30 April, 2007

april is the cruellest month

for the yankees, at least. for a sox fan like myself, it's a beautiful, blissful month.

yeah, yeah...it's only april, as my friends who are yankees fans like to say. at least those still willing to discuss baseball. doesn't stop me from enjoying the fact that, currently, the red sox sit atop the AL east and have the best record in MLB (1/2 a game better than the mets). whereas the yankees are in the AL east cellar, and only two teams have a worse record: the royals and the nats.

it's a beautiful, beautiful thing. and i plan on enjoying it as much as i can, cause those fuckers are going to be tough to beat if they get any of their pitching back.

other sox notes:

  • beckett is looking very, very good so far this season. actually trying to pitch, instead of just blow it past people.
  • matsuzaka, right now, is reminding me of beckett last year: great stuff, comes unhinged for an inning each game. growing familiarity with tek and the coaching staff should help.
  • just think...manny still hasn't started to hit yet...
  • coco seems to be getting back to the sort player we saw a glimpse of last april. in his past 10 games, he's raised his BA 124 points. now, BA isn't that great a stat to measure performance, but it's what's available for me, as a tracked stat. plus, since coco doesn't walk much, that's what's mostly driving his OBP. which is still rather low. but rising. regardless, i like to see him getting back into a groove.
parting thought: the couch is large and empty, so why must the cat curl up on my fleece jacket?

i am now titled

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Most Serene Highness Lord Twiffer the Sage of Molton St Anywhere
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Exalted Highness Duke Twiffer the Charming of Hardy St Thomas
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

27 April, 2007

dear employees, we think you're stupid

looks like work is rolling out a new software release to the office i am technically attached too. and, as is typical, they want everyone to actually turn their machines off for the weekend. but was it really necessary to include this in the email?

You can power down your computer by using the following procedure:

  1. Click "Start" in the lower left corner of your computer screen
  2. Choose "Shut Down"
  3. In the pull-down menu under “What do you want the computer to do?” make sure "Shut Down" is selected
  4. Click "Okay"

This will sign you off and power down your computer.
i'm sorry, but that's sort of insulting. do they honestly think people don't turn off their machines because they don't know how? not due to laziness, or not wanting to have to wait for the damn thing to boot up in the morning? sheesh.

26 April, 2007

a possibly earth-like planet

discovered orbiting a red sun...krypton?

23 April, 2007

i may have been sick as a dog

and subsisting on dayquil today...but still, last night was fucking awesome.

20 April, 2007

murder most foul

i haven't written about the VT murders, because what else is there to say? personally, i don't understand why someone would do such a thing. perhaps there is no way to understand it. yet that doesn't stop people from trying. why? because, for some reason, we think if we understand why, then another, similar, future act can be prevented. unfortunately, even if we understand the motivation and reason behind such action, we can never prevent something like it from ever happening again. the price of being a free people is the risk of some taking advantage of that freedom.

after the fact, our human desire to discern patterns kicks into high gear. with hindsight, it becomes inevitable. here was a man who was highly anti-social. he'd stalked. he wrote twisted plays and stories. he'd been in counselling for a spell. apparently, he was a mean bastard. it all seems so obvious, doesn't it? why didn't anyone act prior to this?

the answer to that is simple: there are thousands, perhaps millions of people just like this who don't go on killing sprees. we cannot suspect or prosecute people for being extremely quiet. we cannot do so even for writing horrible things. i could write twisted stories if i wished. doesn't mean i'm describing what i want to, or plan to do (incidently, his plays do not include anyone being shot. killed, yes; shot, no). simply put, there is no sure way to predict whether someone is going to become a murderer, mass or otherwise.

what we forget when these things happen is just how rare they are. look at the numbers. if we consider something like a school shooting, we can assume we are dealing with an age range of about 15-24, likely male. using the 2005 census data, this is about 14% of the male population: approximately 19,778,495 people. if we had a mass murder from this demographic every day of the year, it would still only be about 0.002% of the demographic that were murdering bastards. that's 0.002% of a 14% slice of the total US population. applied to the total population, an exceedingly small percentage of people decide to go on shooting sprees.

perspective does not diminish tragedy. but, in deciding how to respond to tragedy like this, we need to keep our perspective. everyday, nearly 20 million males between the ages of 15-24 decide not to walk into their classroom and start shooting people. law is a system, and systems need to be designed for normal functioning, not for abberations. an act such as the murders at VT is an abberration. the horror we feel in response to it shows just how rare a thing it is. indeed, what is surprising is that this sort of atrocity doesn't happen more often. we need to remember that. the proper response to acts such as this is grief, horror, shock. the proper response is personal, not legal.

