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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You have to love MBCR


Back in Boston after 4 months with my daughter in Seattle who nursed me back to health after some surgery. ( went to the same cancer center as Jon Lester with same results!!!!!!


So after taking Amtrak clear across America ( believe me eastern Montana and North Dakota are BORING) I arrive at South Station to see this sign.


Why would this train line even be programmed into the new boards????? ( and the date is just a little off too )


Nice to see nothing has changed


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Nation Invades Chicago (and for some they have no choice)

A long weekend of baseball on the south side of Chicago and the final result was the Sox won all 4 games.
(Red Sox 2 White Sox 2 )

Red Sox Nation was at U.S. Cellular Field in force all weekend and for the most part was very well behaved.

We met a couple Monday night and their reason for being in Chicago saddened me. They are from Randolph and ardent Red Sox (and especially Coco) fans. I asked if they get to Fenway often and their reply stunned me. They don't go to Fenway *NOT* because they can't get or afford tickets but because they fear for their safety because of their race.

'The Cell' as the park is called by the locals is a very nice place to watch a game and unlike the ballpark 8 miles to the north the fans know exactly what is happening on the field. This was proven in the sixth inning when White Sox pitcher John Danks hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a pitch and a loud groan was heard as Danks' perfect game was gone. These fans know their baseball and the only pink hats I saw were Boston ones. The concessions I sampled were quite tasty and priced far more reasonably than Fenway. One nice feature for those who like to keep score is you can buy a scorecard for only $1 and they also sell beer at the seats.

One thing Red Sox and White Sox fans share is Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk. His number 27 is retired at Fenway and the number 72 is retired at USCF. In the center field bleachers there is a statue of Fisk.

In some ways a White Sox game reminds me of minor league games in Lowell or Pawtucket as their are a lot of gimmicks between innings from hamburger races on the scoreboard to a goal scoring contest sponsored by the hockey Blackhawks and the fans seem to enjoy them.


Leaving the park we saw a sign that would make Yogi Berra proud. I mean how can you enjoy the game when you have left?????

The park is located 5 miles south of 'The Loop' Unlike Boston there is plenty parking and the park is located just off the Dan Ryan Expressway. The park is also served by 2 subway stations. The lines at the SOX-35th St station after the game is just as bad as Kenmore.

Overall if you ever want to see The Olde Town Team on the road I would highly recommend Chicago. It might be the finest city in the United States.



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I had never been to Wrigley Field....what a night




I am in the middle of a baseball vacation and we will see our beloved Sox tonight and tomorrow in Kansas City and then in Chicago this weekend.

I had never seen a game at Wrigley Field so last night we went to the old ballpark at Clark and Addison. I won't remember much of the game but I will never forget the sheer terror of thinking I am going to die with 40,000 other people. The Chicago Tribune explains
The clock on top of the venerable Wrigley Field scoreboard read 8:06 p.m. Monday when tornado sirens began to wail in the darkness. Action between the Cubs and Astros had been suspended already for nearly a half-hour.

Then, minutes after the sirens howled, the wind started blowing out. Like, really out. Like carry-a-ball-to-the- Michigan-shoreline out.

Rain pulled a U-turn within the stadium. Debris floated along a river of standing water on the warning track behind home plate.

All of it giving a new, unsettling meaning to "It's Gonna Happen."

When the sirens went off the Cubs tried to tell the fans to seek refuge under the stands. Cubs fans may be very loyal but they are not stupid as if a tornado hits it most likely would not be wise to be under the upper deck of a almost 100 year old ballpark. 40,000 people vanished in minutes.

At this point it was an official game and of course they were finished for the evening.... nope

We were a mile away munching on a burger some 3 hours later and watching the Red Sox lose on NESN when suddenly the TV showed the game had resumed. We rushed back to Wrigley and joined about 81 other fans to watch the game.

In the eight inning the sky turned white and the loudest thunder I have ever heard at the same instant sent the players running for their lives. The game was finally called and the Cubs lost.

The Cubs fans we met we all friendly and they are SO HOPEFUL that this is NEXT year. They all want to play the Red Sox in the World Series something the Cubs have not been in since 1945.
Nobody that we spoke to wants an all Chicago World Series as Cubs fans fear if they met the crosstown White Sox they would lose.

Wrigley Field is not in good shape. Fans explained to me that renovations like those at Fenway Park are almost impossible to make because the City of Chicago has given the park 'landmark' status.

It is the only park in MLB that does not have a video replay board because the city will not allow it. However they do serve beer in the seats.

Sadly the Cubs have more 'pink hats' than we do.

On to Kansas City

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thank You New York Yankees ( Yup I typed that )

On Sunday evening I took my teenage son to Yankee Stadium so he could experience all that The Stadium in The Bronx can offer ( the history, the smells, the garbage etc )

I had bought the tickets months ago from Ticketmaster.com and chose the will-call option. After waiting in line nearly 30 minutes at the window I gave the clerk my ID and confirmation from Ticketmaster.

NO TICKETS

Of course I asked for the ticket manager and after about 10 minutes I was told to go into the lobby of the Yankees offices. At this point I was waiting for George Constanza to appear.

I did get some dirty looks as both of us were dressed as Boston fans.

The manager could not have been nicer and explained that somehow my tickets had been resold even though he could see that the credit card had been charged and i had a confirmation.

He then gave me 2 seats that were about as close to home plate as possible AND gave me $100 in Yankees dollars to use for concessions including beer. ( $ 8.50 for Coors Light and I thought Fenway was bad )

Sorry it took me a few days to post this but i was having trouble downloading pictures from my phone ( had to get a new USB cable )

So I just want to pass on that the Yankees could not have handled the situation nicer.





