Well, El Presidente has been living in government housing for just about a year now.
How’s he been doing?
Well, El Presidente has been living in government housing for just about a year now.
How’s he been doing?
With the announcement of this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame inductees less than two weeks away, the discussion in the various media has switched from “Who should get inducted” to “Who will (probably) get inducted”. So we’re not seeing much more in the way of JAWS scores or career Wins Above Replacement anymore.
But there are entire groups of people who don’t have any of those numbers who still deserve to belong in any Baseball Hall of Fame you could create. Just because they never played the game shouldn’t disqualify them. There are plenty of non-players who are already enshrined.
So, as an exercise to my handful of readers, if you were starting with a clean slate, which people who never wore a uniform would you have in your Hall of Fame?
Caesar’s Last Breath
Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
Little, Brown, and Company
(c) 2017 by the author
In the kingdom of non-fiction books, there’s a land that can be described as “commodity biographies”. Here, the authors take an item or substance of great familiarity, and write about how it has influenced and has been influenced by human history. (e.g Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky). Given air’s ubiquity, it’s kind of hard to write a biography for it. Kean’s book can be better described as a collection of independent essays that together tell a history of Earth’s atmosphere and our understanding of it.
So, what is there to say about my fourth year of blogging?
I count 54 posts. Less than previous years, but still pretty good.
There were a total of 1,383 page views from 652 visitors (and 25 “Likes”). 239 of those views came in November, which set a record for most in a month. You know, I have to wonder – do my own page views count in that total?
The Top Ten Most Viewed Posts in 2017:
Pay attention to where you are putting your feet. See those long strips with names and dates on them? You are in the Canyon of Heroes, the route taken by New York City’s ticker tape parades. Each strip marks a parade, and there’s some on each side of the street.
Usually, when someone tells you a movie “has everything”, they are either lying or the movie tries to “have everything”, but it fails utterly at putting them together in a rational and balanced manner. A Chinese Ghost Story (literally: “The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty“) has romance, action, horror, and comedy – and actually does integrate all of them successfully.
There are two things to keep in mind when contemplating a reform of the system. First, changing it would require a Constitutional Amendment. You’re just not going to get enough small states (the ones that benefit from the current system) to go along and voluntarily give up influence.
Secondly, though, nowhere in the Constitution does it say how a state must choose its electors. So if one wants to try to reform the Electoral College, the way to do it is in the selection process in the individual states.
NOTE: No matter how much you may want to take it down yourself, leave that to the professionals. Vandalism is never to be condoned. If you absolutely cannot leave the statue alone, try something non-damaging. Stick a white “surrender” flag in its hand. Hang a sign saying “I’m a Loser” on it. Be creative! Just don’t damage it.
As I was watching the credits scroll by, I couldn’t help but notice that there were dozens upon dozens of gaffers listed. Gaffers are the electrical and lighting technicians, and they had a hell of a job to do here. Not only do you have to have all your lighting equipment set up in each and every room, you have to place it where it gives the required lighting without being seen as the camera moves and turns! Nor can you let a single foot of cable be seen!
Sorry, Dr. Jones, but I’ve got to side with the government on this one. The Ark is too dangerous to be kept out in the open. Better to stash it away in a secure warehouse somewhere. Then, if you absolutely need to, you can get it – but no one else can.
The big one, the “keystone” if you will of the Parkway’s “Museum Row”, is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Thanks to Sylvester Stallone, you’ll likely see several people doing a workout as they run up the steps like Rocky. There’s even a statue of Stallone as Rocky in a nice shaded grove off to the side at the bottom of the steps (Nothing about Chuck Wepner as far as I could tell). Be ready to wait in line if you want to take a photo with it.
The Keltner List was developed by Bill James (who, by the way, *needs* to be in the Hall of Fame himself) in 1985…. The fifteen questions on the list are intended to help people better evaluate players in a consistent and relatively unbiased manner. But as James himself said, “You can’t total up the score and say that everybody who is at eight or above should be in, or anything like that.” Which, I might add, should also apply to all those other supposedly objective methods like JAWS.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the questions. And for fun, let’s apply them to a couple of players on the ballot this year: Jim Thome, Mike Mussina, and from the Veterans Committee, Jack Morris.
However, I decided to avoid the obvious. I deliberately avoided Independence Hall and the national icon of the Liberty Bell. I’d visited them on a family trip in my childhood. Instead, I went to museums in that neighborhood that hadn’t existed back then.
So with Portland and Montreal as our two choices for expansion, now it’s time to decide which one goes in the American League and which one goes in the National League, and then set up our four divisions per league. And work on scheduling…..
(The ones in bold were posted in 2017)
I have no idea why my review for “A Chinese Ghost Story still gets so many views. Or my tales of visiting museums in Philadelphia. I suspect that my post on the Keltner list did so well because just after I posted it, I was able to link to it in a comment on a post in another blog about the Baseball Hall of Fame voting. Timing was everything!
As far as the post on expanding major league baseball, I would like to think it’s because in that post, I discussed what the divisions and schedules might look like with sixteen teams in each league. That’s something that rarely gets discussed when people talk about expansion.
