Sunday, December 31, 2006

My last picks of 2006

My big present this year was a vacation, so don't think I fell off a bike or something. All is well here at the office.

Betting the last week of the season is tough. You have teams that are fighting for the playoffs, and you have teams that are eliminated already. You have teams that are already assured of their playoff spot, and they bench anyone with talent so that they don't lose Tom Brady in some meaningless game.

All of them can screw up your betting card. A Detroit can beat an Indianapolis today, and it will matter very little to the bookie's collection specialist if Indianapolis benched all their good guys.

A lot of gamblers dodge Week 17, but we here at East Of Boston play hardball... and we know that Chaos creates Opportunity. You have to go with your gut, and damn the torpedoes.


Steelers vs Bengals (-6)

This looks like the final game for Bill Cowher and that superb chin of his. Cincy should stomp them, but Bill deserves to go out better than that.

Steelers, 21-20


Rams (-2) vs Vikings

Minnesota cut their best wide receiver on Christmas Eve, so they deserve the beating I hope to see them get.

Rams, 28-7


Lions vs Cowboys (-13)

This looks like Matt Millen's last day as GM of the Lions, but so have the last several years of Detroit's week 17 games. "Fire" isn't a harsh enough verb for what should happen to Millen.

Dallas, 28-0


Carolina vs New Orleans (-3)

New Orleans should rest everyone, and Carolina should send all their players into the stands to apologize for how poorly they played this season... even if the game is in New Orleans.

New Orleans, 10-9


Jaguars vs Chiefs (-2)

We bade them our mitch last week, and the pattern should continue against KC at home.

K.C.  20-19


Bills vs Ravens (-9)

I like their D, but Baltimore isn't going anywhere in the playoffs this year. They can cover this spread, though.

Baltimore, 17-6


Texans vs Browns (+4)

I wouldn't bet on this game with a bad check, and neither would Daglivak... who is a bad Czech. If a set of circumstances exist that somehow allows BOTH teams to lose a game... this is where they could occur.

 Texicans, 10-7


Titans (-3) vs New England

The Mafia seems to assume that we will rest our starters and play our bench, and Belichick looks too smart to cross the Mafia.

Tennessee, 21-20


Tampa (-3) vs Seattle

Old friend Deion Branch dropped 4 passes last week, and even the punter refers to him as a "p***sy."

Seattle, 12-10


Raiders vs Jets (-12)

I see an upset here, although I can't think of a coherent reason as to why I see an upset... Oakland stinks like the bathroom the morning after a family with like 4 huge sons and a huger father go drop a paycheck at the Mexican place.

Oak, 7-6


Falcons vs Eagles (-8)

This would be a pretty good bird fight if it happened IRL. Maybe they could starve 'em both, then lock them in a cage or a mountain gorge somehow. I'd bet the Falcon, but I'm not really expert in that area. Philly's going nowhere in the playoffs but First Round Exit Blvd.

 Falcons, 24-23


Dolphins vs Colts (-9)

The Colts are favored to win it all every year, and they choke every year. The bettor in me is waiting for the time when they aren't favored to win it all, at which point they will engage in a rarely seen Disappointment Victory. Offhand, I'm thinking 2009 as the time when these particular stars align in this manner.

Indy, 28-7


Cardinals vs Chargers (-13.5)

Unless they rest everyone for the playoffs, Sandy should beat the Cards like an overseer.

Sandy, 31-14


49ers vs Broncos (-10)

If you detonated a nuclear bomb in Colorado after all those blizzards, the suddenly melted snow would roll down the mountains to form a rarely-seen Inland Tsunami that would wash Nebraska dirt all over Ohio. Well, probably not... but it would be cool.

Denver, 17-14


Packers vs Bears (-3)

Brett's last game (if he has an ounce of class) looks to be a chilly beatdown at the hands of a brutal Chicago defense. Just like the Inland Tsunami mentioned above, it'd be cool if Brett went 37-45 with 5 touchdowns to win a 3 OT thriller in his final game. Also just like the Inland Tsunami mentioned above, it most likely isn't going to happen. Ah, what the Hell...

Packers, 44-43

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rejected Children's Book Titles

- How To Bully The Fat Kid

- Spy On Your Town's Muslims

- Why Britney Spears Is Rich And The World's Best Cellist Is Unknown

- Let's Eat Some Coins!

- Stealing Grandma's Pain Medication

- Harry Potter Gets Jumped In The Shower By The Drama Club Men

- Make Your Own Mescaline!

- Sis Went Crazy At College And Married A Black Guy

- Touch Me THERE!

- My First Meth Lab

- How To Dress So As To Draw Attention From Grown Men

- Your Friendly Old Neighbor, Mr. McFist

- Some Dogs Like Ecstacy

- Shoplifting For Kids

- Ann O'Rexic Is Already Too Fat

- How To Really Injure Someone In A Playground Fight

- Let's Make Anthrax!

- Phil Atio Pays Off His Gambling Debts

- That Foreign Student's Dad Took Your Dad's Job

- Father Ben Jahova and Timmy The Altar Boy

- Rodrigo Doesn't Seem To Have A Job, But He Has A New BMW And Is Out Half The Night

- Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids Expand Their Territory

- Make Way For Fresh Peking Duck At Fat Ho's In Chinatown

- Jimmy Wood Gets His First Stiffy
- Curious George Scratches Bad Kids And Gives Them Ebola
- God Doesn't Love You, So He Gave Your Mommy Cancer
-  Winnie the Pooh Finally Has Had Enough Of Christopher Robin
- Enforcing The New World Order Starts On The Playground

- Aquaman Teaches You How To Spot Gay Classmates

- Why You Shouldn't Touch Sara There

- What's In This Bottle? Making Your Own WMD Out Of Stuff In Your Own Home

- Old Men Will Pay Me To Flash Them?

