Thursday, April 22, 2004

Wow, it's been a while. I've been busy either watching playoff hockey or taking care of the kids or both. The Leafs edged Ottawa in seven games, beating them for the fourth time in five years. If it wasn't for goalie Eddie Belfour, they would have lost. Now they take on the Flyers, who look strong this year. Game 1 was tonight and Philly won 3-1, although the Leafs looked tired from having only a day's rest between series. The next game is Sunday, so hopefully they'll come out stronger.

The Jays are off to an absolutely horrendous start, their worst ever. They're 4-10 and just won their first home game tonight against Curt "King of All Media" Schilling and the Red Sox. The bats have been silent so far and the pitching hasn't been much better. I still blame it on the lame uniforms.

Am I the only person who thinks Donald Trump is a pompous buffoon? Sure, he's a rich, pompous buffoon, but still. I'm proud to say I haven't watched a minute of "The Apprentice" or any of the resultant media worship of this nitwit. We were at Lynch Park on Monday enjoying a rare warm day at the beach and I saw some 10-year-old kid wearing a "You're Fired" T-shirt. I just don't get it.

Well, the Boston Marathon came and went and I'm so glad I decided not to run it this year. Not just because it was the right thing to do because we had just had Lily and it wouldn't have been fair to Deb to be going out for three-hour training runs while she could barely move after the pregnancy. It also turned out to be one of the hottest marathons in recent memory, with temps in the mid-80s all along the course. Last year was tough when the temperature was 70 for the first two-thirds of the race, and me and my friend Matt both suffered from dehydration and muscle spasms. Matt ran again this year and finished in 4:29, nine minutes faster than last year, but it wasn't easy for him. At least he beat the guy from "JAG", who finished in just under five hours. As for me, I'm content to run a 5-mile race in Marblehead this weekend.

Not a fun time in the house right now because everybody's sick. Poor Lily's all stuffed up and Hannah's got a fever, Deb's not feeling good, and I've got the beginnings of a sore throat.

Softball's about to begin. We have our second practice on Saturday. We picked up a few players from a team that folded, so things are looking pretty good right now.

Here's a good advertisement for the Cuban cigar industry.

When driving through a safari park, it's always a good idea to keep the windows closed.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Woo hoo! Just watched the Leafs shut out Ottawa for the second game in a row. They lost the first game of the series, so now it stands at 2-1 Toronto. The best part is they still haven't played a really good game yet. Hopefully, they'll just get better.

Easter was yesterday, and the girls were both good in church. Next Saturday is Hannah's second birthday bash. We're hoping for good weather so we can let the 15 or so kids run rampant in the backyard instead of being cooped up inside. Lily had her five-week doctor's appointment today. She weighs 8 pounds, 10 ounces now, which is 1 pound, 9 ounces more than when she was born.

So apparently, it's true. Guinness is good for you. I knew it!

A friend of ours, Rob Bradford, just wrote a book on a topic near and dear to both Deb and I. Rob cultivated his baseball contacts and followed Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi around for a year for his book called "Chasing Steinbrenner: Pursuing the Pennant in Boston and Toronto." It's due out in June and here's an excerpt. He's the sports editor of the Gloucester Times and has been a sportswriter on the North Shore for several years now (including a stint at the Beverly Times when I was a reporter there). Deb actually went to college with him. He's one of the most laid-back people I know, but he's an industrious worker. I wish I had the drive and discipline to do something like that book. Good for him. I'll definitely pick it up.

Too bad the Jays are off to a horrendous 1-5 start this year. I blame it on the hideous new uniforms, which look like they were designed by a 12-year-old girl. I don't mind the new logo so much, but I prefer the classic look. And even those look like soccer uniforms compared to the real classics worn by the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers and Dodgers. At least the Leafs have classic jerseys. Those third jerseys are sweet, and I've had a Sundin one for a few years now.

Boy, it really makes me feel good that this clown is deciding some of our most important cases.

Wilco's got a new album, A Ghost is Born, coming out June 22. You can listen to a streamed version of it here if you have Quicktime. It rules.