After the US, the countries that got me the most visitors were:
Canada – 101
China – 49
United Kingdom – 32
Germany – 21
Australia – 14
Netherlands – 10
So many Brazilians stopped by in 2016 – in 2017 I only got one visitor from there. Maybe it was because the Olympics were over….
Hey, and could you “Like” a couple of posts? Those are candy to my ego….. Thanks!
As 2017 draws to a close, lots of people are looking back and reviewing the “Best of” the year, or what have you.
Well, I’ve got nothing else to write about at the moment, so….
(And in no particular order, either)
(Lots of videos after the jump)
For some reason, this doesn’t come up on the lists of “Best Holiday Commercials”, though the knock-off one by Budweiser with their Clydesdales does. It’s got great simplicity, great visuals, great music, and it isn’t trying to sell you anything. It’s just a one-minute long Christmas card from the Miller Brewing Co. to everyone:
I don’t watch much TV these days, so I haven’t really noticed what’s current in holiday TV ads. But there’s one sort that really gets my goat – those car ads where the husband buys a new car for his wife. The ones where the car has the big ribbon and bow on it.
I know that we shouldn’t expect TV World to be an accurate reflection of reality – but who does this? Who buys a luxury car for someone as a Christmas present? Yeah, there are people who a so stinking rich that they could if they wanted to, but those aren’t the people shown in the ads.
The couples/families in the ads look to be upper middle class. The sorts of people that would not be making a major purchase – like a luxury car – without full knowledge and consultation of everyone. I can picture the wife, when the cameras stop rolling, saying, “Wait a minute. How much did you spend on this? And where did you get that kind of money? What about the monthly payments? Who’s paying the insurance on it? What made you think I would want to have this exact car?” And then snowballs (because it’s always a snowy scene in these ads) and worse being thrown about in anger.
Then there’s the subtle sexism in the ads. You never see a *wife* buying the car, do you. A lot of TV ads have what could be called “reverse sexism” in them. The husband/man tends to be shown as stupid, sloppy, forgetful, and incompetent – the wife/woman is the one who somehow fixes everything. It doesn’t tick me off that much; I figure it’s a sort of payback for all the sexism against women over the decades (or centuries). If you don’t believe that this exists, next time you see a TV ad with a husband and wife, imagine it with the roles reversed….
Anyway, enjoy your holidays. And may you get something that’s actually practical and useful – and doesn’t require any extra payments on your part.
Well, the movie is sixty years old, and it’s about something that happened four decades earlier. But just in case there’s someone out there who, no matter how improbably, has never heard of the Titanic….
Since I was in Manhattan recently, with time to kill, I took the opportunity to stroll up Fifth Avenue and check out the big holiday displays – Lord & Taylor, Saks, Tiffany, Bergdorf Goodman.
L&T had their usual fantasy scenes. I couldn’t get close enough to Saks to see what was in their windows, but they did have their big light and sound show on the facade.
Pro Tip: The best way to see the Rockefeller Center tree? Come at it from Sixth Ave, or one of the side streets. It is practically impossible to approach it from Fifth Avenue, because that’s where the mob of humanity is forced into tight passageways. Approach the tree from another direction, and you can get right up to it!
TIffany featured some nice winter scenes with silver and diamonds. Bergdorf Goodman saluted NYC cultural attractions in their windows.
While I have no problems with any of the displays, I do have some ideas for things I’d like to see…
You have successfully rid the Senate of that notorious serial groper and sexual deviant Al Franken!
No longer will the women (and men too, presumably) of those august halls live in abject fear of running into someone who stood accused of being a little too “hands on” during photo ops over seven years ago! Even though his current staff and former co-workers have no ill to speak of him, being a former “dirty old man” makes one obviously unsuitable for even the smallest role in the Federal Government!
You can take pride in knowing that you have done your country a great service. Even though Mr. Franken was one of the sharpest interrogators in Senate hearings and a bastion of feminist and Democratic principles, one has to draw a line!
While you may be tempted to consider this a job well done and look forward to a relaxing holiday season, I urge that you do not put your weapons away just yet.
Infamous (accused, to be fair) child molester and general creep Roy Moore just might be sent by the people of Alabama to represent them in the same Senate that you have just finished purging. Be ready to lead the charge against him should it prove necessary!
And then, keep your Sword of Righteousness at hand! Consider these bouts as training for the biggest target: the self-confessed “Pussygrabber-in-Chief” Donald Trump. Surely, if Franken had to go, Trump should be shown the door, too?
p.s. I hope you’ll remember to help with the campaign next year. A safe Senate seat for Democrats through 2020 is now up for grabs next year!
Well, it’s that time again.
I’ve kind of fallen into the common trap with these collections. You gather all your favorites, and find you have too many for one collection. So you pick a few to go in Volume 1, and then add a few that didn’t quite make the cut to the batch for next year. And then the next year, you find you’ve got only a few “favorites”, so you do your best to pad out the collection to make something worth putting together and sharing. Then, you realize you somehow forgot a few, but four or five songs do not really make a “mix tape”, so you pad it out with general stuff that you hope people like…
Well, there it is. I’ve got a few more (three or four) that I could toss out next year. Kind of like stocking stuffers when compared to the big gifts. Or I could just repost the first Mix from 2014. We’ll see what I feel like next November, when I start thinking about this.
Anyway, here’s the link:
And here’s the list of songs: