August 29th, 2006 : Time for predictions again. What are going
be the hot, hard-to-find toys for this Christmas? Any new "Cars"
(from the Pixar movie) are going to be hard to nail down in the stores.
was definitely a pain trying to track down the first wave of die-casts
the movie came out this summer. I've seen these new I-DOG PUPs that
in different colors and play their own style of music when not reacting
other sounds around them. Probably the Go Diego Go toys will be
but there should be plenty of those on the shelves. Guitar Hero 2 for
PS2 should be hot as well and may be hard to find if it comes with a
August 26th, 2006 : It looks like the Red Sox are headed for an
early off-season this year, with only an outside shot of making the
playoffs. This is still a team with an amazing 3-4 punch of David Ortiz
and Manny Ramirez. Reminds me of past Red Sox teams with fearsome
hitters but thin pitching (outside
of Schilling and Papelbon). Let me see who I'd list as the top Red Sox
of my lifetime. Good, old #9 Teddy Ballgame was before my time.
I guess my list should include Ramirez & Ortiz for current players.
I'd add Nomar & Mo Vaughn from the 90's. Then Wade Boggs &
Evans to represent the 80's, along with big Jim Rice who dominated the
70's to mid 80's. And I'd add Fred Lynn and Carlton Fisk from the 70's.
of course, I'll pick Yaz from the 60's/70's. I suppose that if I tried
rank them, it would look something like this:
10. Carlton Fisk
9. Nomar Garciaparra
8. Mo Vaughn
7. Dwight Evans
5. David Ortiz
4. Wade Boggs
3. Manny Ramirez
2. Jim Rice
1. Carl Yastrzemski
It's a bit difficult to compare some of these hitters' Red Sox careers,
since some had higher peaks over a shorter career (high peak value =
Ortiz) while others had outstanding production over a longer career
career value = Yaz, Evans). And, of course, Ortiz and Manny are still
for the Sox. They could certainly move up on this list before all is
and done. Overall, I gotta give the higher rankings to what I
consider HOF-caliber hitting careers. The exception is Carlton Fisk,
who I kept at the 10 spot. He's a sure bet HOF'er, but half of his
career numbers came from
the White Sox and I believe a major reason for him being a HOF'er is
outstanding abilities as a catcher over a long career (not to mention a
HR he hit in the '75 World Series - maybe you've heard about that one).
mentions include Rico Petrocelli, Tony Conigliaro, Tony Armas, Carney
and Mike Greenwell.
July 27th, 2006 : I caught the documentary The Aristocrats on HBO tonight. Quite a cast
of comdeians ... If you like sick, sick, SICK humor, then you might
check it out ... assuming that you're not easily offended. Speaking of
comedies, the Bravo Channel came up with a top 100 list of comedy
movies. Below is
an excerpt of their top 25 :
25. Meet the Fockers
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Beverly Hills Cop
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Naked Gun Series
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
Ventura: Pet Detective
South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
There's Something About Mary
If it were my top 25 list, I think I'd have to cut Meet the
Fockers, Bill & Ted's, Shampoo, Naked Gun, Producers, Pee-Wee,
Arthur, Ace Ventura and Wedding Singer. No need for those
at the top of the list. Definitely keep Big ("Down, down
Baby"), Beverly Hills Cop ("Get the
f--- out of here!"), Jerk ("I was born a poor, Black child"), Stripes
("Lighten up, Frances!"), Caddyshack ("Miss it, Noonan!"), and Animal
House ("Toga, toga, toga!!") - all classics that have stood the
of time (well, 20 years at least). And I'd definitely keep the
recent Old School ("Frank the Tank") and Napoleon Dynamite
("Is Pedro there?").
I'd have to add a few classics like Monty Python's Holy Grail,
Ghostbusters, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Christmas Vacation, Dirty
Rotten Scoundrels, and Happy Gilmore. And a couple of more
recent laugh fests like Anchorman ("You stay classy, San
Diego") and Shaun of the Dead ("Any zombies out there?").
July 24th, 2006 : Ladies & Gentlemen, start your engines ...
I figured I could start a weblog as a way of organizing my random,
disjointed thoughts and observations. In addition, I can always use a
place to jot down random trivia and facts. So, here's the starting
point of yet-another-blog .... Disclaimer : The author makes no promise
of high entertainment value for this blog and may distort the
difference between fact & fiction. But, hey, what do you want -
Back many centuries ago, when I was in college at WPI, we actually had Internet access
& email addresses. We felt so empowered, even though we had no idea
what was to come (the Web was still a few years off). Anyways, back
then, a user could create a text-based file (no pictures, unless you
created then from ASCII characters) that was intended to be used as an
ID tag file for other users to get your "vital stats", like office/lab
phone #'s, school mailbox number, etc. Basically, it was the equivalent
of today's email signature files.
For those who care about the technical details, I believe they were
called .plan files that you could access when you executed the Unix
command "finger <username>" - man, those crazy Unix programmers
sure created some
fun command names. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_protocol
Anyways, a few of us used this file to ramble, present random thoughts
& trivia, and create our own top-ten lists a.k.a an early version
of a weblog. Kind of like the Internet weblog equivalent of cave
we were bored geeks spending too much time in the lab. So here, for
viewing pleasure, the introduction of my very first Internet "blog" -
at WPI in the late 80's and last updated on September 26th, 1990.
This was my "plan" as I envisioned it back then :
To live life with as little
sleep as possible!
To become Bart
To obtain enough
wealth to buy Toys 'R Us.
To play the hot
corner for the Boston Red Sox.
To have Rush open up
for The Who at my birthday party.
To see the Bruins win
To receive my M.S.
before the turn of the century.
Those were the days of 7 simple goals for life. As it turns out, I
still live with very little sleep (as many parents do). And I may not
be Bart Simpson, but at least he's still on the air after all these
years. And I may not
be able to buy TRU, but I think I've got one of their warehouses in my
basement. On the downside, I think I've still got a better shot of
playing for the
Sox or of having a Rush/Who double bill at my house than ever seeing
Bruins win another Cup in my lifetime!! Thankfully, I did manage
get my M.S. before wasting even more time writing meaningless
When the mood strikes, I'll add some of the other entries from my 1990
especially some of the top 10 lists ....