- Trench Coat... Check. Death List... Check... Guns: A Disaffected Teen Guide To Acquiring Weaponry

- Charlie Brown's Angry New Friend, Yusaf

- Wally Gator Gets Really Hungry And Crawls Out Onto The Playground
- Goddamnit, I Think My Pokemon Is Gay
- Andy Capp Can't Remember What He Did Last Night,And His Wife Is Gone

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cape Dice

I couldn't think of a better title.  Sadly, the chances of us seeing Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Cape League are pretty much Slim and None... and ol' Slim just left town, pal. 


The Sox basically dropped the 2003 defense budget for the nation of Latvia (I actually looked this up) for the rights to negotiate and sign this Japanese fireballer. They're not gonna let him wreck his elbow throwing off a dune in a cowtown park. I can't even see him pitching in Pawtucket. He's Show-Ready.

It's his loss, though. The Japanese tourists I see on Cape Cod usually seem to be enjoying themselves. There's plenty of cool things to take pictures of. He'd appraciate the time at the beach, and fried clams would most likely surge to the top 10 of his favorite American foods. He might even get laid. That's worth 3 innings a week.

It's also a shame that we fans of the Cape League don't get to see Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch, especially in the intimate setting our parks provide. You'd be able to tell if he does one of those Bruce Lee screams as he throws a heater. You could learn how to say "hello" in Japanese (pronounced "こんにちは," incidentally), teach your kids to yell it at him... and he'd most likely hear it and wave to them.

Maybe he'd even buy them a hot dog. He can afford it. Maybe we could, too. He'd most likely- by his mere presence in the Cape League, let alone by attention drawn to his North American professional debut- bring throngs of tourist dollars to the Cape. Somebody'd better figure out Clam Sushi.

Some other things I'd like to have seen from 50 yards away without dropping $1000 and sitting with 40,000 screaming Boston drunkards:

- If a batter takes exception to Daisuke Matsuzaka (who we will call either "Dice" or "DAM," because I have no intention of writing Daisuke Matsuzaka for the rest of this article... let alone the 6 year length of his contract) throwing at him and chargesthe mound... will Dice fight in typical baseball fistfight style, or will he utilize martial arts?

- Dice and a catcher mixing up the signals,the catcher trotting out for a conference... and a translator running out from the dugout.

- If Dice started here, he'd become one of "ours," and we'd have added incentive to root for him. I'm talking about the same vibe one may associate with a popular neighborhood pol gone national. 

- The Gyroball.

This is the best part about Dice. He's supposedly one of the very few pitchers capable of throwing the Gyroball, which is a new sort of pitch. Reputedly developed by Japanese scientists, it is described as a wicked breaking slider with a bullet-like tumble to it.

There's even some mystery to it. Many people doubt the existence of the pitch. The Japanese have a strange sense of humor. It may amuse Dice to have his opponents studying hours of tape, hoping to pick up insight on how to deal with a pitch that he doesn't actually throw.

If the Japanese aren't mistaking a breaking ball and this new pitch exists, I'm happy that the Sox foes are the ones who'd have to deal with it. From what I've seen, it somehow seems to start breaking outside before curving back in.

See for yourself. Here is purported video of the Gyroball... and yes, I do feel like I'm trying to run Loch Ness Monster footage past you:

YouTube - Daisuke Matsuzaka Gyroball

Now... that's a pretty sweet pitch. Still, if I got a good turn on it, I could bash that s*** into Wellfleet. Dice may be hot stuff back in Seibu or wherever, but  he's off the porch with the big dogs now.

Just kidding. I'd most likely drop the bat, squeal, and cover my face with both arms if a pitch broke like that on me, but I'm French.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Stay Coming Up With That Jumanji

"I kicks the flavor, like Stephen King writes horror... if I was a Jew, I would light a menorah."

Happy Hannakkuh, or whatever you call it, to all my kosher friends.

The Juwes are not the ones who will be blamed for nothing... but it's a pretty good bet that Jews won't be blamed for Saturday night's entertainment at Madison Square Garden. I only saw one white guy in there, and he looked Irish.

For those of you who missed it... the sports world is all worked up over a 10 man NBA brawl last Saturday. The Knicks and the Nuggets exchanged pleasantries a week before Christmas, a sort of Season's Beatings that was pretty much the polar opposite of what Jesus had in mind while he was turning water to wine and so forth.

I wasn't that impressed, personally. I missed the game, but my husband called me in when Sportscenter started... "Stacey....hurry in here, hunny... it's a regular Katie-bar-the-door."

Hardly. If you don't like watching violence, what happened was.... Denver ran up the score, JR Smith was going in for his second fat dunk of the minute (he had previously thrown down a filthy helicopter slam from the foul line), Mardy Collins sort of bulldog-tackled him, and there was a dogpile that spilled into the crowd briefly.

Carmello Anthony landed the only good shot, a sucker punch on Collins that didn't look like it hurt that much... until you remember that Carmello is a ripped 6'9" guy. Collins dropped like a ho.

Carmello then danced backwards out of the mix... in a move that many mistook for cowardice, but one which I immmediately recognized as what hockey enforcers do when there's a bench clearer...he was getting himself some room to operate.

This gives him the added advantages of:

A) No one can sneak up on him, although Nate Robinson almost did.

