Rape.

And then he tipped his cap.


Pedro last night got a standing ovation. Tuesday night, too.

The difference? Pedro went to the Mets, Damon went to the Yankees. The last time the Red Sox played the Mets was a disaster, the 1986 World Series. But time (and a World Series ring of our own) heals wounds. Plus Pedro left a year and a half ago.

The Red Sox and the Yankees are heated rivals, some say the biggest in professional sports. They play each other almost twenty times a year. And Damon left just six months ago.

But more than that, Damon is seen as a traitor. In 2004 Damon, with his bushy beard and long hair, was the Red Sox. He labeled the group "a bunch of idiots" and it stuck. The local t-shirt vendors sold shirts, "Damon is my Homeboy", a reference to a short lived fad shirt from the era, "Jesus Is My Homeboy".

The shirts now mock Damon and his weak throwing arm, as well as his traitorous ways. "Looked like Jesus, Throws like Mary, Loyal like Judas". Not only did Damon go to the Yankees, he sold out. He gave up his trademark beard and hair and "idiot" persona. And he also metro'ed up his wardrobe. I swear for a week the Boston Globe ran at least three photos a day of him and his second wife, dressed to the nines, getting out of limos in New York.


Meanwhile, Pedro? Playing with the Mets. Got his 200th win.

So it's no wonder that the fans cheered. I was listening to Tuesday's game on the radio, the game before the one Pedro pitched in. In between innings the jumbotron showed a video recap of Pedro's time in Boston.

When they came back from commercial, the fans were still cheering. Pedro came out of the dugout, or bullpen, or wherever he was. And the fans went nuts.

I guess the same thing happened last night, even though he was pitching. (I couldn't watch the game because of a work commitment.) It's no wonder that Dan Shaughnessy's article in the Globe today is titled, "Guest of honor couldn't stay long". Even though he pitched a shitty game, the fans love him. And when the revisionist of the future recap the 2004 World Series, they won't leave Pedro out. But I bet Damon gets a gloss over.


06/28/06 - 49

One of the stupidest things I'm going to miss at work is getting all of the catalogs. I get a dozen each day. Literally.

And, because of a program last spring where I needed to buy a hundred-something shirts, we have three accounts with Victoria's Secret. All with my name on them. So each time a new one comes out, I get three catalogs.

Nothing like looking like a perv at work.

Anyway, today I got the best catalog ever. CRW Flags. It's just flags. Forty-eight pages of flags. Every flag you want.

Including a US Flag with 49 stars. Reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons:

I used to love quoting that to my old boss who was from Missouri. That, and the whole Missouri Compromise. Maine and Missouri are hand-in-hand, whether you like it or not.

But back to the flag with 49 stars. That's really random, because there was only a one year period (July 4, 1959 – July 3, 1960) after Alaska but before Hawaii showed up.

But the best part of this catalog? There's a map to their store. A hand-drawn map.

How low budget is that?

"Uh, yeah, we just spent untold thousands on designing this here cat'log. Shee-oot, we forgot a map! Jimmy-Bob, can you draw me up'n a map real purty like?"

06/26/06 - Post Apocalyptic Bridgton, ME

So the weather here in Southern Maine has been totally nuts lately. Last week was wall-to-wall thunderstorms. We even had a microburst in Bridgton last Tuesday. I had never even heard of one, and here we have it.

Anyway, Tuesday is the day I've been meaning to talk about. See, Daniel and I did a red-eye from Vegas which landed on Monday morning, and foolishly I went to work all that day. So Monday night I was in no condition to do anything. 90% of my clothes are dirty, the only thing to eat in the fridge is condiments. I think to myself, "I'll take care of laundry and groceries Tuesday night."

Tuesday after work I go to the gym and it's feeling great and I stay for like, and hour and a half. So by the time I'm getting back to Bridgton, it's late. Like, 8:45. As I pass the Lampron's Gas station I think, "that's odd they're closed before nine ..."

Then I see the drive-in movie theater. The sign out front is off. "Weird, with the kids out of school now, you'd think they'd be open on a Tuesday."

It's not until I hit the next intersection and the street light is out that I realize there's no electricity here.

Of course I was planning to go to the new Hannaford that's like, a second from my house. No power there, either.

That means Daniel's house is dark, too.

Luckily he's working at his Mad Monkey Cafe in Raymond, which has juice.

Lucky for me we still have Food City on the other side of town, which apparently has electricity. I go there, but what to get? The stove is electric, I could get cold cuts or something, but I neglected to mention the sink. Just about every dish we own is dirty. So that's kind of gross.

I decide chicken is the route to go. We have the gas grill, you know?

So there I am. 9:30 pm, grilling chicken by flashlight in the sprinkling rain.

And that's when it hits me.

I'd be screwed if this was more than just a few hours without power. If this was days or weeks, or worse, I'd be in big trouble. The ONE flashlight we have that works plugs into the wall. That'd be gone in a day or two. We have candles, but trusting us with lots of fire seems like a bad idea. Worst of all, we have very little booze. I mean, food. Food.