18 April, 2007

understanding baseball analysts

or, any other sports analyst, for that matter. hell, this likely applies to political analysis too. or any sort of news coverage, come to think of it.

anyway, since i no longer live in-market for my favorite ballclub, i find myself watching baseball tonight (unless i manage to listen to the game online), to catch the results and highlights. last night, the "go-to-commercial" teaser spoke of daisuke "imploding" against toronto. this caused me concern. i don't like to hear of sox pitchers imploding, even figuratively. the recap comes on, the analysts discuss how daisuke (i should note here that i think the nickname he's been saddled with in the us, "Dice-K", is fucking stupid. his japanese nic, "Kaibutsu" [means "monster"], is much cooler) fell apart in the 4th inning, due to frustration at some calls that went unfavorably.

now, he did walk in a run in that inning. in fact, all of toronto's runs were scored that inning. but here's the thing: they only scored two runs. comparatively, yes, that was a bad inning. and the sox did lose (2-1, final score). but objectively, not all that bad. certainly not warranting the implications of catastrophe. here's his line for the game:

6.0 3 2 2 3 10 0
in fact, his stats for the season so far are nearly identical to johan santana, except for w/l and daisuke having a better ERA.

what is most irritating about this sort of coverage (other than getting me riled up at 12:30 in the morning) is this. had the sox won, even by 1 run, these same analysts would have described his pitching in the 4th as "getting out of a tough jam". probably those exact words too. i suppose the doomsday intonations were designed to keep me tuned in, but i was gonna wait for the sox recap anyway. so instead, it just irked me.

in other news, my sympathies to my philadephia readers. the phillies are currently worse than the nats. i'm sorry.

12 April, 2007

imus fired

this was also to be expected. i don't have anything to add, other than i personally advocate firing all morning radio talkshow hosts. not because they are offensive, but because i've always hated the entire concept of morning talk shows on radio stations that i tune to for music. whomever thought that i might prefer to listen to a couple of idiots yammering, first thing in the morning, deserves an unpleasant afterlife.

vonnegut dies

well, he was 84, so i suppose it's to be expected. but that doesn't mean i have to be happy about it.

i'd like to think he's now comfortably reclining on tralfamadore.

10 April, 2007

wow, seattle kinda sucks

bottom of the 5th. we're up 11-1 and on the 3rd seattle pitcher already. i almost feel bad for 'em. the sox announcers are giving them the benefit of the doubt and laying some blame on the slew of snowed out games they've had. they're nicer than i am.

EDIT 4/12: except, apparently, when king felix is pitching. ouch.

Lost Idyll

first draft; very rough. loosely inspired by this discussion.

Lost Idyll

The tattered shreds of elephant
toes speak truths we seek
to keep unknown.

While Tennyson, in sorrow,
saw how nature lurked red,
in tooth and claw
he failed to notice
how ours hands remain
the bloodiest of all.

No savagery is noble;
our own least of all.
Yet God, mankind's cruelest
creation, convinces us
we're not beasts
but for the fall.

EDIT: lacking flow and poor transitions, particularly from the first to second stanzas. hmmm.

09 April, 2007

schilling back in form

much better game last night. papi's bat woke up for 2 homers (3rbi). schilling pitched a great game. padilla pitched well for texas too. got very hairy in the 8th and showed just why we like having papelbon in the pen to close.

06 April, 2007

bah. shut-out.

at least wake pitched well (6ip/3h/2r/1er/2bb/4k). the pen continues to be solid too. no offense today though. all in all a rather dull game, to be honest.

taverez is up for tomorrow's start. we'll see how he fares. hopefully better than he did in relief last season.

05 April, 2007

daisuke's debut

the pitching line: 7ip; 6h; 1r; 1er; 1bb; 10k

i'm taking this a good omen. the one run was on a homer, but i don't think that's much of a concern. papelbon gets his first save to preserve the 4-1 win for the sox.

all in all a very good game. the royals starter, greinke, was also impressive (7ip/8h/2r/1er/1bb/7k). well pitched game, though the royals had some fielding issues.

also, drew continues to play well and demonstrate that he is an improvement in right field. though he did have a strike-out, so i'm sure some numbskull in the boston press will jump on him for that.


fragment of thoughts on a drive home from a business trip. been kicking around since then.