B) He gets to square up and pop whoever breaks out of the piletowards him, and may quite possibly get a running start at it.

C) Sets him up to land a Tomjanovich punch. We'll look at Rudy T's beatdown in a future entry.

You can link to the video of the fight in the link down below... from a fellow sports blogger who isn't affording Carmello the same benefit of the doubt that I am:

Carmelo Anthony Drops Mardy Collins, Runs Like a Girl | NBA Blog - The FanHouse

 People are calling for 50 game suspensions, although it was more pushing than punching. There were probably 10 better fistfights in the NHL that night, and these were free-wheeling brawls where 2 guys were allowed to slug it out and the crowd is safely behind thick plexiglass. Honor demands that no one jump in

 In fact... thanks to hockey, I've seen worse stuff than that. The Artest brawl wasn't as scary as Milbury beating a guy in NYC with his own shoe. The best shot landed in the NY/Denver brouhaha would have been the weakest shot in any of a hundred Jay Miller brawls back in the day.

This was no slobberknocker. I'd fine Carmello the most, for his sucker punch.

"...and of course I hit you, let the Lord be wit' you..."


But wait... there's more!

Top News- Let It Be Whale Vomit, Not Just Sea Junk - AOL News

Gotta like this. She's the new Duke of Hurl. From what I read, it sells for $10 a gram... about the same as marijuana. It's amazingthat some form of sperm isn't the nastiest thing that comes out of a sperm whale.

"I can bust you out with my Super Sperm...."

Thanks to my man Rob at 8's All Around  for the link.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Get From In Front Of Me


Ahhhhhhhhh... Sunday. A Day of rest, a holy day, the Lord's Sabbath, a day for a big family dinner, maybe a Sunday drive....

 Nah... eff all that. It's time to loadup on booze and food that can beeaten on a couch, and watch 22 300 pound guys beat the snit out of each other. People who were crying for jail time after last night's Knicks/Nuggets brawl will be perfectly happy watching 50 times the violence today.

When the bodies collide, someone wins and loses... unless there's a tie. It's our job here at High ABove Courtside to tell you who will do what. I'm using's odds, unless it's's odds...I sort of came across the information second hand, but it's the one with that Calvin Ayre dude.

Let's get down to it:

Cleveland at Baltimore (-12.5)

Romeo Crennel deserves better than the L he's going to take today. I'll give him Beating The Spread as a nice early Christmas gift.

Baltimore, 21-12

Detroit at Green Bay (-6)

Conversely, Matt Millen deserves what he gets.

Green Bay, 17-7


Jacksonville (-3.5) at Tennessee 

Resurgent Tennessee is on a roll, but Jacksonville is fresh off whipping Indy. I like their Current Holistic Dynamic better.

Jacksonville, 21-17


Miami at Buffalo (-1)

I don't buy that spread, even for a home dog. Miami beat the snit out of us last week, and they'll surely do the same to Buffy. Kudos to the guy at NFL scheduling who looked at a Buffalo/Miami game in December and thought... "Hmmm... upstate New York should host that." What a cruel bastahhhd.

Miami, 24-7


New York at Minnesota (-2.5)  

The page I'm on doesn't specify if it's the Jets or the Giants(there may also be a few Wrongs involving who's hosting the games,but the odds should still work), and I'm afraid to hit because it might make all the writing I did here go away. Stuff like that happens to me a lot, and I like to blame either Cape Wind, Bush, the Jews,or Kobe Bryant when it does. I'll go with "either New York team" to win this one.

NY__ ,  14-13


Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Carolina

Carol beats the Pant(ther)s off of the Ben Stillers.

Carol, 24-10


Tampa Bay at Chicago (-13)

I don't think Chicago is that good,and Tampa isn't that bad... well, maybe they are.

Chicago, 34-10


Washington at New Orleans (-7)

San Diego told Drew Brees, "We'd rather play some semi-rookie than pay you a fortune. See ya!" I'm hoping for a San Diego/New Orleans Super Bowl, if I can't see my beloved pats up in there.

New Orleans, 17-14


Denver at Arizona (-3)

Eff that spread. Denver will beat Arizona like Arizona said something about their mother.

Denver, 31-13


Philthydelphia at NY(-6)

Losing to Philthy at this point most likely will cost a coach his job.

NY, 21-10


St. Louis (-2) at Oakland

Oakland sucks like Heidi Fleiss... well, frequently, and for high dollars. "Sucks well" = "plays poorly."

Slewy, 24-14


KC at San Diego (-9)

Sandy's due to lose one, but I'll only put my (husband's) hard-earned cash on them not covering.

San Diego, 28-21


Cincy at Indy (-3)

This looked like an AFC title game before Cincy started bitting the shed and Indy fell apart in the cold weather yet again. Still looks like the game of the week.

Indy, 37-30


Houston at New England (-12)

We'll play down to the competition, and win a low scoring yawner. I see one and out for the Pats this year in the playoffs with my gut, but I see an era-defining Super Bowl win in my heart.

 New England, 21-17

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Let There Be Light

I swear that these pictures don't do the house justice... this guy went OFF at the Home Depot this year. He was still stringing up lights when we stopped by, at 10 PM on a Friday night.

I'm told that the neighbors call his house "the land of the midnight sun," and I can sort of sympathize with them. I could have read a bank statement outside by the light this man's celebration put off.

The shrink in me is thinking "overcompensation." This guy must have killed  a reindeer or something, and he's trying to make up for it with a $3000/month power bill.

