Saturday, June 1, 2013

Somebody should invent a computer/cell phone screen that you can still see just fine in the daylight

The title is pretty much the whole blog here.  Today has been beautiful sunny day on Martha's Vineyard.  I just got back from the beach, and was ready to do a little writing while sitting outside on the deck and enjoying a late afternoon cocktail.  Unfortunately I couldn't see a thing on my computer, so I had to come back inside.

Last week I had the same issue typing a text on my phone while walking to work on a sunny day.  I feel like modern technology should be able to overcome this sunlight obstacle.  I'm not saying we need super-bright screens all the time, but there should definitely be a way to adjust them; maybe an "outdoors" button you can click that temporarily makes your device immune to glare.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Toy Soldiers" by Martika

I have to admit, I have no memory of this song from when it came out in 1989.  I didn't discover Toy Soldiers until nine years later, when one of my buddies played it constantly at "beach week" after our junior year of college in 1998.  I don't remember exactly why he did that, but it's been one of my favorite cheesy '80s songs ever since.

Here's something I bet you didn't know; Jennifer Love Hewitt and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas both sang backup to Martika on this track.  Also my researching has just reminded me of the fact that Eminem remade "Toy Soldiers" in 2004.  That means somebody else is probably about due to recycle it again in the next few years.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

As much as I'd like to believe the Pacers have a chance to beat the Heat, I don't think they do

Indiana's chances of winning the Eastern Conference Finals went out the window the second Paul George and Sam Young let LeBron James glide right past them for the winning layup at the buzzer of Game 1.  My feeling about the Heat is that they don't really play very well until they are put in danger.  After winning the series opener, it was no big deal for Miami to drop Game 2 at home.  They came out and easily won Game 3 on the road by 18.  Assuming the Heat bounce back strong again tonight, they'll have two more opportunities to close out the series.  Maybe Indiana gets Game 6 at home, but does anybody really believe they'd then go on and take Game 7 in Miami as well?

Even if the Pacers do manage to win tonight and take a 3-2 lead, I still don't like their chances.  Last year the Celtics were in the same situation, up 3-2 and heading back home for ECF Game 6 against Maimi.  Then LeBron had the game of his life (45 points on 19-26 shooting, 15 rebounds) and the Heat won by 19 in Boston.

There's also the fact that if the Pacers are to win the series by avoiding a Game 7 in Miami, it would require to Heat to lose 3 games in a row.   Before this series Miami had lost a total of 3 games (44-3) since February 1st.

There is a silver lining though.  The Heat are 47-6 in their last 53 contests, but 3 of those 6 losses have come against Indiana.  And if you look back to the NBA Finals two years ago, Miami held a 2-1 advantage over Dallas before dropping the final 3 games to the eventual champion Mavericks.  I didn't see that coming...


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Year 7 of the 3 year plan

See you all next year.
There are a million questions regarding the state of the Boston Celtics right now.  Doc Rivers is likely going to be the coach next year, but we're not 100% sure.  Kevin Garnett might retire, and he says he doesn't want to play here without Paul Pierce.  Pierce's skills are no longer worth the $15+ million he's due to be paid next season, but I don't see the alternatives as being any better.  Because of his age and lucrative contract, if the C's trade their captain it's unlikely they'll be able to get much value in return.  And even if they could, how do you trade a guy who's spent his entire 15 year career in Boston; the #2 leading scorer in franchise history, and one of the ten greatest Celtics of all-time?

The Celts could buy out Pierce's contract for $5 million, but even saving $10 million next year still wouldn't put them below the salary cap, so they have very little to gain from that option (i.e. they can't just go sign a free agent for $10 million to replace him).  And because of his ACL injury, trading Rajon Rondo doesn't make any sense at the moment either.  Not to mention the fact that Boston's other starting guard, Avery Bradley, is a much better player when he and Rondo are on the floor together.

So what does it all mean?  Despite the common perception that the Celtics will likely undergo some major shakeups this offseason, my guess is next year's team will actually be very similar to this year's.  Probably the most logical choice for Danny Ainge is to keep his current roster primarily intact.  I expect both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to suit up once more in green for Doc Rivers in 2013-2014.  When KG's arrival in 2008 helped dramatically turn the franchise around, it was widely assumed that Boston had a three year long window for success.  Next year will be year 7 of the 3 year plan.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One of the dumbest graphics I've ever seen

Last night was Brittney Griner's first WNBA game.  If you've watched any sports news since then, the "big story" is that she dunked twice, becoming the first WNBA player to ever do that.  In fact, there had only been a total of 3 dunks before in league history (2 by Candace Parker, 1 by Lisa Leslie).  While reporting this on Sportscenter, ESPN decided to throw this graphic up on the screen:

First of all, I think they totally missed the point; Griner dunking twice last night is a much bigger deal in relation to the fact that there'd only been 3 dunks before EVER.  The notion that it was also the first time any player dunked twice in the same game seems like a pretty obvious secondary stat.  And even if that's the info they decide they want to emphasize, it's not something that lends itself well to a picture.  The text "first game in 3,437 that someone dunked twice" tells the whole story.  And finally, the "graph" itself is horribly inaccurate.  The height of the bar under the number "1" looks to be about 5% of the size of the bar representing 3,436, roughly 172 times bigger than it should be.

Also worth noting, Griner's team, the Phoenix Mercury, got destroyed 102-80 by the Chicago Sky.  And even though Griner (the #1 overall pick in this year's draft) posted 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks, she got outperformed by the #2 pick, the Sky's Elena Delle Donne (22, 8, and 4).  I don't think Griner's ready for the NBA just yet.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Something you don't usually see walking down the beach:

A pig.

And I don't mean that I saw a pig while I was walking down the beach; I mean I was just lying there on my towel today getting a nice beginning of summer Memorial Day tan, when I happened to look up and notice this pig casually strolling by.  It turned out to be the pet of one of those three guys in the picture, but when it first showed up they were trailing far enough behind that it wasn't clear.

I do have to say that the pig was very mild mannered and extremely well behaved though.  It was much more calm and under control than the average dog you'd see running around the beach.  Recently I wrote about some weird ways guys try to hit on girls in bars, and I think bringing your pet pig to the beach rates fairly high on that list.  But it's definitely a little bit impressive also.

This is two days in an row now that I've blogged about seeing strange animals.  I'm not sure what that means, but I'm clearly due for some serious sports stuff tomorrow.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Have you ever seen an Australian Sea Dragon?

I went to the New England Aquarium last week, for the first time in probably 25 years.  I have to admit, they've got some pretty great stuff in there.  At one point I was looking at tank full plants and some cool bright colored seahorse looking things, when all of a sudden one of the plants started swimming around.  

It's official name is Phyllopteryx, also known as the "weedy sea dragon," and they live off the southern coast of Australia.  And there's my second 8th grade Earth Science lesson of the week.

Back to homepage