Flying to Chicago O'Hare??? USE MIDWAY IN JULY or else.....


Just a heads up for anybody planning to fly to Chicago O'Hare for the next few weeks.


The CTA ( Chicago Transit Authority ) has shut down 4 miles of track that connect O'Hare Field with the rest of the L system in the city.


Passengers have to take shuttle buses to cover the 4 miles.


Those who don't want to deal with a shuttle bus can expect to pay $40-50 for a cab.


The Chicago Tribune has more.




Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Never thought this day would come


Using my laptop at a Back Bay bar (Pour House on Boylston)


When Tampa took the lead Wednesday night suddenly the entire bar was chanting TAMPA SUCKS.


Wondering how long before the website and t-shirts appear as we have to face facts.


Tampa Bay is for real
What the heck is that mascot supposed to be????

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Here is an idea for Mayor Menino



A friend was in Chicago over the weekend and saw this. It turns out they even have a website.

Could you imagine Boston having something like this??

Monday, June 23, 2008

Massachusetts has another champion!!!!!



Massachusetts continues to dominate
sporting events of all kinds as Sean
Sears of Chicopee won the national
championship 2008 Bud Light/U.S.A. Rock Paper Scissors League Championship in Las Vegas on Sunday.

What the heck is Rock Paper Scissors??? After reading the Wikipedia entry on it I am more confused than ever.

If anybody reading this can shed some insight on this please comment. It looks like a variation of throwing fingers which is something I did as a kid.

You tube has this clip from last year.



Well whatever it is another championship for Massachusetts

Thursday, June 12, 2008

UPDATE: Boston loses 3-2 to Cubs


The Chicago Cubs defeated the Boston Braves 3-2 this afternoon at Wrigley






THE BOSTON BRAVES LIVE AGAIN








At 2:20 Eastern time tomorrow the Boston Braves take the field at Wrigley Field in Chicago to play the Cubs. Tomorrow marks 60 years of Cubs baseball on WGN-TV in Chicago and the teams will wear 1948 uniforms. The Atlanta players will wear a hat with the letter B and the famed Wrigley scoreboard will say BOSTON instead of ATLANTA




Select concessions (NOT BEER) will be sold at 1948 prices.



The Braves played at what is now known as Nickerson Field at BU and a small part of the old Braves Field is still used today. The park was much bigger than Fenway but was hampered by being next to the old New York Central railroad yards that would blow smoke into the seats.




WBZ announcer Steve LeVeille has a tribute website for the long forgotten Braves.




Had the Braves not left in 1953 for Milwaukee it is quite possible that in a few years they would have become more popular than the Red Sox as they went on to win 2 pennants and a World Series in Milwaukee led by a young slugger known as Henry Aaron.




Today we might be fans of Boston Braves Nation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boston is 37th best place to live in the world

w00t!!!!!

Take that New York which ranks 49th

Quality of Living global city rankings – Mercer survey

We did not rank in the Top 50 for personal safety but no US city was ranked. Canada has several in the Top 50. ( even Montreal which I find suspect )

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The day the BEAT LA chant was born (1982)

Hard to believe this was 26 years ago.

For the past 5 days BEAT LA has replaced YANKEES SUCK in the lexicon. But how did the chant become part of celtics lore? It wasn't against the Lakers...it happened against Philadelphia.

Game 7 of the 1982 NBA Eastern Finals. As it became obvious the Celtics would lose the game the Celtics fans gave Dr. J and the 76ers a message.

It really is one of the best moments in Boston Sports History.



Here is a longer version of that 4th Quarter

The Beaver Turns 60


A couple of days ago Baby Boomers like my self were given a reality check. Jerry 'The Beaver' Mathers turned 60 years old

That makes me feel very old



Others turning 60 in 2008

* John Carpenter
*Joe Roth
* Leslie Marmon Silko
* Rhea Perlman
* Ronnie Van Zant (d. 1977)
* Wayne Kramer
* Todd Rundgren
* Alice Cooper
* Raymond Kurzweil
* Teller
* Kate Pierson
* Stevie Nicks
* Dianne Wiest
*Bernadette Peters
* James Ellroy
* James Taylor
* Billy Crystal
* William Gibson
* Errol Morris
* Richard Simmons
*Steven Tyler
* Elizabeth Blackburn
* Phylicia Rashad
* John Ritter (d. 2003)
* Sally Struthers
*Al Gore
* Jackson Browne
* Johnny Ramone (d. 2004)
* T. Coraghessan Boyle
* Lester Bangs (d. 1982)
* Samuel L. Jackson
* Mikhail Baryshnikov
* Andrew Lloyd Webber
* Jimmy Cliff
* Brian Eno
* Grace Jones
* John Bonham (d. 1980)
* Nick Drake (d. 1974)
* Raffi
*Olivia Newton-John
* Cat Stevens
* Garry Trudeau
* Robert Plant
* Phil Hartman (d. 1998)
* Art Spiegelman
* Prince Charles
* Gérard Depardieu

I guess we boomers now have to say
DON'T TRUST ANYBODY UNDER 30

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why do Celtics fans love 'Gino'???????

OK I don't even want to pretend I understand this love affair Celtics fans at the Garden have with Gino.

You don't know who Gino is????? Well Bob Ryan explains




To me disco was a bad dream. I swear every woman I knew in the late 70's owned a copy of Saturday Night Fever and listened to KISS 108 when it was a disco outlet.

