October 31, 2006

Happy cross-quarter.

This is the kind of thing I just love.

From spaceweather.com:

SPOOKY ASTRONOMY: Halloween is a date of astronomical interest: it's a cross-quarter date, midway between an equinox and a solstice. There are four cross-quarter dates throughout the year, and each is a minor holiday. One is Groundhog Day (Feb. 2nd), another is May Day (May 1st), the third is Lammas Day (Aug. 1st), and the fourth ... ? Happy Halloween!

But I've never heard of "Lammas" day. I've just always thought of Aug 1 as Oshkosh time.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:17 PM

October 30, 2006

Wakefield 13

The Redsox renewed the contract of old-timer pitcher Tim Wakefield. Wake has an odd contract in that he's agreed to let the team renew or not renew him every year for a flat annual pay of $4million.

Wake's catcher Doug Mirabelli filed for free agency, and the buzz is that he will not return to the sox in '07.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:48 PM

October 29, 2006

Not a good sign for Studio 60

It appears that Studio 60 was originally scheduled to have a two-parter this week, starting tonight, Sunday, and concluding Monday in their regular slot. But there's been a change.

There will be no ep this week, and the part one will be on next Monday.

I'm trying to figure out if this has anything to do with the Nov 2 start of sweeps. But is it a good sign for S60? Or bad?

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:15 AM

It's Early

I got up just now thinking it was 6am. But now I glance at the clock and see it's only 5:30. The clocks changed. My laptop clock changes automatically, but my bedside clock doesn't. Technology.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:32 AM

October 28, 2006


On Thursday, Ze Frank told a nice story about his step-father, tomato&peanutbutter sandwiches, bathtubs, and life-lessons.

Ze Frank, The Show

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:59 PM

Molly Grow Up

I'm bemused.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:10 PM

The PC guy.

It really annoys me that this guy's name is so similar to my own (I felt the same way about that science-fiction movie heckling guy too). But no question, he is terrific.

He's the subject of a short interview at radaronline.com.

Hodgman: I am not an actor, but I am not averse to the idea of being a personality. For me the best example is George Plimpton, who chased after every adventure with very little prejudice, always with an open mind and often with a funny accent. I am on top of a roller coaster that I never expected to be on. I don't know what's going to happen when the roller coaster goes down. My guess is I will fly out and I will hit a pole.
Posted by jackhodgson at 05:10 PM

October 27, 2006

Closing Day

Over six months ago we started the 2006 baseball season with high hopes. But we're Redsox fans, so of course we had high hopes.

Tonight the 2006 season ended with the St Louis Cardinals beating the Detroit Tigers in 5 games.

Tomorrow is the first day of winter.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:31 PM

October 26, 2006


"It's because you want attention. Don't deny it. Be proud of it!."

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:39 PM

October 25, 2006

Three Strikes... err... damn!

I've watched three eps now of the sitcom 30 Rock. 15 minutes into #3 I was ready to write it off as a failure.

Up to that point it had failed to make me laugh even once. The only thing that even kept me coming back was Alec Baldwin, whose comedy I've loved since he first appeared on Friends.

So I figured I'd give it a fair shot, watch three eps, and move on. But then at sixteen minutes into three, Baldwin's characters, explaining why he thought Tina Fey's character was gay, said it was her shoes.

"Those shoes are definitely bi-curious." He said.

The only laugh in three whole eps, but, as they say on the internets, it made me LOL.

Now I'm not sure what to do. I guess I'll give it one more ep. But I don't have a lot of hope. It's just not funny.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:12 PM

Poetic medicine

This is a truly miraculous story. It's from, and about, Scott Adams the geek-made-good creator of the comic strip Dilbert.

As regular readers of my blog know, I lost my voice about 18 months ago. Permanently. It’s something exotic called Spasmodic Dysphonia....

I asked my doctor – a specialist for this condition – how many people have ever gotten better. Answer: zero....

Then something happened...My brain remapped...My speech returned.

Read the whole thing...

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:52 PM

James Madison quote

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

-- James Madison, fourth US president (1751-1836)

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:58 PM

October 24, 2006

Holy Fake Perspective, Batman

Cool chalk sidewalk art.

Click the thumbnail to see the whole thing.

From puzzlefactory.com

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:17 PM

October 23, 2006

Should I try to catch up?