This dude could probably put a windmill on his roof and save like $3 a month, easy.

 Pretty much exactly what Jesus had in mind... "Thou shalt be able to land jets in thy yard."


His neighbors must be extremely elderly, in Florida, or both. These pictures were taken in the Sagamore area, although I told the guy I wouldn't say which street.


I haven't even put up the tree at my house,yet... may not bother, now. This guy's house can be seen from mine, and why waste electricity?


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Whippin' Post

Before I even get into the main idea here, I want to get a few things on the table:

-The Patriots were the joke of the NFL for most of my life. Their one Super Bowl appearance ever was a 46-10 prison-raping at the hands of the Super Bowl Shuffle. You couldn't even work up a good Yankee-like hate of the Bears, who played an Old School style and were led by Sweetness- who had more class than a high school, and truly deserved a Super Sunday win before he hung 'em up.

That game didn't have the effect on me that the later Buckner/Mets debacle had. I was maybe 9 years old for the 1986 Super Bowl, and it was 3-0, Pats when I was sent to bed.

The next year, the team fell apart. It turns out that half the team was smoking crack, and the Super Bowl itself exposed the flaws of timid QB Tony Eason- who, John Hannah later intimated, should have been playing in a skirt. Noted NFL scribe Hunter S. Thompson called the team a "death ship," about 4 months after we took a young team to the edge of the championship.

 He was right. We sucked, and we continued to suck right up until Mo Lewis nearly killed Bledsoe. We were a .500 team at the time, and they gave the keys to the third string QB... who promptly reeled off 3 straight Super Bowls with the same squad that both Belly Check and NCAA kingpin Pete Carroll had stunk up Foxboro with.

That was pretty much the damndest thing I ever saw. I mean, I've seen things one possibly couldn't predict- like that dude in the parasail landing in the middle of Bowe/Holyfield, Artest trying to fight Detroit (city of), or Mike Milbury beating someone with a shoe- but the first Pats Super Bowl team was simply the Wrong way to field a winning team. The fact that we got a dynasty out of it only makes it more fond of a memory.

- I've been a winner and a loser in this here game of Life myself. Who hasn't goofed something up? Keeping it sports, I've been on state-title winning teams. I'veplayed for teams that were considered dynasties. I've also taken some good beatings. Tennis wasn't my best sport, and I used to dread playing teams like Scituate, Sharon, Concord-Carlisle and other tennis factories, because I:

a) had a pretty realistic view of my skill set


b) knew I was going to be in for a straight-set drubbing.

I also talked one of my bosses into letting me make a school basketball team... despite the fact that the only league we could get into was one featuring 200 kid schools, while we were maxed at 28. We went 0-16 in our first season, and it wasn't unusual for me to have to play in games myself in order for us to have 5 people on the court.

I can recall pulling up in our van to one game, going into the gym- I believe it was the Chelsea Armory- and seeing the other kids dunking through their layup drills... while I have two 5'8" Cambridge kids and a bunch of fat SPEDsters. My team- which quickly developed a love for Gallows Humor- started laughing right there. I got 14 that night, but we lost by about 70.

So I've tasted my fair share of Loss in my time. Who hasn't?

- It's better to be the Jack in a new deck of cards than a King in an old junk-drawer deck that only has 45 or so cards. Likewise, being a career-length loser is a lucrative business. Alex Rodriguez gets a quarter billion over 10 years to spoil the Yankees chemistry, and a quarter billion people must have sat in Fenway watching us Not Win for 86 years in a row.

Even the worst schmuck of a mop-up duty, fetch-the-donuts, third string kind of quarterback in the NFL makes a half million dollars a season. He most likely has starred for 8 years in school ball, attracted national attention to himself, went to college for free, banged cheerleaders, had his smiling face all over TV, met Bob Hope, signed a fat contract and bought his Mom the nicest house in town.

That's a Winner, even if he loses 68-0 in every game. He can walk off the field with booooos raining downon him, hoist both middle fingers to the crowd, and be like "Eff you. I'll buy your business and fire you if it amuses me, peon." Not many of us can say that to win an argument.

- I'm sort of at odds with myself regarding my views on Genetics. I'd hate to punish the Son for the sins of the Father... but I can't see Mr. T having a wimpy child, either. Where I'm torn is in where to draw the line insofar as How Far genetics can reach. Can one mix the right sperm'n'egg to concoct a great soldier, or a timeless poet, or a skilled scientist? Should one?

All of these things run through my head when I settle down to write about Peyton Manning, and his punk brother Eli.

Eli was the dead-on number one pick in the draft. He actually chose the team he would play for, spurning San Diego for New York. He signed for a zillion dollars. He took a weak Giants team into the playoffs. He's the less successful brother.

Peyton Manning has torn the NFL apart for a half decade, easy. He owns or is nearing every passing record possible. If he's not starting the Pro Bowl, it's a joke. He makes enough money that they had to let other guys go. He's an old school QB, and I'm sure he looks more like Unitas back there than I realize, not being 70. He probably has 10 good years left, at 10 million per. He's a once-per-generation talent.

That's why it's so much fun watching him lose. There are indeed times that the Tortoise beats the Hare. It's usually in January.

Peyton can't win the big game. Every year, his Colts sit atop the power rankings. They go into every game as overwhelming favorites. They are always the Super Bowl favorite... right until the playoffs start, and Peyton chokes like a toddler who ate a checker. You can't set a watch to it, but you can set a calendar... it's usually not long after the Solstice.

