Saturday, July 20, 2013

How weird is it to see a fox running around in real life?

This isn't the fox I saw, but it could have been.
Earlier this week when I went to the movies and had my slightly awkward easy chair experience, something else unusual happened as well.  As we were pulling into the theater parking lot we saw a fox running along a stretch of grass and through some bushes.  And it's not like this was out in the boonies somewhere; it was only a few miles away from Boston by the South Shore Plaza shopping mall in Braintree.

I didn't even realize what the thing was at first.  It just looked like some fast little dog with a pointy face.  But it was definitely a fox, and the more I think about it I'm fairly certain it's the first one I've ever seen in real life.  And I'm not counting zoos or wildlife refugees or anything like that.  I mean just hanging out in regular normal places where people are in everyday society.  So my question is, how weird is this?  Personally I think it's pretty freaking nuts.  Vote in the poll and leave a comment below.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Jose Iglesias' season is already a success

Earlier this week I wrote about the likelihood of the Red Sox making the playoffs, even if they don't play as well after the All-Star break.  Today I'm doing a similar analysis of Jose Iglesias.  At the moment he's batting an absurd .367, despite being in the midst of a mini 1 for 12 slump.  He's played in 53 games this season with 66 hits 180 at bats, for an average of 3.4 AB's per game.  If he continues at that pace for Boston's final 65 games, he'll get roughly 220 more at bats, giving him 400 for the season.  

Odds are Iglesias won't keep hitting .367; probably not even close (check out what I wrote back when he was hitting .431).  But the thing is, his average is so high already that his finals numbers are practically guaranteed to be impressive.  If he bats just .250 the rest of the way (55 for 220) he'll still finish at .303 for the season.  Even if he only hits .200 from here on out, he'll still end the year at .275.  Before the season started if Sox fans were told Iglesias would get 400 at bats and hit .275 they would have taken it in a heart beat.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

I've made some changes to the site, bring on the comments!

Ever since I first started this blog the format of the "comments" section has been pretty crappy.  I've heard numerous stories from people saying how difficult it is to leave one, and sometimes they don't even show up at all.  I'm hoping those days are over.  I've added a new feature called "disqus" to handle it.  Other sites I write for use it, and it seems to work quite well.

In order to do this I had to change the format of the entire website.  The homepage still looks the same, but now if you click on the title of an article (or a link from somewhere else) each post has it's own page.  This should make many many things run more smoothly.  It's the more standard design that most sites use.  I set it up differently in the past hoping that people would read more if each entry flowed right into the next.

To make up for this, I've now added this giant arrow at the bottom of each page.  it's just a first draft (I barely slept last night working all this stuff out), and there will be more improvements coming.

Take a look, explore a bit, and let me know what you think.  Also please comment on whether or not you like the new "comments."


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rolling Stone did this on purpose

Rolling Stone Magazine is taking a lot of heat today for their story and cover photo of Jahar Tsarnaev; especially here in Boston.  As someone who was very close to the events of 4/15/13 and the days that followed (click here and scroll down from Friday back through Monday), I can absolutely understand why.  A lot of stores including CVS, Walgreens, Tedeschi, and Roche Brothers have decided to boycott selling the magazine.  After realizing that they had caused a controversy, Rolling Stone released this not very apologetic statement:
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."
Clearly it was a poor choice of photo.  I wonder if the article would have still been a big deal had they gone with one like this instead?

But they didn't.  My guess is the magazine knew exactly what they were getting into.  Before today I can't remember the last time I even heard anyone mention Rolling Stone (was it when I wrote about people who were almost famous in the movie Almost Famous?).  Despite the fact that the publicity is all negative, it's probably the best press they've gotten in a long, long time.  Pulling crap like this is the magazine's attempt at prolonging their inevitable demise in the face of popular media shifting away from printed paper.  I laughed out loud when I thought about how much money CVS won't be losing by not selling this issue of Rolling Stone.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recliners in movie theaters are slightly disturbing

I saw World War Z in 3D last night; it's a pretty good flick, definitely worth watching.  But the thing that made the experience blog worthy was the theater full of recliners (not to mention the fact that you had to chose where you wanted to sit in advance, and the tickets had row/seat numbers on them; that's new).  While the chairs were very impressive and extremely comfortable, I also found them a little creepy.

They were set up in pairs with two armrests on the outside, but a single one in the middle that could be lifted up.  Combine that with the recliners going all the way back and the footrests coming up, and you've got yourself a nice double bed to lie on.  It enables and elevates the "teenagers making out in a movie theater" cliche to a whole new level.  Several people around me were also putting up their feet and taking off their shoes.

A while ago I wrote about movie theaters becoming obsolete, so in order to stay in business it makes perfect sense that they are trying to make the experience as similar to your living room as possible.  But the recliners add an odd level of comfort/familiarity that doesn't seem right in a giant room full of strangers.


Monday, July 15, 2013

With 65 games to go, the Red Sox are in pretty good shape

It's the MLB All-Star break, and the Red Sox lead their division with the best record in the American League, at 58-39.  Boston has already played 97 games, and has just 65 remaining in the "second half."  The Sox current win percentage (.598) projects them to finish at 98-64.  Second place Tampa Bay (55-41) is on track to win 92-93 games, as is the other wild card leader, Texas (54-41).  After that the AL's next best team, Baltimore at 53-43, is on pace for an 89-73 record.

It's a safe bet to assume that winning 93 games will be good enough to make the playoffs.  Boston can accomplish this by going just 35-30 the rest of the way.  At the moment a .556 winning percentage (90 wins) is all that would be necessary to snag the final playoff spot, which the Sox can actually get to even if they play under .500 (32-33) from here on out.  Either way, you have to like their chances; not bad for a club picked to finished last in the AL East.
"I figure it's gonna take 32 more victories to win this thing. Every time we win, we peel a section."  
 - Lou Brown, fictional 1989 Cleveland Indians manager


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "The Flame" by Cheap Trick

Twenty-five years ago today (July 14, 1988) the Red Sox fired manager John McNamara, and replaced him with Joe Morgan.  Boston was 43-42 at the time, 9 games out of first place.  What followed was dubbed "Morgan Magic," as the Sox won 12 in a row and an American League record 25 straight home games.  They would eventually win the AL East title before getting swept out of the playoffs by the Oakland A's and their steroid "Bash Brothers" Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco (who now has a must follow twitter account).

After I was reminded of this I decided to look up what the Billboard #1 song was this week in 1988, and discovered that it was "The Flame" by Cheap Trick.  It honestly didn't ring a bell until I played it on youtube, but as soon as I started listening I immediately realized it was one of my favorite 80's hair band ballads.


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