Friday, October 31, 2008

Life imitates Art (comic absurdity)

Up until now, my favorite example of life imitating art was the increasing # of blades in multiple-blade razors, which was parodied in a Saturday Night Live commercial in the first ever episode of the show, in 1975 (at the time, there were only 2 blades in multiple-blade razors, and they proposed the then-absurd premise of a THIRD blade!)

But now ... well, just check out this 1993 Onion "fake news" headline!

Unrelated, I'm sad to hear that Studs Terkel died today - not surprising, since he was 90 or so, but he is another great one who is now gone - fortunately, he leaves an amazing legacy in his writing and recorded interviews.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apparently, my ancestors had very weak stomachs

I have a Google search for "boak" that sends me updates whenever it finds a new web page that mentions the word. Mostly, I'm just curious about other people named "Boak", because it's just not that common of a last name. There are a few people that come up fairly regularly: a writer for the Chicago Tribune named Joshua Boak, a senior designer for Martin Guitars named Dick Boak, and a few others.

The last couple of days, there has been quite a bit of activity on the website of The Herald Online, "the website digest of Scotland's leading quality newspaper"; read 'em & weep (for me, from laughing, whatever floats your boat):

War of words

Sick joke

Dutch boak

The Full spectrum of boakery

Did you read 'em all? Comments, too?

Now, I can't say I'm at all surprised by this, though that was really a whole lotta boak in those pages! Over the years, I have heard tell that my last name, "Boak", meant "to retch" in Scottish - mostly an old usage, from what I was told. A few years back, I even heard a friend of mine from Pennsylvania say "oh, I don't drink Rolling Rock anymore - I drank too much and boaked behind the barn at parties way too many times in high school" (at the time, she didn't know my last name). However, until I read those pages from The Herald, I'm pretty sure I had never seen quite so ... umm ... colorful a discussion of the word.

I leave you with excerpts from the wikipedia dictionary entry for "boak":


From Proto-Germanic (not attested in Old English); cognate with Dutch bulken ("bellow") and German bolken ("to roar").


to boak (third-person singular simple present boaks, present participle boaking, simple past and past participle boaked)

  1. (obsolete) To burp.
  2. (Scotland) To retch or vomit.

addendum, October 23, 7:05 pm:

But wait! There's more discussion of "Boak" at The Herald:

Enough to give you several boaks

Sunday, October 19, 2008

that'll do, pig

Earlier today, I emailed the following to a couple of baseball buddies of mine:

I think the Sox bats are awake now, and tonight they'll get more than the two runs they got off of Shields in game 1. If Beckett can pitch well (admittedly, that's a big if in this post season), I think the Sox take tonight's game. I bet Beckett is on a short leash tonight - maybe they go to Wake if things get tough? His knuckleball can be pretty magical inside a dome.

I like their chances with Lester on the mound for game 7.

Final score tonight, Red Sox 4, Tampa Bay 2. I thought the Sox would score a few more runs than that, but they did just fine, and it was great to see Veritek contribute to the cause, since he's been in a mostly year-long slump. Beckett allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (2 solo homers), a walk, and 3 strikeouts over 5 innings - not dominating, but damn good enough to get the job done tonight.

Oh, and check out this blog post about Game 5 by one of the all-time masters in writing, Roger Angell. As my buddy Joe commented, "Damn-- who else actively writing these days can mention something that happened in 1929 and then say, in all seriousness, that he remembers it well? I guess we should treasure Angell while we have him." Really, folks - read all the Roger Angell you can - there's an amazing collection of his baseball writing that came out maybe 7 or 8 years ago, called "Once More Around the Park: A Baseball Reader" ... Joe-Bob says check it out.

And yes, I still like the Sox' chances with Lester going on the mound for game 7.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Great Googly-Moogly!

The Boston Red Sox, down 7-0 to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 7th inning, score 4 in the 7th, 3 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th to win the game 8-7 and keep their chances alive in the American League Championship Series - that's just plumb crazy!

After the first run by the Sox, my buddy the Hollywood property master texted me "at least they scored" - he's kinda bummed about the Dodgers not getting into the World Series, too. Soon thereafter, David "Big Papi" Ortiz hit a 3-run home run, and I texted back "right where we want them". Semi-joking, but boy, when it got to the 8th inning and they had Wheeler (Tampa's relief pitcher) rattled ... geez, it really felt like they were going to get the job done tonight.

Thanks, Red Sox - that was fun tonight!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

He's a Cat - Flushing the Toilet

I double-dog dare you to watch this and then try to get the tune out of your head ... g'head ... you know you're curious ... could it really be all THAT catchy? ... warning: it's faux-They Might Be Giants catchy ...

(I got it from Neatorama)