I have a confession to make. I haven't watched Survivor in four weeks. I still have the first two of those on TiVo, but the last two weeks I haven't even recorded.

The thing that prompted me to stop recording was that I wanted to start recording Smallville. I figured that I could watch Survivor eps on the web. But I haven't

The TV is showing that two people were maybe voted out last week. Should I be trying to get caught up?

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:31 PM

October 22, 2006


Posted by jackhodgson at 06:29 AM

October 21, 2006

Snakes in the Stacks!

The next movie sensation:

WCVB TV via Yahoo!News:

An unwelcome visitor is roaming the aisles and stacks at the library in Cohasset.

...a black python got out of its cage and slithered into the Cohasset Public Library.

Fithi, a 3-foot-long python, escaped from its cage at the Our World Museum eight days ago. The museum shares the same building as the library, and officials think the snake is hiding somewhere in the bookshelves.


Posted by jackhodgson at 10:40 AM

October 17, 2006

Big num


The US population passed 300 million this morning.

There's a red-state/blue-state joke in there somewhere. I'll let you work it out.

See the population clock.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:59 AM

October 16, 2006

Studio 60

I'm trying to decide what I think about this week's episode. Part of me thinks it was terrific, yet it had at least two elements which I think were really weak.

The long bit early on of Harriet telling reporter Martha her story was just not great writing. Oh, it was well written. But it was blatant expository monologue. Great writing would be dialogue which "shows" you things, not "tells" you things.

The other troubling thing for me was the amount of time that they had Sting singing. Singing in a show which is not a musical is a classic example of jumping-the-shark. Spending a significant part of the hour being entertained by a singer is not what this show should be.

On the other hand, the Matt/Harriet story is really getting great. Their love/loathing relationship. The inherent, and perhaps insurmountable, conflict of their values. And although I don't like the way it was presented, Harriet's backstory, her relationship with her mother, is awesome.

Here's hoping that Aaron is still just finding his way, and that eventually he'll find a voice which works here, and then we get to really see his talent at work.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:35 PM

October 14, 2006

That's new

This story is, of course, sad. And it may be played up by some for its similarity to a current scandal. But the thing that caught my attention was that this was an AP story which quoted "his husband".

BOSTON - Former Rep. Gerry Studds, who became the first openly gay member of Congress when his homosexuality was exposed during a teenage page sex scandal, died early Saturday. He was 69.

Studds died at Boston Medical Center several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said. Doctors determined his loss of consciousness was due to a blood clot in his lung, Dean Hara said.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:41 PM

October 10, 2006

China's pissed

This whole N Korea atom-bomb thing is too complicated for my simple mind. It's way scary, but I'm still trying to digest all the ramifications.

But who would have thought that it would be China who would be the ones to come down on them the hardest?

AP via Yahoo!:

North Korea must face "some punitive actions" for testing a nuclear device, China's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday, suggesting that Beijing may be willing to impose some form of Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.
Posted by jackhodgson at 01:05 PM

Studio 60

I still wouldn't miss an ep., there was a lot of good stuff there, but I'm not totally thrilled with last night's show.

It doesn't seem believable to me that Ricky and Ron would defend the plagiarizing kid so strongly. It's a serious matter. And not an admirable one. People who have reached the level of writing for a show like the fictional Studio 60 know what's OK and what's not. That should have been a firing offense.

And the rest of "the room" would not be all that protective I think, since keeping the identity of the kid secret makes them all look guilty. Every member of the room will be looked at now as, is this the person who did it? It makes them all look bad.

I suspect that the R&R thing was all so Matt could say the line that he now has some respect for them. I think AS is trying to develop that relationship.

Finally, that whole thing about going live during the west coast airing, was a huge disaster. The fact that, in the end, the network owned the joke, and the resulting relief, was unrealistic.

The whole thing was a major embarrassment and CF, and in the real world heads would roll. I think.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:31 PM

Eat at Bruegger's

Blogging on the free wifi provided by Bruegger's Bagels shop in Melrose, MA. Thanks.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:22 PM

October 09, 2006

Cardinals beat Padres

The major league baseball division series finished up last night as the St Louis Cardinals eliminated the San Diego Cardinals. The Championship Series begins tomorrow night.

Oakland vs Detroit. I'd like to see Detroit win, but the good money's on Oakland.

St. Louis vs. New York Mets. The Mets are gonna win this whole thing.