Now 30 years later when GINO appears on the Garden scoreboard it means the game is safely in control ( wonder when he showed up last night )

I suppose it could be worse....the Celtics could have used 'Hey Mickey' by Toni Basil which to me sums up the 80's.

So I will never complain about Sweet Caroline ever again.

I have heard the Celtics have tried to find him so he can dance live in the Garden during the finals ( hopefully next Thursday ) but no luck as of yet.

If you have never been to a Celtics game here is what it looks like on the scoreboard...UGH

but right now I want to see him dancing until June :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

NESN scorebox change is driving me nuts


Anybody who watches Red Sox games on NESN is familar with the box at the top of the screen that shows all the game information. However for some reason this season they are only showing the information when they use the center field camera. As soon as the ball is put into play the score box vanishes. Are they insane?
The other night I was clicking back and forth between the Red Sox and Celtics game and because of this change I had to wait 20 seconds to find out the score.
A have talked to a couple of bartenders and they said their customers hate it as since the sound is not always on the game they need the scorebox to keep track of what is going on. As far as I can tell no other team is doing this.
Anybody else bothered by this?

We need BPD officer Billy Dunn on road games


Friday night we saw Jonathan Papelbon unravel in the 9th inning against the Twins.

2 nights earlier he blew a save in Detroit.

Red Sox Nation is aghast.......what is wrong???????????

The answer is obvious...........Papelbon needs Boston Police detective Billy Dunn to greet him on road games.

Officer Dunn is a fixture in the Red Sox bullpen and has developed a friendship with Red Sox pitchers.

So how can it be arranged that Officer Dunn is available for road games????

During college football we routinely see police from whatever state running bodyguard for the coach. Why can't we do the same thing for the Red Sox bullpen?

No tax dollars are at play here as the Red Sox could simply pay the freight.

We need Officer Dunn in the bullpen for all road games as well.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Chicago Tribune columnist rips Boston Herald

Dan Pompei who covers the NFL for the Chicago Tribune on Friday just blasted the Boston Herald on their role in the Bill Belichick "Spygate" fiasco. He did not mince words

Forget Spygate, remember how good Bill Belichick is


On the day before the most recent Super Bowl, the Boston Herald ran a story stating a member of the team's video department taped the Rams' final walk-through on the day before the 2002 Super Bowl.

(later in article)

The Herald meanwhile, bit on a story that more responsible media outlets did not. The Herald was not the only outlet that had the information it printed Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, but they were the only outlet that deemed the story solid enough to print.


OUCH!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I was the victim of a hate crime

I haven't blogged for awhile simply because I was in the hospital for 10 days.



On April 17th I drove up to Montreal with 3 friends for Game 5 of the Bruins-Montreal playoffs.



The Bruins played their best game of the series and stayed alive to force a Game 6 in Boston 2 days later...a game I never got to see.



After the game we went to a well known Montreal bar which is in the heart of 'centre-ville' called the Peel Pub. The Montreal fans were in a bad mood because their team had lost but little did we know how upset some fans were.



We are all older and kept to ourselves the entire evening but when the bar closed we were accosted by 5 or 6 skinheads who were screaming at us in French. We were not wearing any Bruins gear ( but a couple of us had Red Sox hats ). I guess I made the mistake of responding in French and I was told after the fact that my response was more vulgar than I intended. I was sucker punched by one, and then as I fell I was kicked in the face and also hit the back of my head on a fire hydrant. Everything went black and I did not wake up until Sunday morning.



The fine doctors at L'Hôpital général de Montréal (Montreal General) which is part of McGill University saved my life and I can not even begin to say how grateful I am.

Because of the way medical insurance works in Quebec I will have to battle for awhile to see if my health plan in Massachusetts will be able to cover the bill. Last Tuesday the hospital did arrange for an ambulance from Vermont to pick me up and take me on a 6 hour joy ride thru the mountains feeling every bump until I finally got to Mass General.

The Montreal Police said we were simply the victims of hate towards anglophones ( English speaking persons ) and sadly Montreal is overrun by French speaking young punks.

I still have a headache and my vision is blurry and I will be going to Mass Eye and Ear tomorrow but at least I am home.

I simply do not understand hate.

Monday, April 14, 2008

RIP BostonNOW


BostonNOW bites the dust. Today was the last issue.

Statement from publisher

This healthy, growing 119,000-circulation daily is suddenly compelled to halt operations due to rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in Iceland where interest rates reached 15.5% Thursday, the krona, their currency, has declined over 20% against the dollar since January, and inflation is now at 8.7%.“The death of any newspaper is a sad thing,” stated CEO Russel Pergament, “but the death of a vibrant, flourishing newspaper because of economic turmoil thousands of miles away is beyond sad and is something we never anticipated and for which we were totally unprepared.”“ Our overseas investors are honorable people who have endeavored to fulfill all obligations to this newspaper,” he continued, “but the tumult in foreign credit markets has forced a change in our original understanding and their focus now appears to be primarily upon their core retail holdings. North American media is not even a distant second.”“This newspaper, not even a year old, is right on track for profits in Year Three, just as the business plan called for,” says Publisher Mike Schroeder, “so this decision by our overseas investors, while perhaps understandable, is deeply troubling.”BostonNOW’s editorial content, especially its strong local reporting, has been picked up dozens of times by Boston’s paid dailies and TV outlets. The Economist magazine lauded BostonNOW in January as one of the finest free dailies in the United States.Since launching April 17th last year, BostonNOW has grown from 59,000 daily circulation to a CAC audited daily circulation of 119,000. America’s top retailers have found a good partner in BostonNOW and become loyal advertisers. Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, TJX, H&M, Lord & Taylor, along with national telco and airline advertisers have been pleased by BostonNOW’s ability to connect with a dynamic young readership.Management’s primary concern right now is to help its suddenly displaced employees, who from scratch have created one of the most respected new dailies in the USA, find good newspaper and media work as soon as possible. A series of interviews, both on premises and off, are being set up with local media companies.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Boston to New York FOR FREE