Also coming out on the 22nd is the new album from my Canuckian homiez the Tragically Hip, In Between Evolution. Heard some of the first single, "Vaccination Scar," the other day and it sounded rocking. Drummer Johnny Fay said in an interview that it sounds stripped down, like their second album "Road Apples." I have fond memories of that record, which came out in 1991. The Hip is a band that is best experienced live, and I saw them for the first time at the Paradise in Boston on the Road Apples tour. There were maybe 20 other people there, so I was right up front, and they rocked the hell out of the place. I've seen them just about every time they've come through the area since then. They've never really caught on in the States, but in Canada they're huge. Their Boston shows usually sell out, mainly from Canadians going to school here or driving down from Canada to see them play in a small venue. Always a good time.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Word to your moms, I came to drop bombs. Speaking of moms, mine was in town for a few days on her way home from Myrtle Beach, where she spent the last month. She finally met Lily, got to hang with Hannah, and had a good time before taking off for Toronto this morning. She'll be back next month for Lily's baptism. Meanwhile, we're coming up on kiddie party season. This Saturday, there's a bash for my buddy Matt's son Aidan, and then on Sunday, it's Easter. The following Saturday, we're throwing Hannah's 2nd birthday party a full two weeks before the actual event, because that's the day all the nearby family members can make.

Hannah's missed the last two weeks of Saturday morning swim lessons at the downtown YMCA because the pool was closed as a result of "fecal accidents" during the family swim the night before. Always makes me think of the Baby Ruth in the pool gag in "Caddyshack." Except it's not a Baby Ruth. Yuck.

The draft for my fantasy baseball league was held Saturday. For you non roto-geeks out there, the draft is the best part. You get together and draft your team for the year. Last year, I missed the draft because my brother was getting married the same day in Houston, so my friend Phil drafted my team for me. I'm not going to say that's why I didn't win anything, but it's just not the same. So I was all excited for the draft, even though I didn't have a lot of time for research because of deadlines, my eye thing (which is healing nicely, thanksferaskin) and of course, the kids. Imagine my surprise when I'm riding with Phil to the draft and suddenly realize our league comprises both AL and NL players, and I'd only researched the AL. None of the emails sent around mentioned this fact, although I'm an idiot because we did the same thing last year and I had NL guys on my team--I just plain forgot. Felt bad, too, because I told my brother-in-law Steve, who joined the league this year, that it was AL-only. Whatever, we both drafted good teams, so it's no biggie. I've got lots of power (Javy Lopez, Jim Thome, Mike Sweeney, Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, Raffy Palmeiro), some speed (Juan Pierre, Ray Durham, Cristian Guzman), good starters (Tim Hudson, Mike Mussina, Esteban Loaiza, Mark Buerhle) and some decent closers (Billy Wagner, Arthur Rhodes, Jorge Julio). But it all depends on injuries and whether guys live up to past performance. Still, I feel good.

Staying on the roto theme, our hockey league wrapped up yesterday and I rallied to finish third, which earned me my money back. Kudos to the aforementioned Matt for winning it all.

The Leafs finished the regular season on a good note, posting shutouts in their last two games against Buffalo and Ottawa to clinch home ice. They play Ottawa in the first round, the fourth series between these two teams in the last five years. Should be a good'un.

So it's been 10 years since Kurt Cobain took the cowardly way out. There have been plenty of post-mortems, not to mention the regurgitation of conspiracy theories blaming Courtney Love for his death. I was disappointed to see "Dateline NBC" giving some of these pinheads a forum for a murder theory, with Stone Phillips in the last few minutes of the segment suddenly expressing skepticism. If you're so skeptical, why give these rumors any credence at all? Stoopid media.

Hey, the guy was a great musician, but I draw the line at all this "voice of a generation" bullcrap, and I'm sure he didn't like hearing it, either. He was an extremely talented performer who had major issues, depression and heroin addiction being two of them, so it wasn't a shock to anyone familiar with him when he died. He nearly croaked a few months earlier when he OD'd in Rome. I feel bad for his daughter, who's 11 or 12 now and has to deal with Courtney's increasingly bizarre antics in addition to being Kurt's lone progeny.

I nearly did a spit-take the other night when I saw a Victoria's Secret commercial featuring Bob Dylan. Not just his music. Dylan was actually in the ad. What is the deal with that?