By the way, for you trivia buffs. With the elimination of the Padres, there are no longer any players from the 2004 Redsox championship team left in this post-season.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:21 AM

October 07, 2006

Yankees Go Home!

The Yankees' 2006 season ended today as they were swept three games in a row, 3 out of 4, by the wildcard Detroit Tigers.

That makes it the Oakland As and the Tigers in the AL Champ series, for the right to go the World Series.

In the NL, the Padres won today to stay in contention 2 games to 1 against the Cardinals, and the Mets are on the verge of eliminating the Dodgers.

Boston sports radio thinks that the As would beat either the Tigers or the Yankees. But I'm now liking the idea of a Tigers-Mets Series.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:26 PM

October 06, 2006

Survivor: Cook Islands Ep#4

I'm behind on watching these, but the peanut gallery want to talk about it in the forum. So go crazy.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:18 PM

Yankees down 2-1 in ALDS

The $200 million Yankees are now on the brink of elimination by the Detroit Tigers.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:16 PM

October 05, 2006

Podcamp Highlights

Here's a brief video compilation of what people liked best about the recent Podcamp Boston. About 3/4 through the piece is some comments I made (!!).

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:12 PM

October 03, 2006

Barry Schwartz on "Paradox of Choice"

Another terrific, short lecture, from one of the TED conferences. (20 mins)

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:24 PM

October 02, 2006

90 with a bullet!

Woo hoo!

My podcast, "Uncontrolled Airspace" made it onto the iTunes Store Top 100 list for its category today. We are #90 in "Games & Hobbies".

If you filter the list so it's only Aviation podcasts, we're #5.

("Games & Hobbies" Go figure.)

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:02 PM

The Class of 2004

Updating my list of the players from the Redsox 2004 Championship Team who are still with the team. At the finish of the 2006 season 12 out of 38 remain.

Jason VaritekCurt Schilling
Manny RamirezTim Wakefield
Gabe KaplerKeith Foulke
David OrtizMike Timlin
Kevin YoukilisLenny DiNardo
Doug Mirabelli
Trot Nixon

Where are the others now? According to the Yahoo!Sports' major league rosters (as of last night), here are the teams the departed are with now. ("???" means they are not listed with any major league team.)

Kevin Millar (Orioles)Derek Lowe (Dodgers*)
Mark Bellhorn (Padres*)Pedro Martinez (Mets, disabled list)
Bill Mueller (Dodgers*)Bronson Arroyo (Reds)
Pokey Reese (???)Alan Embree (Padres*)
Johnny Damon (Yankees*)Curt Leskanic (???)
Orlando Cabrera (Angels)Scott Williamson (Padres*)
Nomar Garciaparra (Dodgers*)Ramiro Mendoza (???)
David McCarty (retired?)Terry Adams (???)
Doug Mientkiewicz (KC Royals)Mark Malaska (???)
Dave Roberts (Padres*)Mike Myers (Yankees*)
Cesar Crespo (???)Anastacio Martinez (???)
Brian Daubach (???)
Ricky Gutierrez (???)
Ellis Burks (retired)
Adam Hyzdu (Rangers)
Of the 15 who are still active, eight are going to the Playoffs this year: 3 with the Padres, 3 with the Dodgers, and 2 with the Yankees. Pedro Martinez is on the Mets roster, but is on the DL and will not be playing in the post-season.
Posted by jackhodgson at 07:15 AM

Mercifully, it's over

redsoxcirc100The Redsox beat the Orioles 9-0 last night, in a five-inning, rain-shortened game, to end the 2006 season.

Like GM Theo said, in the post-game press conference, we knew from the start of the season that it was a team with flaws, where everything had to go right for it to work. And in the first half of the season everything did go right. But then, it didn't.

We were in first place on August first, and then something broke. We'll be discussing for years to come what went wrong, but something did. I heard a stat that we had the worst, or one of the worst, Augusts ever for a team that started the month in first place.

Many people blame it on the pitching, but another thing Theo said last night was that the pitching staff had a better ERA in the last half of the season than in the first. So who knows.

Now we move on to the playoffs and the Series. I'm still trying to decide who I'm rooting for. I'm thinking that I like the Twins in the AL, and in the NL, well I'm trying to decide if it's OK for me to like the Dodgers.

Wait 'til next year.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:06 AM