Megabus is now accepting orders for their new service to New York and if you hurry the first week of trips is FREE


First date is listed as Friday May 30th


Monday, April 7, 2008

At 2 PM tomorrow we are not under attack


First at a little after 2 PM tomorrow if you see 4 F-16's zooming in formation over Cambridge heading for the Back Bay don't worry....it just means the Boston Symphony is near the end of the national anthem at Fenway Park. The boys are back in town.

A friend of mine just moved to Boston and found a nice apartment in the 1100 block of Boylston and she asked me if being that close to the ballpark is going to cause her problems parking.

That was 2 days ago and I am still laughing. She is going to learn that living next to Fenway is not fun.

What do Red Sox fans do on Opening Day? It seems they eat and drink a lot.

The Red Sox concessionaire Aramark predicts how much will be consumed at Fenway on Tuesday
  • 20,600 Hot Dogs
  • 5,800 Bags of Peanuts
  • 4,800 Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
  • 3,500 Slices of Pizza
  • 3,000 Pounds of French Fries
  • 2,900 Soft Pretzels
  • 1,700 Bags of Cracker Jack
  • 1,500 Bags of Popcorn
  • 1,300 Hamburgers
  • 1,000 Orders of Chicken Tenders
  • 800 Bags of Cotton Candy
  • 500 Orders of Nachos
  • 300 Gallons of Ice Cream
  • 7,200 Bottles of Water
  • 1,100 Gallons of Soda
and we can only guess how much beer.

New food items at the park include fish and chips, knishes, kosher hot dogs, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, fruit cups, garlic fries, shaker salads, hot pasta dishes and gourmet popcorn.
If you have tickets....DO NOT DRIVE.

Fenway is accessible from the Green Line (B,C, and D trains) at Kenmore Station, or by the Ruggles Shuttle bus from the Ruggles Station on the Orange Line. There is also limited commuter rail service at Yawkey Station.

The pregame celebration starts at 1 PM and it will have an Olympic feel to it. The ceremonies will commence with a parade of flags belonging to 62 nations on the warning track by the Green Monster. The nations represented by these flags either count Red Sox Nation members as its residents or have citizens who have been in touch with the Red Sox front offices via letters and emails professing their love for the Olde Towne Team.

In addition to the players receiving their World Series rings, championship banners will be unfurled on the Green Monster and the 2007 World Series pennant will be hoisted by the team on the center-field flag pole.

The Boston Symphony, the epitome of Boston’s musical culture, will be an integral part of the Opening Day ceremonies by performing the national anthem and by providing musical accompaniment to the entire ceremony.

GO SOX!!!!!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner?

The good news is the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

The bad news is they are playing Club de hockey Canadien who they have played 8 times this year and did not win a single game.

The Canadiens are the Yankees of hockey and usually a playoff meeting between the 2 teams does not bode well for Boston. The series will mark the 31st time Montreal and the Bruins have met in the playoffs over the course of their bitter 84-year rivalry. The Canadiens have enjoyed the upper hand, to say the least, with Montreal holding a 23-7 series edge over Boston.

The last time the teams met was 4 years ago when Montreal rallied from being down 1-3 to win the series in Game 7 at the new Garden. The series also had an ugly side to it when Montreal fans booed the United States anthem before the first 2 games in Montreal. All of Canada wondered how the Boston fans would react. It was a wonderful moment.



Just like the rivalry with the Yankees there have been some major Boston disasters but none bigger than this night in Montreal in 1979.


Coming just months after the Bucky Dent game Boston fans were jumping off the Mystic Bridge in record numbers.

Word comes this morning that Montreal fans are buying tickets like crazy for the games in Boston so expect an invasion of québécois to Boston. 4 years ago there was a major brawl at the Pour House in the Back Bay when a bunch of Montreal fans starting singing their team song loudly and taunting the heartbroken Boston fans.

"Halte là! Halte là! Halte là!
Les Canadiens, Les Canadiens!
Halte là! Halte là! Halte là!
Les Canadiens sont là!
Les Ca-Na-Diens; Les Ca-Na-Diens.... Sont... là!!!!"

Expect more of the same the next 2 weeks.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The most hated words in Boston

I can make an argument that these are the most hated words in Boston.
Ballgame over The Yankees win............THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN!
This is John Sterling on WCBS as he says those hated words



He certainly does get excited doesn't he? Notice how Dame Edna just ignores him in the next booth

Verizon FIOS doesn't like the Bruins

The Bruins play their biggest game of the season on Friday night but if you have Verizon FIOS you will not see it.

NESN has moved the game to other channels in the area On Comcast it will be on CN8 which is actually channel 3 which begs the question why isn't it CN3.

Click here for a list of where the Bruins will be on tonight.....sorry FIOS customers

The reason for the switch is the Red Sox (oh them) who finally play a game in the Eastern time zone that normal people can watch tonight.

It appears the Bruins fans are coming back to watch the games. According to NESN, the Bruins game earned a 3.1 household rating for Wednesday night's shootout loss to the Devils in New Jersey. That rating was better than the Celtics game on CSN and ESPN combined.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why don't we get sportscasters like that anymore?