I do have Wicca friends, and I also have NFL friends.... I just don't have a Wicca friend who shows up Sunday afternoon dressed in a Roosevelt Colvin jersey... witches must be doing Other Stuff on Sunday. Either way, use Christmas as a barometer, and the needle is in Stormy after the holidays.

Eli has the same problem, although he seems to start fudging up in late October. He's the BK drive-thru Miseryburger to Peyton's gourmet meal of Schadenfreude Steak. We already know Eli won't be winning the Super Bowl this year, but Peyton.... smiling.... that's a whole other coconut, kids.

Part of the fun when the Pats went on their run was watching Peyton trot out in a Foxboro snowstorm for like 3 straight years and gag like he just did a fat line. I'm sure he has Willie McGinest nightmares. The year we got eliminated, Pittsburgh did the same damn thing to him.

When I was working for the YMCA after I left teaching, there used to always be a little Patriots rally at whatever school the program was at, right before the Super Bowl. All the kids would come in with their Patriots gear, and I always had extra stuff for the kids who were lacking.

Talking to them, I noticed an unusual amount of confidence. Of course the Patriots were going to win... they always do. There were kids who had never seen anyone but Tom Brady win a Super Bowl. I smiled, knowing that there was some other lady at a YMCA out Indiana-way who probably had to pep up their kids..."Awww,c'mon... they MIGHT win." That woman most likely shields her kids from the Colts, sort of like a less tragic 9-11.

How do you make a Manning, a guy who could screw up and drive the girl away in his own nocturnal emissions? Start with Dad.

Archie Manning was a hometown hero who went to the New Orleans Saints and lost 12 games a year for like 10 years. He is widely considered to be man who has been sacked more than anyone. If he ever went to a Super Bowl, I hope he had a good seat.

His sons seem to be chips off the old Arch, with Peyton taking Unexpected Loss to new heights and Eli about to become the guy with the Kick Me sign when the vicious New York media start looking for someone to blame the Giants' freefall this season on. They gave away the store to get this kid, and his talent dies out  in the cold weather like a lawn. Peyton at least enjoys a nice Xmas before he starts choking.

There's probably some way to start at Eli, go back to Peyton, through both of their careers into their childhoods, to the very day Archie met their mother- who is no doubt a Miss Louisiana runner-up who met Arch when she was waitressing at the local Loser's Club.

If they could study the Mannings and isolate the right mix of Genetics and Parenting- or Nurture and Nature, if you will- they could somehow manufacture Failure. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you merely have to follow him home to Success.

Billions probably died of Smallpox over the years, and it wasn't met and defeated in an open Scientific battle where Pox was wiped out with a haymaker. The reason we don't get Smallpox now is that someone figured out that milk maids didn't get it because they all get Cowpox earlier in life. This hardened their immune systems, and they were able to thus defeat Small by losing to Cow.

Likewise, the key to one day bringing about a Superman is to work backwards from whatever accident made those Manning boys into pretty much the Flying Wallendas of Loss.

Monday, December 4, 2006

All the way home I'll be warm...

First snow of the year...

I try to get a picture of the first snow of the year every year. I got it done last year before Halloween.

We're getting those big fat snowflakes that you get when it is like 33 degrees, but cold enough to snow in the upper levels of the sky. This was one of the few lessons I taught as a Science teacher that I actually witnessed my students learn and later incorporate. It'll take them a while to synchronize their definition of "big fat snowflakes" to the flakes we get at 34 degrees, but that's someone else's problem.

Note the Colonel getting his hand into the snowflake shot. He's a big dumb man, but his benefits include having a camera phone.

If you're just visiting New England and need a laugh... watch all the locals- who have been marvelling over what a nice season we've had so far- fall into all out bitching now that the 30 degree highs are upon us. My guess is that it will take 3 days for most, but three hours for some.

Me? I love snow! Once my sister is up, I plan on taking a fat walk with Sloppy Dog (who also loves snow). While it won't accumulate to the proper level, Gabrielle is just getting to snowman-building age.

Patience is Sloppy Dog's forte....but "outside" is thattaway, sayeth the Slopper.

Sloppy only wishes she was the one who came home with the Merchant Marine Santa Lamp.
Of course  it's the real Santa... see the address on his bag?

Saturday, December 2, 2006

I Stay At Home, Just Like A Hermit...


Arizona at St. Louis

The Arizona Cardinals used to be the St. Louis Cardinals until somebody didn't build somebody else a domed stadium in time, or something. St. Louis then did the honorable thing and stole the Rams from LA, who seemingly can't support a team because either Mexicans don't like the NFL or the traffic is too bad.

In a perfect world, St. Louis would get to be the Cardinals again, and Arizona could be the Scorpions or the Gunfighters or the Canyons or the Stumbling Indian Drunks or the Dehydrated Border Crossers. LA would then be free to take the Rams back, or perhaps go for something like the Bloods or the Crack. 

We don't live in a perfect world. St. Louis will just have to settle for injuring the quarterback.

St. Louis, 24-20


Atlanta at Washington

Washington really pulled it together last week to kick the snit out of the Carolina Pants, so look for them to get stomped by the troubled Falcons... because it's been That Kind Of Year for the fans of the Redskins.

Atlanta, 27-18


Indianapolis at Tennessee

Not that things ever work out like I want them to... but I hate Peyton Manning, and Tenny just reinstated the guy who was suspended for stomping on an opponent's face.

But, no...

Indy, 37-17


Kansas City at Cleveland

Nothing like December in the NFL when your team sucks... especially when you live in Cleveland.

