Saturday, August 11, 2012

I wish I'd invented this.

The other night around 11:30 I went to Uno's on Boylston street, because I know that they serve food late (till 1:30 am, for the record).  When we sat down there was this weird black box sitting in the middle of our table.  It's a thing called "Soundog," and it's pretty cool.

All the TV's in the bar are labelled with a number, and there is a corresponding button for each on the box.  You press which ever one you want, turn up the volume, and just like that you can hear the audio for whatever you are watching.  Every table in the restaurant was equipped with one of the boxes.

Come football season I imagine these things are going to be huge on Sundays.  It's a pretty ingenious idea for sports bars, to tell you the truth I can't believe it hasn't already been around for years.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Group Rhythmic Gymnastics is some crazy stuff

I'm not even joking when I say that out of all of the things I have seen at the Olympics, this is the event that impresses me the most.  The things they do with the ball are absolutely nuts.  I was watching a routine the other day where one girl tossed it (while also doing a flip) to another who did a cartwheel and kicked it out of the air to a third who caught it while spinning.  Then later on one of them somersaulted and threw a ball to three others who twirled and came together to all at once simultaneously catch it between each of their left feet.  I can't even fathom how much practice and precision it takes to get something like that nailed down.

There aren't a lot of clips of this sport available on youtube, but here's the most impressive one I could find.  Check out what happens at the 39 second mark; just silly.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My issue with the "T-Shirt Toss"

Here's another mid-summer story from my time spent in the Boston Garden as a Celtics season ticket holder:

 In each game at some point during a time out the P.A. announcer gets the crowd all excited by saying "Who wants a t-shirt?"  The mascot "Lucky" and a number of cheerleaders then hurl tightly rolled up shirts into the crowd.  The fans jump to their feet eagerly hoping to grab one.  The past few seasons I haven't even bothered to stand up anymore.  I've been going to games for 5 years, and not only have I never gotten one, I haven't even been remotely close.  In fact, I don't recall ever seeing anyone in my entire section catch one.

My seats are in the "loge," section 8, about half way between the floor and the balcony.  The vast majority of the shirts are tossed from the court and never make it beyond the first several rows (I could go on a rant about how ridiculous it is that nearly all the free shirts end up in the hands of people who's tickets are in the 3 and 4 figure price range); there's only so far a human being can throw a balled up piece of clothing.

Seriously, how far do you think these girls can throw those?
In order to make it look like everybody has a fair chance they do send a couple of the cheerleaders up to the balcony to fling them from the aisles.  In the past they also had a giant sling shot, and then later a "t-shirt cannon," but for some reason both of those are no longer used.  It didn't make much of a difference anyway, they only ever launched a few of them into the balcony, and never the loge.

So my suggestion to the Celtics: Pay a little more attention to the fact that the entire middle area of the arena never gets any shirts, and do something about it (maybe let some fall from the rafters, like they do with the parachute drop?).  That and hold tryouts before you just let any random old person attempt the half court shot contest.


Awesome Old (and New?) Song of the Week: "Hand in My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette

The other day when I was driving I heard a new song (it's called Guardian) by Alanis Morissette on the radio.  I thought she was long gone; her last even semi-relevant single was Everything in 2004.  But I've got a feeling this one is going to make some noise.

It takes me back to my freshman year of college; I remember one night in 1995 riding from downtown home to campus in a Geo Metro that had about 5 people too many in it (Mom, I promise I did have a seat belt on), and we were all singing the various lines from Hand In My Pocket about what she does with her other hand.  Also, I always thought it funny that she played God in the movie Dogma.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I expected electric cars to be better by now

My sister just bought a new car, a Toyota Prius.  And that reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of Friends, the finale of season one.  They have a barbeque, Ross goes to China, Joey has a new girlfriend who makes gift baskets that he can't sleep with because he's also doing a sperm donor program, and most importantly Rachel finds out Ross loves her.  So what does any of this have to do with a Toyota Prius?

There's a scene where Rachel is on a date with an awful guy, and she keeps imagining Ross.  The guy won't shut up about Ed Begely Jr.'s electric car ads.  The audio in this clip sucks, but it was all I could find on youtube.

And that got me thinking, why aren't electric cars the norm by now?  That Friends episode was from 1995.  Compared to a lot of other things, non-gasoline powered car technology hasn't advanced very far in the past 17 years.

Here's my idea: I have a Citizen Eco-Drive watch that has a solar panel under the face.  The thing is ridiculously efficient; it only needs something like twenty minutes of sunlight in order to power itself for the next six months.  So why not just build a car that has the entire surface of it covered with the same magical technology that's in my watch?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Give up time?

Despite looking completely lost, the Sox aren't out of it.
After the Red Sox blew another game at Fenway to the last place Twins on Saturday night, I  decided it was time to give up on the season.  Yesterday's win offered very little in the way of encouragement.  I wrote a series recap for CLNS Radio entitled Red Sox "Salvage" Final Game of Incredibly Uninspiring Series.  I hate writing negative stuff about my teams.  Can't stand it.  I prefer to just look the other way when things aren't going well, but in this case I had an assignment, so I did it.

Here's the thing though: I haven't actually given up.  None of the other teams in the Wild Card race are playing well either.  Boston is still just 4.5 games out.  All they'd have to do is play well for two weeks and they would be right back in it.  That's probably not going to happen, but really it wouldn't take that much.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Recycle Sunday 6.0

Andy Murray finally beat Rodger Federer to win at Wimbledon (where the Olympic tennis is being played), but the gold medal does not bring an end to his unfortunate grand slam drought.

It should cost $1 every time you honk your car horn.  Just like when Sly Stalone swears in the movie Demolition Man.

Here's what I would do to improve the "Half Court Shot Contest" at Celtics games.

I'm not convinced hi-tech dental floss is a good thing; similar to George Costanza's thoughts regarding toilet paper.

A 0-0 soccer tie prompted me to wonder what would happen if other sports adopted a shootout style method of deciding games.

I wasn't sold on the Red Sox trading Kevin Youkilis when it happened.  I'm still not.

Hey Miller Lite, you're not fooling anybody with your "shotgun" cans.

Earlier this summer a guy on the Arizona Diamondbacks hit for the cycle twice in twelve days.  Find out what else is equally as unlikely.

How many boxes of cereal is normal to have in your kitchen?

While difficult to comprehend, I don't think Ray Allen going to the Heat really matters that much.

"Can I get $7 worth of Patron?"

Even if you're not a fan of the Boston Celtics, basketball, or sports in general, this story should still make you want to like Paul Pierce.


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