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..