It was announced yesterday that 30 year sports anchor and WBZ-TV will be parting ways and it is the end of an era.
Steve Buckley in the Herald gives Lobel a nice sendoff.

Bob almost got fired on his first night when he ran this brawl during a Bruins game and the Bruins back then said a station could not show fights.



I miss his old Sports Spotlight days which used to run every Thursday night on the 11 PM newscast.





He will be missed.

Also shown the door was Joyce Kulhawik the long time entertainment reporter.

Here is Joyce interviewing the then unknown Conan O'Brien before his first show on NBC in 1993


Also in 1993 she looked back at some great events she had covered for the station


and how she helped cover the last night of CHEERS on Beacon Hill along with Liz Walker

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Welcome to Massachusetts HA!!!!!!!


I pity any visitor to the Commonwealth whose first impression is the Lee Service Plaza on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Located 8 miles from the New York border heading eastbound it is supposed to offer full services 24 hours a day. Not exactly.


Last night a group of us went out to Albany for the NCAA College Hockey playoffs. When we left Elliot Spitzer's former residence behind us there was a blinding
snowstorm and we saw the aftermath of an accident on I-90 crossing the Hudson that involved at least 10 cars on both sides of the bridge. In any event driving to the Massachusetts border was slow going as there was a snowplow or sander to be found.


Our plan was to stop at a truck stop for late night munchies at the state line but we found out that it had gone out of business a year ago. So we just shrugged knowing there was a rest stop 10 miles away in Massachusetts.



All that was open was a McDonald's with a 'limited' menu you could not change from. The choices consisted of a egg burrito, quarter pounder, double quarter pounder or 10 piece McChicken. Fine..whatever we were starved. The counterperson took our order plus those of about 10 other people. We paid and waited...............and waited...............and waited.



The counterperson wasn't aware that the cook had gone off duty and nobody was cooking food. First he tried to tell us to come back in an hour as there was no way to refund our money ( he said he didn't know how ) Finally he started cooking himself. It was the worst quarter pounder I have ever had and for someone who used to eat at the McD's on Causeway St that was condemned by the city of Boston that was quite a feat.



OK...now it is time to feed the car at the Gulf Station. I don't trust self service credit card pumps so I went inside where 'Skip' a man in his 50's looked bored. I asked to prepay $20 using my card.



"Nope, nope we can't do that. You must use the pump."

Well since the next station was 30 miles away and we were low I grumbled OK. Go to the pump, swipe the card and then it says to select what brand I wanted. Pump would not allow that so back in to see Skip.




"Are you a moron?" Skip demanded. "Just push the button!!!" Finally after 5 minutes he says the pump is broken go use another pump. Now the second pump won't work because the credit card is denied and a quick call to the bank tells me it is because the other sale is still open. OK fine....use another card. Finally we have gas after almost 20 minutes.
I just checked my debit card online......I have $120 dollars in 6 separate sales on the card I finally could not use and the $20 I did finally buy is on the other card. So now I have to find Gulf Oil and call them on Monday to see what can be done.

BTW I must add that something unusual happened at the Michigan-Niagara hockey game. Of course Michigan had their band which only seems to know one song "Hail to the Victors" which they played often last night. Tiny Niagara also had a band but it became obvious to me something was strange as all they were playing was HARVARD fight songs.
I asked a Niagara fan after the game why they use Harvard. His reply was hysterical.

"Oh we don't have a band as we are too small a school. The NCAA hired the RPI band to play for us."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Headless Body in Topless Bar



We true Bostonians do not want to admit this but there is a reason the New York Post can be found at almost every newsstand in the city.

We love it.

I know that it's often poorly written, hypocritical, and flat-out racist, but the Post is complete fun in the morning. I can't live without it.


The NY Post has now published a book that contains what they consider their best headlines.




What else could they choose for a title but the most infamous headline of all







The paper is also having an online vote so readers can select their favorite.



My favorite Post headline didn't make the cut. When sports announcer Marv Albert was fired a decade ago after a sex scandal the post headline was



MARV GETS A PINK SLIP



Our feisty tabloid the Herald has tried at times to be a Boston version of the Post but it just doesn't work here. Former NY Post editor Ken Chandler found that out the hard way when he approved the worst front page in Boston history after the death of Victoria Snelgrove outside Fenway Park in 2004.



Baseball Woodstock getting panned in media


Yesterday I questioned the wisdom of this baseball farce that will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles involving the Red Sox. I thought I was alone in wondering if this was a good idea but turns out I was only a day early.

Eric Wilbur unloaded today on Boston.com
It's difficult to imagine that the Red Sox could find themselves in a land more foreign than the one they just vacated, but that will be the reality Saturday night when they (or perhaps a minor league lineup wearing Sox uniforms) take on the Dodgers in a Charles Steinberg circus production at the famed Los Angeles Coliseum, a place that hasn't been used for professional baseball in almost a half-century.

There's a reason.


LA Times sports columnist T.J. Simers was even more blunt
The McCourts say they will sell no more than 115,000 tickets in the Coliseum, which coincidentally is just how many they need to sell to set the world record for the largest baseball crowd, the Australian national team setting the mark in the 1956 Olympics.

I don't know how many times my next-door neighbor has told me, "If only the McCourts can break that Australian record."

Who cares how many people fill the Coliseum other than the people who have to line up to go to the bathroom?

On a bright note, maybe it'll be like every other Dodgers game, the Dodgers announcing a crowd of 115,000 and only 25,000 sitting in the stadium.