Maybe I'm insane, but my mind starts wandering when I'm cooking in the driveway during a complete blackout. I don't even know if the water works. If this was a nuclear attack I assume Maine would be safe, right? But no doubt electricity would be spotty at best. We have enough food for a few days, tops. Sure, we could walk the ten miles to our folks' house, and they have more food. But then what?

At that point some kids walked by. It really startled me. Now, I'm not a senile old man, but I was seriously thinking, "We should own a gun. Because when the apocalypse comes, we should be armed."

What these hoodlums would steal - who knows? It's not like we have a cache of food handy.


Holy smokes. It's right there. Seriously, besides the house next door and the apartments across the street, we live the closest to the grocery store. We could be in and out of that thing before the rest of the town mobilizes!

That gave me solace.

For a minute.

Then I realized we would have things that the hoodlums would want to steal.

We'd need guns for sure now.

All of a sudden it's plural. I'm picturing Arnold hanging out of the office building with the machine gun shooting the helicopter in "Terminator 2". I'd be in my bedroom window, firing away onto Route 302 at the no doubt hords of hoodlums wanting my Hannaford booty.

Luckily at this point I realized the ol' iBook's batteries were charged, and I could go play on the computer for a little bit before bed. My wandering mind at easy by technology, I slept soundly that night.

In the morning the power was back on, and everything was right in the word.

For now ...

06/25/06 - Back from the South Shore ...

So I just got back from a weekend down in Hull, Massamachusetts, where my college roommate and all-around swell fellow James got married.

The weather was so-so, and I started the weekend with a rough run-in with Google Maps' directions (which were beyond horrible). But a bunch of my California kids were there (seeing Ochs two weekends in a row, good Lord there ought to be laws to prohibit such decadence!). And there was a great group of their friends from Cali who I had met but didn't ever really hang out with. Well, we all became fast friends at the hotel and had a freaking blast.

I've kept the digital photos of this event to a minimum, as I'm sure SOME of my friends don't want the world to see them in the glory of the post-party. (Swilling Grey Goose from the bottle, anyone?)

Unfortunately I missed the best photo op of the night - the really chill Hull Police Officer who broke up the first of several after-parties we had at the hotel. So at my wedding, kids, keep the cameras on hand for the po-po. Nothing says "wedding album cover" like a cop and the father of the groom shaking hands.

Because of the weather, this was the closest we got to the beach, sadly.

The ceiling of the Catholic Church was amazing.
This photo doesn't do it justice.

Josh getting artsy while all of the lovers dance and frolic.

06/23/06 - Futurama returns ... on Comedy Central?!?

Wow, I've been waiting for this for a long time! It's odd, though, with Cartoon Network playing "Saved by the Bell" and "Pee Wees Playhouse", I guess Comedy Central is now the best place for cartoons on cable.

Whatever. That works for me!

06/22/06 - Lord & Taylor

So Federated Department Stores sold the Lord & Taylor chain today.

And while I've never been inside of a Lord & Taylor, I walked by the one on Boylston in Boston about 10,000 times. And I've always loved their logo.

At first I thought it was really too pushed, I mean, it's damn near illegible! But then after I was used to it, I really like it now. It's ten thousand times better than the other Macy's / Bloomingdale's / Filenes / JC Penney generic logos.

06/21/06 - Gold Coin

I love me some numismatics, let me just tell you. So today I was pretty psyched to see the new American Buffalo coin.

Released today, it looks like the old Buffalo Nickel. But this one is 24K gold, so it costs about $800.

I think it's clever they used this design, it's just too bad I'll probably never own one.

06/20/06 - Viva Las Vegas

I survived Las Vegas. Lots of stories, but it's wicked late now. Check out the Photo Page for some pics.

Stories tomorrow.

Aw, what the hell, here's one photo, for good measure ...

So yes, stories soon, including my thoughts on the end of days ...

06/13/06 - White Chocolate M&Ms ... finally!

Holy crap! Another story from yesterday!

I had to run to the mall for work, and ran into Toys R Us for a present. When I was there I saw not one but two new products I'd never heard of ... White Chocolate M&Ms and SpongeBob LEGOs!

Now, I've been clamoring for White Chocolate M&Ms for years. Literally. And now we have the M&M Pirate Pearls tied in with the Pirates sequel this summer.

Tragically the packaging is a mess of Johnny Depp and words and pirates shit. And the M&Ms themselves are white, pale yellow, peach and aqua - not really "pirate" colors. But still, they're white chocolate, so I'll take it!

The second surprise at the store were SpongeBob LEGOs! Sure, it's a few years late (wasn't SpongBob really big like, four years ago?) But still it's nice to see LEGO tying in with a hot product and making something cool, all at the same time.

Man, I think I have to go to Toys R Us more lately ... after not being surprised by that store in, oh, ten years or so, yesterday was a good day!

06/13/06 - Mohawk Child

Man, I can't believe that yesterday was so busy I didn't have time to blog about this. I was going to work a little early, and my drive down the River Road was timed a little differently. Thus I skipped ahead of a few school buses.

