Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Olympic Week One Thoughts

Week one of the 2010 Winter Olympics are done. You know, the Olympics that you and the rest of your family are avoiding but can't. Kind of like all Tiger Woods news. However I love the Olympics. Reminds me of a simpler time when I was a wee lad. That and PB&J sandwiches. Odd...

- Apolo Ohno. Luckiest speed skater of all time. Blew the lead in the finals but everyone fell in front of him. Get silver. People with soul patches rejoice.

- Shaun White. Continues to be the coolest person on the planet and everyone keeps saying it. When does he become uncool? I say never. He steps up when the pressure is on and never takes his foot off the gas. Plus his new move the double McTwisty something is a thing of beauty. Extra points for his coach swearing on national television. Snowboarding. The sport that helps you learn curse words.

- Shani Davis. Speedskating, the big oval version, is a thigh burner. But he came in and got gold. Pushing it until the end.

- Lindsey Vonn. She had an injury. Got lucky with crappy Vancouver weather in February. Still blew the field away in the downhill. She deserves shin massages for a year. Plus she's hot. And fast. And hot.

- Curling. Toss a stone and sweep a broom in front of it. I hate sweeping a broom in my condo so this "sport" wasn't too thrilling. Only saving grace was watching the US women's team rock pusher do a nice curve rock.

- Hockey coverage. NBC is horrible. They put the host nation's big preliminary game on CNBC, a non-HD channel. Dear NBC, it's the only sport that a lot of people will watch. We know you want the lazy women in the Midwest to gush over figure skating but they aren't even watching. I think re-runs are getting more viewers. Fix your scheduling cause the games are great but no one is watching cause we can't find your crappy low def television channels.'

- Evan Lysacek. Speaking of the figure skaters. Here's a guy who reminds me of an emo Jersey Shore character. Doesn't use a quad jump in his long program but still beats out the other guy. I'm still trying to find the hockey games...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

College Hockey (or What the Pros Are Missing)

Having attended last night's BU/BC final in the 2010 Beanpot Championship, I realized that the pro game is missing a number of things. And I'm not talking about chants (but they wouldn't hurt...more on that later).

Bands. I'm talking about music. Not piped in top 40 or the same "pump me up" with Gn'R or Whitesnake. The brass section. Drums. The old Garden had the organ. An old guy stuffed into the corner of the building playing polka type songs and keeping the crowd going. Now it's all pre-recorded crap with no life in the sound.

Fan passion. Now unless it's a playoff game and half the upper deck is hammered from drinking for three hours at the Fours, there's no passion. At the game last night everyone was into the game. Groans from BU fans as their players banged pucks off the post. Cheers from BC fans for a great move and the extra goal.

Chanting. I told you I'd get to that. Like soccer fans in Europe with their own chants for their teams, last night's game had two great fan bases trying to out cheer the other. And it was great. BC had the bodysuit sperm guy while BU had everyone in their section wearing a hockey jersey. (A point that the future Mrs. WS made that all the BC fans just had stupid t-shirts..) Trading barbs back and forth in the best rivalry in college sports.

Although BC won the game (and had the best chant with "Jesus Loves Us"), it was the passion that was in the building for a college game which makes me wonder if over paying for crap seats at an NHL game is even worth it anymore. Agganis Arena might be better.

Blog disclosure: Due to marital obligations this writer is a BU Hockey fan.

For more game info check out's 2010 Beanpot Coverage

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Law We All Can Get Behind

Cause in the end we really shouldn't be doing anything that would distract us from our driving. We're Boston drivers. We have the right to brake for no apparent reason. Veer into your lane just because the space is there. And god forbid if you honk at us and we're on the phone. Why are you disturbing my call? You almost made me drop my cell phone that I was holding to the side of my head.

Thankfully, at least the cell phone part, may be a thing of the past as our suddenly working House of Reps, passed driving safety legislation that includes a ban on texting/emailing while driving and requires hands free operation of your cell phone. Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?

I used to work downtown. So that meant walking and taking the 80% working MBTA to work. No car. Until nighttime and the weekends when I would only drive around when there were less people on the road. Now that I'm commuting 45 minutes each way, I see just how important this legislation is. People actively texting AND driving 60. Fumbling for their phones when a call comes in. And these are in bumper to bumper traffic.

So I'm hoping this legislation passes the next phase and Gov. Patrick signs it into law immediately. As in tomorrow. People may get false tickets from cops who saw you changing the song on your iTunes app or on Pandora. But in the end it will ensure safety for everyone on our roads.