The Dodgers could have cut ticket sales off at 90,000, everyone having a grand time without falling all over each other, but just how many people can you cram into a dump?

To help pad the attendance, the Coliseum entrance has been moved back from the building. Fans sitting by the Olympic statues outside the Coliseum will now be considered inside for attendance purposes, and will be watching the game on big-screen TVs.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Wesiman also thinks this is nuts.
And with the transcendent lure of bad traffic, bad parking, bad seats and utter meaninglessness as far as the standings go (even though the regular season will have already started for the Dodgers' opponents, the Boston Red Sox, in Japan of all places), more human beings will venture inside the Coliseum peristyle than have ever been to any single baseball game.

"This is more of an event than it is a game," Dodgers broadcaster Charley Steiner said. "It sounds a little grandiose, but it is kind of like a baseball Woodstock. People are coming to be there not necessarily for the outcome of the game. It's a celebration."


Please let nobody get hurt in this fiasco.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boston's worst beer



If you have ever spent time at the Beacon Hill Pub, The Tam, Sullivan's at North Station, Our House West in Allston or the immortal Mary Ann's at Cleveland Circle you may have come face to face with Boston's worst beer.



BRUBAKER



While most dive bars in the city have adopted Papst Blue Ribbon as the swill of choice the bars metioned above and a handful of others carry Brubaker.



It comes from the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA and nobody buys it because it tastes good.

It is cheap and comes in 16 ounce bottles.



One word of warning. The 16 ounce bottles are refilled over and over again and you can rest assured that the bottle you are putting your lips on has tasted many, many lips for almost 20 years.



Years ago Henry Vara who owned many bars in Boston ( including the Father's chain ) sold Knickerbocker Beer in 16 ounce bottles and in the early 90's he decided to brew a cheap beer for in house use. The result was Brubaker.



It is what it is....cheap and almost guaranteed to give you a hangover.



What was really odd was I was reading about the beer in the Improper Bostonian while watching the end of the Sox game this morning at Sullivan's. I had not had it in years since the Bow and Arrow Pub in Harvard Sq left some 10 years ago.



So I had one for old times sake.......couldn't even finish it.



Without question it is Boston's worst beer and they seem to be proud of that.

Thought baseball in Japan was weird? Next up Baseball Woodstock




The Red Sox now return to Spring Training mode until they resume the season on Tuesday in Oakland.


The Red Sox will play 3 games in Los Angeles over the weekend but Saturday night promises to be as strange if not stranger than Toyko. They will play the Dodgers at the stadium that Los Angeles played in when they moved from Brooklyn 50 years ago.




The largest crowd ever to see a baseball game is expected as over 115,000 tickets have been sold.
This game is the brainchild of Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Dodgers’ executive vice president for marketing and public relations who left the Red Sox to go Hollywood.


If left field looks a little short well it is as it will be 201 feet down the line ( 109 feet less than Fenway )


The game will be on NESN at 10:30 PM Saturday night.



NY Times offers a sneak peak
201 Feet to Left, 440 Feet to Right: Dodgers Play the Coliseum

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Guess the Sox won.............

I wound up trying to watch the Red Sox opener at a small bar in Cambridge known as the Cellar at 991 Mass Avenue. The owners who I have known for years even promised a book signing by a local author.

Wound up watching the DirecTV logo bouncing on the TV and hearing the game on radio.

Even the author was smart enough to avoid the place..........

Monday, March 24, 2008

UPDATED Monday afternoon - Breakfast with the RemDog

It appears now that a number of bars will be open on Tuesday morning for the Red Sox opener in Japan starting at 6 AM.

Bars that we now know to be open include


  • Game On at 82 Lansdowne St at 5:30 AM
  • Daisy Buchanan’s at 240 Newbury at 6 AM
  • Anchovies at 433 Columbus Avenue at 6 AM
  • Pour House at 907 Boylston St at 8:00 AM (staff revolted)
  • The Avenue at 1249 Commonwealth, Allston at 6 AM
  • Cask’n Flagon at 62 Brookline Avenue at 5:30 AM
  • Pug's Bar and Grille at 635 Cambridge St, Cambridge at 7:30 AM


Baseball Tavern at 1270 Boylston St will not open until 8 AM

More locations are sure to follow.

By state law the bars can not serve drinks until 8 AM so enjoy a hearty breakfast and 'coffee' until 8 AM

New Hampshire bars can serve alcohol at 6 AM and many will open.

Even in Manhattan some bars will open early and the NY Daily News had a story on it today.

earlier post

It won't seem like Opening Day....please let the bars open

Jordan's trying to give away free furniture again


Eliot Tatelman is at it again. Jordan's Furniture will bring back the free furniture promotion that they had last season but it gets a little harder this time. Now the Red Sox have to not only win the World Series...they have to SWEEP.




No problem...


Jordan's owner can afford it...one Warren Buffet






Jerry Remy does Tokyo

Looks like Jerry Remy is in rare form



The Globe has a bar update
Some bars to open early for Fenway faithful
Some Red Sox supporters will be getting up before sunrise tomorrow to watch the Sox open their season more than a dozen time zones away. (Boston Globe, 11:53 a.m.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

forgotten Boston TV commercials

another look back at what we used to see on TV

Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day 1970

Tip O'Neill - Bob Uecker - Miller Lite - Boston 1988

Jay Leno for the Boston Globe - 1986


Celtics for Bradlees early 1970's



Jordan Marsh - 1986


Alf on the 1986 World Series


Dukakis for Governor 1986


Remember WCLB radio? didn't think so

Happy 60th birthday Bobby Orr

60 years ago today the greatest hockey player of them all was born in Parry Sound, Ontario.