KC, 24-14


Minnesota at Chicago

Chicago looked like world-beaters until your New England Patriots beat them like lazy serfs last week. They should be able to beat Miny... who the Pats also stomped.

Chicago, 17-10


New York Jets at Green Bay

A rare battle of green teams. Green is much in the Love Deficit when modern team colors are discussed. Green Bay is greener, but that should have little or no effect on the outcome of this game.

NYJ, 14-13


San Diego at Buffalo

 It's been a soft winter in Buffalo this year... they only had one 3 foot blizzard in October.

San Diego, 34-20


San Francisco at New Orleans

Look for Chocolate City to put a Category 5 ass-whipping on the San Francisco treat.

 New Orleans, 17-13


Houston at Oakland

If this was college football, this would be the Both Teams Suck Bowl. Houston sucks less.

Whoston, 9-7


Jacksonville at Miami

Jacksonville is sort of one of those Second City types... big enough to have an NFL team, but small enough that they could never feasibly have CSI: Jacksonville because people would be like "How many people get murdered in Jacksonville??" 

Jacksonville, 17-15


Dallas at New York Giants

Peyton's little brother doesn't even wait for the playoffs to start f***ing up.... lol

Dallas, 17-16


Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh

Here are your last two non-Patriot teams that won a Super Bowl... both of them hopelessly out of the playoff hunt, with the luck to end up losing out on the Pennsylvania/Florida decision on who'd host the December game.

Pittsburgh, 12-10


Seattle at Denver

Denver benched QB Jake Plummer for Jay Cutler, who is supposed to be some kind of phenom. I never liked Denva, so here's to the possibility of the Rook getting head-slapped by whoever the meanest guy on Seattle's defense is.

Denver, 21-19


Carolina at Philly

Philly's chances are as strong as Donovan McNabb's knee... which, unfortunately, is fresh out of  surgery. Looks like T.O. wins again, folks.

The Pants, 21-3


Detroit at New England

Besides being an annual Detroit tradition of fan protest regarding failed General Manager Matt Millen, the term "Millen Man March" has also come to symbolize the period in the game where- following an interception/enemy touchdown/fumbled punt that dooms the Lions to loss for yet another week- Detroit fans begin to head for the exits in droves.

New England, 31-10

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Making a brave stand for the 'Fro

I swear falling off that bicycle and bashing my head killed my ability to write. I'm just not funny lately, and it shows when I blog. There is some medical precedent.

 I remember reading about a guy- I want to say Phineas Gage, but I'm too lazy to Google it- who somehow got an iron bar rammed through his head. Amazingly, he lived... and more amazinglyish, he was basically OK after they disbarred(?) him. It wasn't until later that people noticed his mood swings, irrational actions, and inappropriate responses to social cues.

 Although he was fine fisically (or phine physically), he got some mojo in his mental. The technical version is "frontal lobe injury," but "mojo in the mental" conveys the picture better. I forget how he ended up, but I suppose suicide would be a good guess... although I bet he didn't try shooting himself in the head.

Me? I act the same as I always have acted. All my bruises are gone, my headaches have vanished, and the doctor who did my neck surgery was amazed that I didn't screw that up. You'd think all was well... but the blogs just haven't been hitting on all cylinders.

I managed to drag hubby off to bed before the news for some fresh Staceness, and I've never been able to sleep more than 4 hours in a row since I had the girls- once you get used to waking up every few hours, it becomes habit rather quickly. I still wake up at 5 AM too, and I haven't been in a classroom since late 2004.

We all have our little habits, and mine just seem to leave me awake in the house when all else is quiet. If this were Christmas Eve, I'd most likely catch Santa dropping down my chimney... maybe smoke a joint with him, let him use the bathroom, share some wine, see that he eats something better than cookies... or even bang him, to get myself off the Naughty List. I'd imagine his stamina would be remarkable.

But no. It's just a November night during an autumn that should get all those global warming folks all worked up, even after the hurricane-free summer. I can't say I'm depressed, because I've actually been feeling pretty good lately. It's not a PMS thing, either... I actually grow Stronger during those times somehow, and I'm generally funnier in a sarcastic way when I'm crabby.

Anywho... we're the Sports Column here at, and the best way to shake off a funk is to just hop back on the horse and ride into town for supplies. It's a great big sports world out there, and there's always something to goof on.

In fact, I'm reminded of what Mencken said... "Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible."

In fact, nothing could stop me from bringing you the big story in Sport today:

Ben Wallace and Scott Skiles are feuding over Wallace's headband.

Wallace just signed with Chicago for like 16 billion dollars a season, and he DID ask for a list of team rules before he did... can't let "coach gets to sleep with your wife" slip by in the fine print. Either way, Ben was rocking his headband Saturday night, and Coach Skiles benched him.

Chicago is 4-9 this year, and they have bigger things to worry about than headbands. I'm saying this to both Scott and Ben. It's one of those discipline things, and Ben isn't having it. Skiles- who once fought Shaq when they played on the same team- most likely won't budge. "Business is about to pick up," as Jim Ross says.

If you've never seen Ben Wallace, a headband really isn't going to screw up his look. Ben is about 6'10", 270, and built like one of those statues you see at the MFA. He looks like he could rip your car door off with his bare hands, pull you out of it, and hurl you into the air with such force that you enter into a geosynchronous orbit over the nation of Beatdown.

Depending on whether you think that mole on her face made or ruined Cindy Crawford's look, the headband in question draws attention to/from Ben's greatest aesthetic feature... his gargantuan afro. Ben has hair that you could- no joke- hide a grapefruit in. He rocks cornrows a lot, like a giant Iverson... but he isn't afraid to play with the full Fro.