Right before the Maine Correctional Center I saw a chubby little eight year old waiting for the bus. And his head was really ... shiny. At first I thought it was a really short buzzcut, like a Marine. But as I got closer I realized that it was a mohawk. An honest-to-God Mr. T, Travis Bickle, David Beckham mohawk.

Did this child specifically ask for a mohawk? Did him mom just give it to him?

That's awesome.

06/10/06 - Rollin with Saget

Check out Jamie Kennedy's Rollin' with Saget video. It's pretty funny.

I mean, is that George Lucas?

I've always felt kind of bad for Randy. Er, Jamie. It seems like he's funnier than lots of his movie roles. But hey, I'll admit it, I saw "Malibu's Most Wanted". In the theater. Yeah, so what?

And Saget, well, I was never a fan of Full House, or whatever 1980s sitcom he was on, but I hear he's pretty raunchy in his stand up stuff. And hey, if he's willing to make fun of himself, I'm down with that ...

But seriously, why was George Lucas there??

06/10/06 - StateMaster

The other day I was talking about teeth per capita, and how Maine was kind of low on the list. Well, the list came from StateMaster, and today I've been playing about with it.

Here are some other fun statistics about Maine:

06/09/06 - Dunkin Donutses in Boston

I just read this in the Globe ...

... there are 1,100 Dunkin' Donuts within a 50-mile radius of Boston ...

06/06/06 - Perceived appearance

So I'm going to try to make this make sense, but I'm pretty tired so this might be really disjointed. Stick with me, I think I have a point.

Today one of our salesmen came by and took a few of us purchasers to lunch. One of the other assistants had never met him before, although she's spoken with him on the phone repeatedly. I guess he didn't look like she was expecting, she mentioned that's not how she pictured him.

Tonight I got home and had a new copy of The Nation waiting for me. On the back is an ad for this new book I want to get Playing President: "My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I and Clinton--and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush" by Robert Scheer. Scheer is a panelist on KCRW's brilliant Left, Right & Center and runs TruthDig.com.

Anyway, I listen to the podcast of Left, Right & Center every week, and I was listening this morning when I wondered "What does Robert Scheer look like?"

So on this ad for his book there's a photo of him. And it looks nothing like I assumed.

At this point I'd direct you to download a podcast of Left, Right & Center so you can follow along.

Here's the photo of Scheer:

Robert Scheer

See, I always thought that Robert Scheer sounded like Richard Schiff who plays Toby Ziegler on the West Wing. Kind of the Bronx Jewish thing going on.

So I pictured him like:

Richard Schiff

And then there's Tony Blankley, the Republician on the show, who's also the Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Times and the author of "The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?" (Can you guess which side HE'S on?)

Here he is:

Tony Blankley

But because he's British and a bad guy and somewhat heavy sounding, I thought he would look like Glenn Shadix - Otho from Beetlejuice:

Glenn Shadix

And since everyone knows what Ariana Huffington looks like:

Ariana Huffington

That only leaves Matt Miller:

Matt Miller

Oddly, I never gave this much though, so I'll just post a drawing of Matt Murdock - the alter ego of Daredevil, since they're both generic white guys named "Matt":

Matt Murdock

So does this all make sense?

Maybe you have to be a listener of Left, Right & Center to get it?

Maybe I just made you a listener? It really is an interesting show. Especially if you imagine these people as the voices ...

06/06/06 - Loss of natural teeth by state

Is this real?

It looks it.

It's a ranking of Loss of natural teeth by state.

Maine is number seventeen.

I'm so embarassed.

Time to go brush my teeth ...

06/06/06 - Sunset last night on Long Lake

Here are two photos from my drive home last night. Long Lake in Naples. Looks like I might have just missed some really good color, but they're not bad. This was about 8:25, right around whatever bottom-of-the-third foolishness the Red Sox were getting into (someone was out, then not out? I don't know, I missed it. I was taking photos ...)

06/05/06 - I would have bet on the wrong horse ...

Wow, so if five years ago you asked me, "who will be hotter in early June of 2006, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera?" I would have been so wrong!

Of course, this was back when Britney was hot in "I'm a Slave 4 U" and XTina and all gross and "Dirrty"?

Yep. So wrong.

06/05/06 - Dani California's Last Dance

I like how this is just news now. I mean, didn't everyone think that the Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Dani California" was Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" the first time they heard it on the radio several weeks ago?

06/05/06 - Oooh, my two favorite things ...

06/03/06 - The Best Trade in Baseball ...

Ugeth Urbina for Plácido Polanco.

I'm sure there were jokes about it at the time, but after the Sox played the Tigers and the commetators were talking about it, I couldn't stop laughing.

06/03/06 - Dubai buys The OC, glad Marissa Cooper is dead.

So I haven't been watching "The OC" this season, but it seems to me Caleb Nichol wouldn't have sold out like this ...

In all seriousness, John Laing Homes is pretty much the real-life equivalent of The OC's "Newport Group". Interesting.

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