One can argue that he is the most popular player in Boston sports history or at the very least at the same level as Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Larry Bird or Tom Brady.


#4 Bobby Orr



I suppose some people in the 80's remember him more for his commercials for a long forgotten bank


The night his number was retired in the Boston Garden there was not a dry eye in the house.
Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony (Part 1of 5)
Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony (Part 2of 5)
Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony (Part 3of 5)
Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony (Part 4of 5)
Bobby Orr Retirement Ceremony (Part 5of 5)

38 years ago he made Boston the happiest place on earth. Dan Kelly made the call on CBS.

and after the game he talked to the late Don Earle in the locker room

Bruins locker room after win the Cup 10. May 1970

Happy Birthday Bobby!!!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why can't we do this to the Charles River?

In Chicago they dye the Chicago River GREEN
for St Patrick's Day. Why can't we do the same to the river Charles?

Causing skepticism in some and delight in others, the river has been dyed green every St. Patrick's Day since the early 1960s by a pipefitters union. Walk by it in broad daylight any other time of the year and the river is a dark green, prompting the famous line from the movie, "The Fugitive," "You'd think they could dye it blue the rest of the year."




Boston's subway historian has died

Boston lost a treasure chest of institutional memory this weekend with the death of George M. Sanborn who knew more about the Boston transit system than anyone else alive.

I first met George almost 15 years ago at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine which is a fascinating place to visit. He was very friendly to my young son and then surprised him by letting him drive a streetcar which thrilled my son no end.

In passing I had mentioned that I was in a subway accident in the 70's that was truly bizarre as it involved THREE trains between Park St and Charles but when I went to the library I couldn't find any information on it. He invited me to stop by his office in Park Square at the Transportation Library and he might have something about it.

A few weeks later I did stop by and he gave me a huge folder of newspaper clippings and the MBTA report of what had happened. We chatted for awhile and he showed me old timetables that showed that old New Haven Railroad trains were faster in 1912 going to New York than today. He also showed me a old timetables that showed how Boston buses and streetcars used to run all night and at 3 in the morning you could take a single streetcar from Arlington all the way to Newton Corner. He also told me how Mayor Menino led the charge when he was a Hyde Park community activist to prevent the Orange Line from being expanded all the way to Rte 128 in Westwood along the abandoned I-95 corridor because Hyde Park didn't need rapid transit. George had his own theory why and he said that same thinking stopped the Red Line from going to Arlington and Lexington.

I am not a transit buff but I have been riding the T since the Kingston Trio made it famous back in 1959 and have to admit being curious on why the T always seems to do everything wrong when common sense dictates otherwise. George had a simple answer....politics.

A couple of years ago I stopped by to see him and learned that he had become ill. The woman at the library said how much they missed him as a person and also because he was the only one there that could find information quickly.

A blogger remembers working with George and learning so much about Boston.

R.I.P George. It is not often that a person can make his passion his profession as well.

Middlesex Superior Court has moved to Woburn


As Massachusetts prepares to close down the Sullivan Court House and Jail in Cambridge to totally rehab the building new locations had to be found for the courts and jail.

As of today the Superior Court has moved ( and since it no longer in Cambridge will be open for Evacuation Day )

The new mailing address for the Middlesex Superior Court is
200 TradeCenter
Woburn, MA 01801
The main telephone number is 781-939-2700.
The administrative fax number for the Clerk-Magistrate’s office is 781-939-0872, Probation Department is 781-939-0951.

The MBTA has added a stop to Bus Route 134 on Sylvan Road at the front building of the three-building TradeCenter complex.

Directions and Map pdf

Happy Evacuation Day - erin go braugh

and you thought it was St Patrick's Day

Monday is a holiday...sort of if you live in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, Cambridge or Somerville. Most state offices are open UNLESS they are in Suffolk County and then they are closed...maybe


For example the Registry of Motor Vehicles website says the Roslindale office is closed but doesn't say if Chinatown is open or closed. Best advice call ahead if you have official business today in any of those cities or towns.

Evacuation Day?

The holiday, celebrated each March 17 commemorates the day in 1776 when the British redcoats ended their occupation of Boston. By some happy coincidence, March 17 happens to be Saint Patrick's Day. How fortuitous that Suffolk County, a region which has a large percentage of citizens of Irish descent, was able to find an event which just happened to coincide with the day of celebration of Irish culture.

Now you know



Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hey Channel 4 - you are in ALLSTON not Brighton!

Watching the news on Channel 4 Saturday morning the weather person just mentioned in passing that it was snowing at their BRIGHTON studio.

News flash Channel 4....1170 Soldiers Field Road is in ALLSTON ( I think )

Boston neighborhoods have always been a little fuzzy on the borders. Take the example of Faulkner Hospital which depending on who you talk to could be in Jamaica Plain, Roslindale or West Roxbury. The hospital has chosen not to offend anyone and gives their address as Boston MA 02130 which the post office says is Jamaica Plain.

For decades I have had spirited debates with life long residents of Allston at where exactly the border with Brighton is and if you talk to 100 people you will get 100 different answers. Everybody agrees that Allston begins on Commonwealth Ave at the BU Bridge going west but then it gets murky. Harvard Avenue is Allston as is Union Square but as you head west on either Cambridge St or North Beacon it really gets fuzzy. Some think the border is Everett St which runs from North Beacon St to Soldiers Field Road


View Larger Map

Then others claim that along the river any part of Boston that is directly across from Cambridge is part of Allston. However the KMart on Western Avenue just west of Everett St is listed as Brighton.

