Saturday, July 19, 2014

My favorite parade float ever

Two weeks ago in an annual July 5th parade (I mean 4th, but bad weather bumped back the festivities this year) I saw my favorite parade float of all time.  It wasn't extravagant, artistic, or even particularly creative; it was just fun:

As the van slowly moved along a group of kids rebounded shots and passed basketballs to spectators lining the street.

I've always been proud of my extremely-long-range shooting abilities.  In fact I'm convinced I'm one of the best potential candidates out there for those half-court shot contests at NBA games.  But in this case, by the time I got a ball in my hands the hoop was already about 35 feet away from me.  Had the van stopped I think I might have made it, but the extra few feet that the rim moved while my shot was in flight caused it to be an airball slightly to the left.  I maintain that it was fairly impressive as far as airballs go though; I think the people nearby thought it was crazy for me to even attempt a shot at that distance on a moving target.

And while I'm on the subject of July 5th, here's my best shot of the fireworks that night over Edgartown (Martha's Vineyard, MA) harbor:

Friday, July 18, 2014

I may be starring in "The Hangover Part IV"

I'm flying to Atlantic City for a bachelor party this weekend.  We're staying here (not the one on the left, and not the one on the right, but the insane one in the middle):

I fully expect it to be exactly like this:

I love that clip.  One it's hysterical.  Two, the actress behind the counter is awesome; and not just for her looks, she's really funny too (here's the full scene of them checking in, definitely worth watching).  And three, it's got a great song in the background, T.I.'s Live Your Life (featuring Rihanna, who I'm a big fan of).

The actresses' name is Nathalie Fay.  She also played tiny roles as a flight attendant in Robert Downey Jr./Zach Galifianakis' Due Date, and a high school student in Old School (pictured).  I have no idea how she didn't land any bigger parts based off of the above scene.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

If the Red Sox win two-thirds of their remaining games they'll probably make the playoffs

The Sox are 4-1 since cutting A.J. Pierzynski and calling up Christian Vazquez.

This morning Boston GM Ben Cherrington went on the radio and emphatically said the Red Sox are not giving up on 2014.  Just before the All-Star break I sent out this tweet:

The 51-44 Seattle Mariners are holding down the AL's second Wid Card spot at the moment.  Their .537 winning percentage projects to a final record of 87-75.  For the Red Sox (43-52) to finish with that mark they'll have to win 44 of their last 67 games (66%).

Is it likely?  No.  But feasible?  Yes.  And if you're looking for a glimmer of hope, Boston's season-long offensive deficiencies may finally be coming to an end.  In the three games before the break the Sox busted out 12, 13 and 16 hits respectively; their highest three-game total (41) of the season and just the second time all year they've recorded double-digit hits in three consecutive games.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today is the only day of the year that never has sports

OK, obviously there are sports of some kind being played today.  In fact, I believe the WNBA has a couple games on the schedule if you're interested.  However, the Wednesday after the MLB All-Star Game is the one day all year that never has a major pro sporting event (or even college for that matter).

Baseball is the only thing going for a large part of the summer, but it plays every single day except for this one if you include last night's exhibition, and the home run derby the evening before.  Outside of the MLB season there is always an NFL, NBA or NHL game taking place somewhere, with the exception of Christmas Eve.  However, if Christmas Eve happens to be a Sunday, the NFL still plays its full slate of contests.

Happy (or should I say sad?) "No Sports Day" everybody!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are you familiar with the term "smash cake"?

To me "smash cake" sounds like some cool new phrase used to talk about a pretty girl; like if they made a Wayne's World in 2014 Wayne might say to Garth "That Cassandra, she's a real smash cake."  And Garth could reply "Yeah, she's a double chocolate fudge smash cake."

But no, the expression is apparently used in reference to a small cake you feed a one-year-old at his/her first birthday party.  The premise is that the child has never eaten dessert before, so when the kid turns one it's given an entire cake to go nuts on.  I guess this is common knowledge in some circles, but for me it was a bit of a surprise to witness for the first time.

And here I was living all these years under the false assumption that one-year-olds didn't even need birthday parties, because, you know, they're one.

I'm discovering a lot about cakes and babies in my advanced age...

RELATED: So apparently it's common for people to find out the sex of their baby by cutting a cake?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Celtics don't have a plan right now, and that's OK

Avery Bradley drives on Tyler Zeller, his new teammate.
I meant to write this "state of the Celtics" blog back on Wednesday, but A.J. Pierzynski, LeBron, the World Cup (twice) and Paul Pierce kept bumping it.

Last week Boston made a trade in which it acquired a cheap young center, Tyler Zeller, an overpriced but reasonably talented shooting guard, Marcus Thornton, and a future first round draft pick (from Cleveland).  All the Celtics gave up was a future second round pick.  This was possible because the Cavs needed to clear salary cap space in order to re-sign LeBron.  Boston also had only three days left to use up the $10.3 million trade exemption (which lets a team take on that much additional salary, in this case the contracts of Thornton and Zeller, without shedding any in return) left over from the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett deal last summer.

Nothing the C's got in this trade is particularly valuable, but it definitely puts them in a better position than where they were before.  As with everything they've done so far this summer, that's really the only plan.  They drafted Marcus Smart at #6 because they thought he was the best player still available.  It didn't matter that most people expect Smart to be a point guard in the NBA, and Boston already has an All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo.  The Celtics also re-signed Avery Bradley to a four-year $32 million contract because they like him and think he's a good asset to have, even though he plays the same position as their other first round draft pick, James Young.

None of these moves mean that anyone (Rondo in particular) is going to be traded.  The Celtics are not concerned about having an overabundance at certain positions, they're just trying to acquire all the best pieces (including several extra draft picks and a ton of salary cap room next summer) they can right now.  There is no design to set up any other big moves in particular.

Danny Ainge's goal is to make Boston elite again, and he's going to focus much more on getting it done right than getting it done quickly.  If the perfect deal(s) presents itself this offseason he'll pull the trigger; but if not he won't force something else just for the sake of making the Celtics better next year.

As fans we're impatient by nature, but patience is the most important virtue Ainge can have right now.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Awesome Old Movie Clip of the Week: "You Can't Handle The Truth!" (Inspired by Paul Pierce going to DC)

I've had an epiphany of sorts, and decided to branch out beyond just songs in my "Awesome Old ___ of the Week" posts.

It's completely nuts.  Who knows where this may lead.  The possibilities are endless, and I'm pumped for the future.

To the surprise of pretty much everyone on the planet, late last night Paul Pierce chose to sign with the Washington Wizards.  His new hometown was the setting for the 1992 hit A Few Good Men, the most famous scene from which also happens to feature Pierce's nickname, "The Truth."

And while I'm on the subject of NBA free agents, on Friday I wrote the following about LeBron James signing with Cleveland:

"He says he wants to finish his career in his hometown, but don't be surprised if he negotiates opt-out clauses into his contract in case things things don't go well with the Cavs his second time around. He might give himself the chance to leave in two years, or possibly even after just one."

On Saturday that is exactly what LeBron did.

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