Saturday, July 14, 2012

What happened to those car windshield sun covers things?

The other day I saw a car parked in Boston with one of these:

And that got me thinking, I hadn't seen one of those things in a long time.  They're pretty much gone nowadays.  I used to have one in my 1988 Toyota Camry, but when I bought a new car in 2000 it never made the transition, and I'd long since forgotten about it.  So my question is, what happened?  Were they not really functional, did they just not work?  Have they lost out to more advanced tinted window technology?  Were they just a fad?  If you have answers to any of these questions please let me know.


Friday, July 13, 2012

"Can I get $7 of Patron?"

I was sitting at a bar last weekend when a guy walked up beside me and asked exactly this question.  He knew the cost of a shot of Patron was more than that, and he was hoping he could get a smaller portion at a cheaper price.  The bartender in me hates things like this.  I think all people who come into my bar should only act in ways I see fit that make my job as easy as possible; and questions of that nature are not allowed.  It's a common theory among restaurant employees that all humans should be required to work in a restaurant before they are permitted to eat or drink in a restaurant, so they know what is and is not appropriate behavior.

But, the logical part of my brain loves this idea.  I like good expensive tequila (which, by the way, Patron is NOT), and I like to nurse and enjoy it with many tiny sips.  But I rarely order it, because it bugs me to pay $14-15 dollars for a drink.  On the other hand, I'd happily get 1/3 size shots of Chinaco Anejo from time to time for $5.

Or maybe sometimes you only have a few minutes in the bar, but you don't feel like chugging a full beer.  Why not order a half draft for $2.50 instead of $5?  There are tons of possibilities.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I feel Bad for Andy Murray

I had the idea for this post last summer, but I never got around to writing it.  Amazingly it's still true.  Almost 5 years ago Andy Murray lost to Roger Federer in the 2008 U.S. Open finals, and afterwards he took over the #4 ranking in the world.  Murray's been the 4th best tennis player on the planet ever since.  The trouble is, the top 3 guys always win.  Since the spring of 2005, Federer (13), Rafael Nadal (11), and Novak Djokovic (5) have won 29 of the last 30 Grand Slam tournaments (the only blip was when Federer lost the '09 U.S. Open Final to Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets).

It's tough always holding the plate and not the trophy.
Last weekend Murray lost in the finals at Wimbledon, again to Roger Federer.  It was his fourth Grand Slam final, and the 3rd he's lost to Federer.  He lost the other to Djokovic.  Murray has also made 6 Grand Slam semi-finals, losing four times to Nadal, once to Djokovic, and once to Andy Roddick.  On the plus side for Murray, even though being #4 has never quite been good enough for him to win a major championship, he could probably stand in for this actor any time he wants.  


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3 Simple reasons why the Red Sox are in better shape than you think

1.  Yeah, they are a .500 team at the All-Star break (43-43).  But guess what, the Orioles are currently holding down the final playoff spot at just 45-40.  So A: the Sox are only 2.5 games back, and B: it's the Orioles.

2.  The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last year (and in 2006).  On August 24, with just over a month to go in the season, they were 67-63.  They got hot down the stretch, and an epic choke by the Braves (similar to the Red Sox) let them sneak into the Wild Card.  It's only mid-July right now, Boston has plenty of time to make a run.  And if you look back 4 years ago to 2008, the Dodgers were 46-49 at the break, and they ended up winning the N.L. West.

3.  Jacoby Ellsbury.  He was the best player in the American League last year.  And he's coming back.  On Friday.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum

I never had cable tv until I got to college.  But for a couple weeks each summer when I was in high school I went away to tennis camp in Hanover, NH, and we all stayed in one of the dorms at Dartmouth.  The television in the lounge/common room was pretty much tuned into MTV 100% of the time we were in the building.  So for that reason I remember vividly just about every video that got a ton of air play during those weeks.  Without looking it up, I can say with complete confidence that Runaway Train by Soul Asylum was a big hit in the summer of 1993.


Monday, July 9, 2012

I ate breakfast with Punky Brewster today

I was eating at an outdoor cafe/restaurant in Edgartown this morning, and Soleil Moon Frye walked in at sat down at the table next to me.  She had a couple kids, and a very Hollywood looking husband.

All day since then I've been trying to think of episode plots from that show, but there's only one that sticks in my head; when her friend Cherie got stuck in a refrigerator.  It was one of those times when a sitcom taught an important lesson to kids.  That's right, for all you youngsters reading this, not that long ago one of the biggest dangers out there facing young children was the threat of getting trapped in discarded old refrigerators and suffocating to death.  Seriously.  If you get bored with the clip, jump ahead to the 6:30 mark.

And if you're scared and need to see what happens, you can watch the rest here.  I also remember the one episode of Saved By the Bell that "Punky" was on.  She dated Screech for his money because he was getting rich selling spaghetti sauce.  But, what I didn't remember was that she was in both an episode of Friends (where she went out with Joey and punched him too hard), and The Wonder Years (where she hangs out with Kevin at a company picnic).  I know these pictures aren't very good, but this was pretty obscure stuff I had to search for.  If you don't believe me check IMDB


Sunday, July 8, 2012

When was the last time you played mini-golf?

My all-time favorite mini-golf hole.
As a child, one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up was a "mini-golf course designer."  I'm not sure if that profession exists or not, but it's definitely something I could excel at.  Anyway, yesterday I went mini-golfing at my all-time favorite course, in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod.  I hadn't been there in twenty-some years, and the course was exactly the same as remember it.  A little run down and not quite as innovative as it was in the 80's, but still pretty good.  The best hole was still just as fun though; you have to hit the ball in the air over a river.

Two of us were playing behind a group of five people.  And they were slow.  And the course was not crowded.  Yet somehow they didn't notice us waiting patiently behind them time and time again.  Now I know I haven't played in a long time, but I'm fairly certain that's Mini Golf Etiquette 101: "let faster parties play through."  It felt like standing behind stagnant people on an escalator who don't let you walk up the stairs.  Finally after about 7 holes of this we just jumped ahead of them, then doubled back and played that hole later.   

The fact that this once great course seemed to be lacking on the up keep put an idea in my head.  I think mini-golf may be a dying pastime.  I find my self driving by places all the time and saying "there used to be a mini-golf course there."  I'm not sure kids like it so much anymore.  Like in the Karate Kid (which came out in 1984) when Daniel Larusso went to "Golf N' Stuff," I thought it was the greatest thing ever.  But I bet I wouldn't if I was that age now.  It's probably the internet's fault.


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