Only ease comes easy
at the end of a long day.

Even that comes with the price
of long practice watching cats.

much better

ah, a 7-1 victory is much better. would have liked beckett to have gone an inning or two more, but it's early. no reason letting him wear himself out in april. plus, it does afford a look at the pen.

this afternoon is the debut of daisuke. looking forward to listening to the game. is it just me, or is baseball more exciting on the radio than on tv?

oh, as a humorous aside...the ever-observant folks at FJM noted that j.d. drew was getting slammed by an idiotic sportstalkradio guy for taking a walk with 2 outs and a man on in the first inning of the sox opener. so what did drew do in the first inning yesterday? rbi double. either he was listening or just has impeccable timing. i'll say this again, drew may not have the "hustle and drive" that trot nixon did (and mind you, i liked trot). but it's not because he doesn't care about winning. it's because he's a better ballplayer. the scrappy, dirt-dog players are such because they aren't as good as those who make it looke easy. that's part of the reason people like them. makes you think that if you worked hard enough, you too could play in the big leagues.

03 April, 2007

scoop of the year!

i cannot supress the cynical feeling that cnn reporters are filled with glee regarding their stroke of good fortune.

watching games on espn and why i hate it

reading FJM this morn reminded me why i hate watching games on espn. it's not just that, say, nesn, has a red sox bias. it's just that their announcers are better. much better. you actually get some insight into what's going on and why from the likes of jerry remy.

from jon miller you get the above link. 2 out, down by five, bottom of the eighth, 2 on, papi at the plate and miller thinks a home run will "kill the rally". idiot. having papi strikeout was much better for the rally. what, would you rather a bloop single? in any situation, at any point in a ball game, the single best result from an at bat is a homerun. i'm unsure how scoring 3 runs would "kill a rally". isn't a rally a late surge in scoring?

here's a list of things that would actually have killed the rally:

  • striking out
  • grounding out
  • fly out
  • caught foul ball
  • a single to load the bases followed by manny making an out
notice how all those rally killing scenerios involve making an out? i must be crazy, thinking that scoring is actually a good thing. this lack of insight into the secrets of the game is obviously why i'm not cut out to call a baseball game.

02 April, 2007

dear gil meche...

i fucking hate you.

you look to be, and have performed in the past, as a perfect example of a "journeyman" starter. what business have you, then, in throwing like an actual ace? bastard.

of course, i didn't help that schilling pitched a stinker. against the royals! the god-damn royals!

thank god it's only april. meh.

eBook readers

this little review piqued my interest. mostly because it seems eBook readers still have not advanced to the stage that i think they should be at. which, actually, is rather disappointing, because it should be simple to accomplish. the reviewer touches on some very good points: books are already portable, so portablity of the device itself is not a major selling point. making the display read like actual print is a good thing, as long reading on a monitor is murder on the eyes. it also seems that sony is attempting to cram too much functionality into the device: there is no need to have a book reader play audio, for instance. multimedia devices are all the rage, yes, but somethings should be specialized. and the lack of being able to write in the margins is a severe oversight.

i don't quite agree on the value of eBook readers being the ability to reduce book clutter. frankly, i like having lots of books. i like having books lying about the the place. the value i see in eBook readers is for travellers and students. portability, but not of the device. instead, the ability to carry a great deal of content with you, where ever you go. for instance, even on just the hour long flight up to CT, for work or familial obligations, i'll stuff at least four books into my carry-on. it would be far more convienent to just be able to grab a reader. or, on an actual vacation, one wouldn't need to devote half a bag to books.

the best use though, i think is for students. this is why a noting feature is essential (beyond just typical desire to annotate for pleasure). imagine being able to have all your text books on a reader. not having to spend 60 bucks on a 5 pound staple reference, that has to be replaced every year or two to keep current. light, portable, updatable and, frankly, cheaper for the content.

really, all you need is a good screen, removable memory and a stylus driven interface, with perhaps a corner thumb button to flip the pages. it's not so hard to figure out, is it?

public service announcement

please be advised that, with the advent of spring and the fact that the sox open the season vs. royals tonight, the subject of posts on this blog will increasingly be related to baseball.