The Fro sweats a lot, and Ben likes to wear a headband to keep the sweat out of his eyes. He's not wearing Nazi regalia or anything... just a team colored headband. The coach- who is mostly bald- doesn't sympathize, and you just know it's going to come down to a man being forced to alter his natual hairdo from fear of being fined. Once that happens, things will be ugly.

 The NBA is already too far into the player wardrobes. They have a dress code that is worse than what you see at a Catholic high school. Jermaine O'Neal had to pay $5000 for wearing his wristband too far up on his arm. Kobe Bryant can't wear his pantyhose any more, and you simply can't wear a pimp suit on the bench these days unless you're willing to spend about $20,000.

There's a big fat racial streak through the policy. It came at a time when most NBA players are young blacks, and it was aimed right at the hip-hop look. It forgets that men in suits have done more damage to the world than every thug black teen ever, combined. It ignores the fact that Dennis Rodman could wear a dress while both looking and playing better than Chris Kaman.


I like seeing how Allen Iverson dresses on his night off. My tastes might be extreme, but I think some of the styles you used to see on NBA benches look good. I think some are horrific, but that's what happens when young men dress themselves.

Instead, we get a strictly-regimented dress code that boils down to a 50-something NYC lawyer deciding how young blacks should dress. David Stern has had a stranglehold on the NBA Commish job since he rodeMagic, Larry and Jordan to big money and marketing Heaven. His rule is unchallenged, and his word is law... he was even able to overrule a court's decision somehow in the Artest case.

His power can only be limited by David Stern... and he's set on increasing his power, right down to your socks and especially your wallet. Few players challenge him, and fewer succeed.

There's not much you can do, other than get on a plane and play in Spain for short money. Still, I'd like to see the black players speak up somehow. Imagine how funny the NBA would look if all the black guys sat out a game or ten to protest Stern's policies? Several teams- including the Celtics- wouldn't be able to put 5 guys on the floor. That's a lot of money to refund, and the owners will be looking for blood... and both player and commissioner blood will suffice.

Stern fines the players.. why shouldn't they fine him and the owners back? Sure, the NBA pulled a lot of these dudes out of the ghetto and plopped theminto a 2007 Porsche, but all these black kids make a lot of money for a lot of owners/media/business people involved in the game.

Sport used to be more blue collar. The Bruins games I went to as a kid look/sound/feel nothing like today's games. The Celtic crowd is even more drastically changed. The crowd is much more white collar, and the arenas lack soul. Most places actually have to urge the fans to cheer, via cheerleaders (good) and Jumbotron applause begging (bad).

You have to sell advertising and luxury boxes to stay in the game these days, and the corporate voice has far too much influence in the game. The NBA has been forced to cater to this, by both corporate pressure and a lawyer who gives himself too much of Michael Jordan's credit.

Stern is a fine businessman, but he's got far too much power for someone who only played on courts with judges in them. There has to be someone else who can do what he does, and that person should be working for the next NBA Commish... Allen Iverson.

Commissioner Iverson isn't as goofy as it sounds. He'd have the instant respect of every player out there. He's too rich to bribe. You'd have to work pretty hard to put together an outfit that would offend Commissioner Iverson, which means that any move he made in that area would be understandable to all parties. He also balled for 20 years, so he understands the NBA as well as any NYC 50 y/o lawyer.

 For all the dress-up David Stern wants to play with his action figures, he should always remember that the NBA was at it's commercial peak when Rodman was wearing a dress and Jordan had his wristband up around his elbow.

Saturday, November 25, 2006



Thanksgiving was tremendous, I didn't have to do that much cooking this year, I took a bit of a road trip, and it's good to be home. Let's bet football games.

Chicago at New England (-2)

Chicago has had a superb season. I'm amazed that we're favored in this game, considering the beatings we've taken from teams both good and bad this season. I hate betting against the Pats, and the mob has the holiday spirit in giving us a 2 point cushion. Take the Bears, hoping that the Pats win by one.

New England, 21-20

NFL logosPhiladelphia at Indianapolis (-9)

Donovan McNabb is not only out for the season, he now knows that he can't pull a Steve Young and win the Bowl without TO- who, I might add, is on a really good looking Dallas team right now.  On top of that, he has to contend with his mother, who will be all bitter now that her 15 minutes of fame as the Chunky Soup Football Mom are over.

Indy, 37-6 

Houston at NYJ (-6)

While I do like the Texan uniforms and it is possible that I'm irrationally holding onto a childhood totem, I prefer the old Houston Oilers gear. Houston coach Gary Kubiak constantly offends NYC's Puerto Rican population by saying things like "How'd y'all get so many Mexicans up here?"

Whoston, 14-13

New Orleans at Atlanta (-3)

N'awlins has had a nice season, but this looks like one of those games where the wheels fall off.

Hotlanta, 21-18

Cincy at Cleveland (+3)

I wouldn't touch Cleveland with a 7 foot pole... and neither would Kowalski, the 7 foot Pole.

Cincy, 37-20 

Jacksonville at Buffalo (+3)

If you go to the right betting sites, you can bet the over/under on how much snow Buffy will get in the week before the game.

Jacksonville, 17-16 

San Francisco at St. Louis (-5.5)

Whichever city loses this game should have to use the French/Spanish spelling of "Saint" for a month after on all official documents, etc. They should then have this game every year... prefrably from a neutral Saint site, like Sao Paulo or New Orleans.