Pass it. Do it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Reason I Can't Wait For A BackYard

When Good Apps Do Right (and nothing at all)

I love my iPhone. I like that I can check orders, find the answer to the elusive question that are posed to me, play a game to pass the time, and now I get to tell the City of Boston issues within my neighborhood.

I downloaded this app with the idea that it could get what I hoped were local safety issues into the right hands. So, with app in hand I walked my dogs down their normal route which happens to go down a few sets of stairs off of Ruth Street in Eastie and behind the Samuel Adams Elementary School. These two stretches of our walk had become a hazard since the steps and the sidewalk were covered with 8 inches of snow and had, in turn, melted to a nice icy glaze.

Taking a picture I sent it. Nothing. Almost seemed like they are waiting for the sun to just melt it. Which is maybe the way to go. I will now have to wait for our next snow (hopefully before our move occurs) to see if these areas are taken care of by our fair city employees.

Of course there are people who have great success with the service. And I'm glad that it is working for them. I want to be able to send video as well though. This way they can see that the ramp from Logan towards the Sumner Tunnel tolls is like off road driving and this is, for some people, the first thing they will notice about our city. Potholes and poorly maintained roads. The app is great, only if the problems that we are reporting are actually taken care of versus being "patched".

I'm sure they can blame Massport..

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad or iWillAmazinglyPass

There's a few things I love about the iPad. But more things that are missing for me to change my thoughts on passing on the first version of the iPad:

1) No Flash support. The iPhone without it was okay. I could deal. But on this device which is supposed to be better than the iPhone but not quite an iMac. Major fail. Especially when I want to check out the coolness my friends at A&R Media Studio are coming up with these days.

2) No front or back facing camera. So no iChat conferencing. No Skype calls with my godkids. No augmented reality apps.

3) No HD screen resolution. C'mon. The tech is there. It may have cost a bit more to have it included but watching digital copies on this thing will create a pixelated mess on big explosions. And please Apple, use something different than Star Trek in your video pictures. Great movie. Move on.

4) Multitasking. Can't do anything but what is on the top of the screen. Boring.

5) Screen lock notifications. Something I am hoping for in the next version of the iPhone. Seeing upcoming calendar events. Unread emails. Weather app.

6) No SD slot for digital pictures. But we do get silly adapters to tether onto the iPad.

7) Women will giggle when I talk about my iPad. Insert your jokes in the comments.

So in conclusion, this blog is passing on this device. Maybe it'll get better. Maybe it won't. But the difference between iPhone 1.0 and iPhone 3GS is pretty substantial. If there are updates to hardware, display, and abilities of the OS, I'll hop on board. But for now I'll stick with the other 8 Apple products in our house.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's Happened to the Bruins?

For the past two years you could see the Boston Bruins moving their way up the NHL charts with gritty play, hard hitting, B's hockey. After yesterday's 5-1 loss to the WORST TEAM IN HOCKEY, the Carolina Hurri-Whales, I was left wondering if this was going to become like former coach Dave Lewis' one year behind the bench. A team full of sometimes overpaid players who lacked the heart to pull a win our of their ass. To play hard (especially in front of your own home crowd) and just compete.

We saw what you see in the image to your left. Players "Ole'ing" the cellar dwellers into our end. Some people in the Twitterverse will place a lot of blame on the goalies. Yes, to some degree, they are paid to stop a small piece of black rubber. However when your defense (and not just Wideman) looks like they are paying more attention to what is on their DVR at home, they can't stop everything.

I point more to our forwards, more interested in fancy plays and not getting the gritty goals like in the past two seasons. Hoping for that highlight reel goal versus the pick up league rule of toss it at the net. Getting a body in front of the net (hello Recchi). Slamming people into the boards and then working to get the puck. Anything. Let's face it Kessel, for all his goals, was a streaky goal scorer. What worked for us last season was that other players would get hot when he got cold and then the B's were rolling four lines who were all scoring threats. This season no one is scoring.

No trade (Kovalchuk) will help the B's at this point. We could see a yard sale for this season following the Olympic break. We may squeak into 8th place for the playoffs. Or we will continue to crash and burn. It's not Julien's fault. Nor is it Chiarelli's.

Injuries to top players and a lackluster, apathetic supporting cast are more to blame than lack of scoring. Injuries I will give them a pass on. But in a city that loves their sports teams to wear their hearts on their sleeves, the Bruins haven't shown any. I don't know who said it but they were right when they though Neely should put on the gear again. At his age he'd be more passionate than 99% of this team.