Saturday, February 25, 2012

I think Jeremy Lin will struggle the rest of the season, and we're all partially to blame

The first point I would like to make is that overlooked in this giant Lin lovefest, is the fact that he turns the ball over at an alarming rate.  Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook lead the league with 142 turnovers a piece, both averaging 4.2 a game.  Since Lin took over the job as the Knicks starting point guard eleven games ago, he's turned the ball over 67 times, 6.1 per game.  That's trouble.

But what I think is going to hurt him even more, is simply just how big a story he has become.  His jersey is now the top seller in the league.  He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated; two weeks in a row.  Jimmy Fallon is even singing about him.  So here's my point: You think the rest of the league hasn't noticed all of this?  NBA players have egos, and they're probably stewing over the fact that some nobody from the D-League is grabbing all the headlines.  Deron Williams basically admitted as much, and took it upon himself to thoroughly abuse Lin as the Nets upset the Knicks at MSG last week.  Three days later the Heat clearly had the same idea in mind, holding Lin to just 8 points (on 1 for 11 shooting) and 3 assists, while forcing him to turn the ball over 8 times.

In the seven games immediately following the All-Star break, Lin's going to have to go up against Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, Tony Parker, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick Rose, in that order.  Good luck Jeremy.

And on a side note, it's funny how much a little excitement can alter people's perception of reality.  All the talk right now is whether or not the Knicks might be good enough to challange the Heat and Bulls atop the Eastern Conference.  Meanwhile the common perception is that the Celtics are washed up and over the hill; but Boston and New York are only half a game apart in the standings.  In fact, Philly has also lost 5 in a row, and only 4 games separate all three teams.  The Atlantic Division (and the 3rd seed in the East) is still totally wide open.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Time Machine 2.0

Back in September I wrote a post about a time machine I saw parked on Arlington Street one night while walking home from work.  As it turns out, that car is frequently in the same spot next to the public garden late at night, and it just recently got an upgrade.  Here's what it used to look like:

And here's what it looks like now:

I wish the picture quality was a little better, but I can only do so much with my cell phone at 3 am.  Clearly the original version wasn't able to catch the bolt of lightning coming down from the clock tower, so the owner made a few changes.  If you look closely at the second picture, you can see that the pole is much longer, and two wire hooks have been added to the top.  Obviously these are essential components, I have no idea how he thought he could pull off time travel without them.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm very unimpressed with this Wall Street Journal article "How Waiters Read Your Table"

Here's a link to the article in question from today's Wall Street Journal, written by Sarah Nassauer.  Now I will start with a disclaimer: I've worked in restaurants for years, so some things about them that seem very obvious to me, may not be to everyone.  But having said that, I could have written this entire 30 paragraph long article using exactly FOUR words.  How Waiters Read Your Table: "They use their brains."  That's it.  That's the whole thing.  Every single point this article makes feels like complete and utter common sense.  Like if you tell your server that your food is "OK," he/she knows you don't love it.  Wow, it's amazing they can read minds like that.  But my absolute favorite point (which is mentioned twice, both in print and in the audio soundbite) the author makes is that Bob Evans Restaurants train their servers not to try to upsell "biscuits and gravy" to a person who has just ordered fruit and a bagel.  You think?  Brilliant.

And while I'm ripping this thing to shreds, I might as well point out that on 4 separate occasions (in the text, in the audio, in the video, AND in the picture) this article states that if you appear angry or upset you are more likely to get good service.  Thanks Sarah Nassauer.  Thanks a lot.  That's a great message to put out there.

Oh, and I stole this graphic directly from the article itself, but I intentionally made it too small to read.  You're better off that way.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Looking Through Patient Eyes" by P.M. Dawn

P.M. Dawn had about 18 months of fame between 1991 and '93.  I think due to my various BMG and Columbia House memberships I ended up owning two of their cassettes (I must have done that buy 1 get 10 free offer or whatever it was at least 7 or 8 times).  This was my favorite of their songs:

Their first big hit and the song they are best known for is Set Adrift on Memory Bliss.  I remember being at girl's birthday party freshman year of high school and watching the Molly Ringwald movie Sixteen Candles.  In the movie the 1983 song "True" by Spandau Ballet is featured, and that was the exact moment in which I first began to realize that most pop music is recycled.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Celtics and Rihanna are equally disappointing right now

If you've read my site before you're probably aware that I am a big fan of both the Boston Celtics, and Rihanna.  Unfortunately the Celtics just lost their 4th straight game, dropping their record under .500 for the season (15-16).  Even though they have now held their opponents under 100 points for 28 consecutive games (tied for the 3rd longest such streak in NBA history, but I have a feeling it may come to an end Wednesday in Oklahoma City), that doesn't do much good if the Celts can't even put up 90 themselves.  Boston has scored fewer than 90 points in 6 of their last 7 games, and not surprisingly gone 1-6 in that span.

Rihanna turned 24 years old on Monday (I had no idea she was that young), but the big story was the debut of a new song all over the interweb featuring both her, and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.  The same Chris Brown who was previously arrested for badly beating her three years ago.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pedicures are kind of offensive to me

There's a mani-pedi place around the corner from my apartment that I walk by a lot, and whenever I do it bothers me a little.  I guess partly to blame is the fact that the seats are right next to the window on a busy street.  I always see a women perched up high in a lounge chair either using her cell phone or typing on a laptop, while another women is crouched on the ground in front of her working on her feet.  All I can think of every time I see this is some medieval queen sitting in her throne while her slaves huddle below attending to her beck and call.

I think this situation would irritate me a lot less if either A: the women getting the pedicure wasn't doing something else and acknowledged the fact that another human being was touching her feet; or B: if the pedicurist was sitting in a chair the same height as the pedicuree (that's not a word, but it should be).  I can't be the only one who feels this way, right?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What do I say about Tim Wakefield?

Ever since Friday morning when I first heard that Wake was retiring, I've been trying to figure out what to write about it.  Any sort of meaningful career retrospective would be way too long.  So I am just going to say this: I hope he's not actually done.  I don't see why the Sox couldn't give him a call mid summer if a couple guys are hurt, and ask him to come back and eat up a few innings here and there.  And for those of you thinking "no way, he was pretty bad last year and he's obviously done," consider this: last season he posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP (if somehow you don't know what that is, here's an explanation), a far cry from the 2.95 ERA and 1.18 WHIP he put up way back in 1995.  But you know what?  In 1996 he had WORSE stats than last year (5.14 ERA, 1.55 WHIP).  My point is that the knuckleball has always been weird and unpredictable, and there's no reason to think he couldn't possibly be effective this year.

Wakefield is also sitting on 186 career wins in a Red Sox uniform, just 6 behind all time co-leaders Roger Clemens and Cy Young, who have 192 each.  I'd love to see him get 7 more.  And in closing I offer this, the starting lineups from May 27, 1995 (courtesy of, Wake's first ever appearance for Boston; which happened a few weeks before I graduated from high school.

Starting Lineups

If you're interested, here's the complete box score from that day.

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