St. Louis, 28-10

 New York Giants at Tennessee (+3)

Calling Vince Young the worst young scrambling QB in the NFL is almost as cruel as referring to Eli as the less talented Manning brother. Both work for me, however.

NYG, 18-15 

Arizona at Minnesota (-6)

My heart tells me that Aridzona can't lose 'em all, and that this could indeed be the week that they whup up on someone. That's why I never EVER bet with my heart, especially with Denny Green prowling the sidelines.

Minnesota, 20-19 

Carolina at Washington (+4)

Much like a fat man at the Thanskgiving dinner table... I look at this game and think, "that spread's not big enough."

Carol, 28-7 

Oakland at San Diego (-13)

THAT'S a spread.

San Diego, 28-6 

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-30

I only went down a hill. Big Ben went through someone's windshield.

Stillers, 13-12 

Green Bay at Seattle (-9.5)

We beat these guys like they stole something last week. It was a simply brutal curb-stomping, and Wisconsin can't put it all back together this quickly... 'specially not against the defending NFC champs.

Sea Town, 17-12

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Million Cran March

(Editor's Note.... There may be a considerable delay between when you get the alert and when this article is actually finished, as I have to learn how to work the f*cking camera, it seems.)

The best way to win a VIVI Award for Sports Journaling is to go into the hospital for a week, then turn your journal into a Cape Cod photo-essay that has nothing at all to do with any kind of sport at all.

Ah, f*ck it... I already have one of those anyhow. Let's dig deeper into my pictures.

Before we do, it's funny to note that I don't have a digital camera.... I only have the little disc that goes in one. I have a neighbor with a digital camera (I bought the disc to match it), so I borrow it now and then when I feel like posting pics here. I have a regular camera, but there simply isn't room on my desk for a scanner.

I actually visited this same farm last year, and I sort of milked the same formula for this harvest. I actually tagged along with the owner this year, as opposed to my bothering the Portugeuse guys doing the actual grunt work last year.

Anywho... this is Buzzards Bay, MA. It's October of 2006, and they're about 2 weeks ahead of when they harvested last year. I read that as a harbinger of a bad winter, but neither boss I spoke with would commit himself to a prediction.

The two farms (on the same 1000 acre "plot") shown here belong to Mann Farms and R+B Farms. Mann Farms has about 50 acres set aside for organic cranberries, but they were sort of uglier than the chemically treated bogs.

The guy who runs R+B Farms didn't change his expression one iota when I was like, "Oh, I love R+B." Nice enough fellow, though...


(Editor's Note 2... Always marry someone dumber than you are, even if you have to go to heroic lengths. The shadow at the bottom of the above picture is the Colonel, accidentally working himself into the pic.)

These cranberries below sort of floated up before they took the machinery to the bog. If you buy Ocean Spray, you may be eating/drinking these fellows before/during/after the football game.


Every now and then, I like to lean right over the water and get a pic like below. You already know that I'll drop the camera in the water someday.

The million cran march.


Not as if I'd do something like this... but if you want free cranberries, sneak into the bog at night with a Zip-lock bag and climb into the red truck's bed.. Valhalla, I am coming!

This is a Water Picker. It drives through the bogs and stirs the cranberries loose. The farmers don't use this particular set of words, but it makes more sense phrased my way... to me at least.

Here it is in action:


This pic only got blurry when I put it in here. I'll figure it out later, when the painkillers kick in.

Fill the truck with water, dump in a F-150 worth of sugar, then light it on fire... you'll have enough cranberry sauce for everyone in Rhode Island.

This is where the reservoir empties into the bog, making a cool Schmoo-like disruption of the cranberry blanket.

Another inexplicable blurring... I'd kill the photographer, except for the fact that I'm the photographer.

Because someone asked, behind ol' Sloppy Dog here is what a cranberry bog looks like when it isn't flooded, which is 11 months and 15 days of the year.

Is this tree like totally spooky or what?


October on Cape Cod ... foliage
Bournedale... ruff-ly the same area
Dog Meets Bog.... yet more cranberries..
A Grassy Noel.....berries

Sunday, November 5, 2006


One of the five villages of Bourne, in case it ever comes up in a bar bet...

This is what you git  when you give me the lane. I close your ballfield. I am Dusk. Play at your own risk.


That little bump on the horizon is the Bourne Bridge.



You know it's an ancient way when you see a stone wall... some on my neighbors are worried that the British might come back, you see....


I prowled around a bit, but this was the highlight shot of the Burying Hill.

Bournedale Herring Run. One can chop down the tallest tree in the forest wiiiiith... a Herring!

In case you ever wondered how I smoke marijuana with two kids, there's usually a point of every day where I leave them with Shea and walk down here, which I believe is the most peaceful place on Earth.

In the winter, I just do an inordinate amount of laundry.

Herring are born in fresh water, go to sea, then return to spawn in the pond which, umm, spawned them.


Well, they weren't really crossing... but I found a few in the pasture.


This pic cost me my apple, but it was worth it. "Ladies call me Hoss, the booty filler."


Vincent  on West Monponsett

 transpixel This is actually a guy I don't know, fishing Monponsett Lake (my namesake). I'm trying to work this into one of Scalzi's Monday photo shoots.That's a cutting board in his left hand, in case you thought he was gonna throw the little fella back or something.

We visited last year, and explained the process better here... The Million Cran March<FONTCOLOR=#FFFF66>  and here... Mann To The Fiz-Arm

October on Cape Cod ... foliage
Bournedale... ruff-ly the same area
Dog Meets Bog.... yet more cranberries..
A Grassy Noel.....berries