Most agree that the post office and not the city made the boundary when years ago they set up mail zones numbered 34 and 35.

Getting back to what set me off on this is Channel 4 saying their Brighton studio. Channel 68 is right next door to them and they consider themselves Allston and the Harvard athletic complex is also considered Allston though if Harvard thought they could get away with it, they would move the river and make it all Cambridge.

Now it is also murky on the eastern end between Packard's Corner and the BU Bridge as those addresses along Commonwealth are in the zip code 02215 and they calls themselves Boston. However most historical accounts of Braves Field ( now Nickerson ) always referred to it as the ballpark located in Allston.

Then the most famous use of the 02134 zip code was the song happily sung for years on ZOOM but WGBH would never admit they were in Allston and it was always Boston 02134. ( and with their move to Brighton they have kept the 02134 mailing address even though they are now in 02135. )

The debate continues......

Friday, March 14, 2008

It won't seem like Opening Day....please let the bars open early

The Red Sox open the season in just 11 days....in Tokyo on March 25th at 6 AM Boston time.

One of Boston's rite of spring is for friends to gather at their local watering hole and cheer the team on in the first game of the season. However that is going to be a problem this year as bars in Massachusetts can not open before 8 AM.

So who can come to the rescue here. Is it a city issue or does it have to be addressed by the Great and General Court ( yes that is the official name the state legislature ). Seriously this is a tradition that must continue. The idea of breakfast at the Pour House appeals to me in a sadistic way.

Somehow the entire idea of watching the Red Sox at 6 AM borders on the bizarre. Instead of watching Bianca de la Garza or Gene Lavanchy doing the morning news we will be waking up with the RemDog.

Speaking of the Red Sox the team said goodbye to Doug Mirabelli who spent 6 1/2 years as Tim Wakefield's personal catcher. Art Martone of the Providence Journal said Doug was one very lucky ballplayer to fall into his role in Boston and bloggers like Base Girl also said goodbye.

2 years ago Doug was no longer a Red Sox and the catcher who took his place found he could not catch Wakefield. So Theo made a very bad deal with San Diego to bring him back. Martone looks back
Oh, it was a great story. They completed the trade in mid-morning on the East Coast. They flew him cross-country from San Francisco, where the Padres were playing, on a private plane. They arranged for a police escort, rushing him from Logan Airport to Fenway Park in less than 15 minutes as he changed into his game uniform in the back seat. (“First time I’ve ever been naked in a police car,” he later quipped.) He got to the park just in time to trot onto the field for the top of the first inning, to cheers worthy of a Williams or a Yastrzemski. And into the lineup he went, against the Yankees on national TV, no less.

In the 107 games he played for the Red Sox after that dramatic moment, Mirabelli batted .196 with 11 home runs, 41 RBI and 95 strikeouts. In that same time frame, Bard — sent to San Diego as part of the deal — has hit .305 in 211 games for the Padres, with a .380 on-base percentage and a .453 slugging percentage. Reliever Cla Meredith, the other player who went West in the trade, has a 2.55 ERA in 125 appearances.

Not much of a trade. But what excitement.


Doug wound up with 2 World Series rings which most ballplayers can only dream about it.

Now back to the issue at hand........open the bars early on March 25th

Thursday, March 13, 2008

BU raises tuition, room and board to almost 50K

Boston University has announced what it will cost to go there in 2008-09.

$47,958

Books, supplies and expected student expenditures will likely push the annual cost of attendance and living at BU over $50,000. The BU Board of Trustees set tuition at $36,540 for the 2008-09 academic year, up $1,610 from $34,930 this academic year. Up from $10,950, the "basic" room and board rate is set at $11,418 for next year, Brown said in the letter to parents and students. For the 2007-08 academic year, the Office of Financial Assistance estimated books, supplies and "incidentals" at $2,532 for a resident student, according to its website.


More details from the Daily Free Press

There was a good memory of the 1986 World Series

Now that the Red Sox have won the World Series a couple of times the nightmare of 1986 doesn't seem that bad.

But there was one moment from that series that was magical. It happened at Fenway Park before Game 5.

The National Anthem was sung by Smokey Robinson in a very special way and you must listen to the entire thing.



One other moment happened before a Bruins playoff game in 2004. 2 nights before the fans in Montreal booed our anthem because they Canadians were not happy with George Bush. All across Canada people wondered how the Boston fans would react.

The Bruins fans did themselves proud

Don Cherry gushed about it on CBC


More on my beloved Bruins

Another bandwidth hog debuts - and it has goodies

The NY Times has a story today about how video internet sites could really clog up the internet.

Video Road Hogs Stir Fear of Internet Traffic Jam

Last year, by one estimate, the video site YouTube, owned by Google, consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.

Now another site has opened the floodgates to all.

HULU.com has just opened the doors to everyone and it has full episodes of new and old TV shows ( some have not been seen in years )

This is no fly by night outfit as they are backed NBC Universal and News Corp. In addition, Hulu has closed a $100 million investment from private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

I think we can expect to see the net slow down just a bit more ( especially Comcast customers )

I maybe lost on this site for days

Just look at what they have available
Browse TV Shows Alphabetically

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not rain nor snow nor sleet nor dark of night will keep students from free food.



Not rain nor snow nor sleet nor dark of night will keep students from free food.

A new option for taco and burrito lovers opened in Harvard Sq with a bang on Wednesday. CHIPOTIE MEXICAN GRILLE gave away burritos all day and the line at one time was 3 blocks long.

Burritos are pretty good....I may go back tomorrow and buy one.